A swimming pool can offer your family wonderful times of enjoyment and many happy memories. In an imperfect world, however, there are often dangers associated even with the good things in life. At iFenceUSA™ we are firmly committed to helping protect children from harm. Our Resort Collection™ swimming pool fences are designed with pool safety in mind. Here we not only explain the standards we have built in to our fences but we also provide helpful tips to keep children safe. We want you to think in terms of “layers of protection.”
B.O.C.A. pool safety standards
The International Code Council (I.C.C.), more often known by their former name, the Building Officials and Code Administrators (B.O.C.A.), outline strong safety standards for swimming pool fences. In an effort to eliminate or reduce the accidental drowning of children, these standards have been recognized by many communities throughout the world.
Here are the highlights of the B.O.C.A./I.C.C. pool safety standards:
- The fence must be a minimum of 48″ tall (or taller, depending on distance between horizontal rails).
- The middle horizontal rail must be at least 45″ above the bottom horizontal rail (to prevent using the horizontal rails as a kind of ladder for climbing).
- The spacing between pickets must be less than 4″.
- If space between pickets is less than 1 3/4” (as in ourExtreme feature), rule #2 does not apply and fence does not have to be taller than 48” (because the tighter picket spacing has made climbing much more difficult).
- The space between the bottom horizontal rail and the ground must be less than 2″.
- The gate(s) must be self-closing and self-latching.
- The gate(s) need to open out (away from the pool area).
- The opening mechanism of the latch must be at least 54″ above grade (ground level).
When installing your pool fence it is important to realize that the purpose is to prevent entry, not exit. Consequently, the fence should be installed at least 48” away from any objects or grade inclines that could be used a “stepping stone” to gain entry into the pool area, such as steep hills, large rocks, retaining walls, air conditioner units, pool heaters, etc. If space is tight, consider a fence on the high ground. Failure to follow this code may result in costly non-compliance citations, including forced re-installation to meet code. We don’t want this to happen to you but more importantly, the safety of children is paramount!
Obey local laws regarding pool safety
While many communities have more relaxed standards, others have adopted more stringent standards. This is why we urge you to check your local pool fence legal codes before ordering your fence, as these codes often vary from B.O.C.A. standards. If a permit is required, we recommend you obtain the permit before ordering your fence. Often, a neighborhood association may have restrictions as well. We provide the fence specifications you need to determine compliance, but since we are not familiar with all local code nuances throughout the world, iFenceUSA™ is not responsible if the fence you order does not comply with your local codes, whether government- or association-initiated.
Location of your fence
Swimming pools can be enclosed by a fence surrounding the pool while totally detached from your house or other “pass through” structure. Another plan is to use the house itself as a partial barrier, with fencing extending out from it to enclose the pool area and then terminating back at the house. The latter plan may comply with your local community pool safety codes (usually with alarms on all points of entry into the pool area from within the house), but it is our considered opinion that a separately enclosed pool area offers children a greater degree of protection. A child that “slips” outside would still have another layer to get through. We encourage you to thoughtfully plan for the safety of children, your own and others who may visit, and make decisions based on what you think is best, and the governing laws in your community.
Additional Safety Tips
Following are some options for protecting children and preventing accidents as provided by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals:
- Safety Covers:An impenetrable covering that completely covers the pool, spa, or hot tub will prevent access to the water when there is not supervision.
- Alarms:Alarms are available for doors, fences, in pools, and as a clip-on for children. Alarms detect unwanted entrances to your pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Rope and Float Line:Place these across the pool to alert swimmers to the separation of the deep end from the shallow end of the pool.
- Rescue Equipment:Equipment such as a life ring and shepherd’s hook should be placed near the pool in an easily accessible spot.
- Posted Emergency Information:Post all CPR, other emergency information, and warning signs, as well as the emergency telephone number – 911 – near the pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Outside Telephone:Be sure to have a telephone in case you need to summon help.
For more information on childhood drowning prevention, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission by calling (800) 638-2772 or visit cpsc.gov and view publication No. 359 and No. 362.
Original Source: http://www.ifenceusa.com/poolsafety.php