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Pool Fences - What you Need to Know!

If you have a pool than you know that a once peaceful afternoon swimming can turn into a tragic drowning in only a few short moments if proper precautions aren't met. Drowning is the # 2 cause of injury or death amongst kids 15 and younger. For small children the majority of drowning occurs when the child's supervisor assumed the child was indoors. To keep children and pets safe, pool fences, or another safety barrier such as a pool cover or net is lifesaving. However, since most homeowners don't keep their pools covered during the spring and summer, it makes sense that a pool safety fence is some kind of pool fencing or enclosure is the best choice. In addition to safety, a fence can also provide privacy and protection from the wind.

Types of Pool Fences

First, take a look at some important safety standards addressed by the B.O.C.A:

The Building Officials and Code Administrators (B.O.C.A.) have addressed the type of fence needed to provide a safe barrier around a swimming pool to be:

  • Fence must be minimum 48" tall
  • The minimum space between the lowermost top rail and the bottom rail must be at least 45". So some fence styles, if chosen, may have to be taller than 48"
  • The spacing between pickets must be less than 4"
  • The space between the bottom rail and the ground must be less than 4"
  • The gate(s) must be self-closing
  • The gate(s) must be 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 ground

Best Pool Safety Fences:

Ornamental fence - These metal fences can be aluminum or steel and can provide beauty and decoration along with creating safe enclosure. Most aluminum fences are made with a powder coated finish to protect against rust. Many fence designs actually look tradition and have the appearance of wrought iron. Styles may include: flat top or spear pointed picket. (Make sure they meet B.O.C.A requirements before buying).

Transparent fences - These are sold to many pool owners with a few distinct benefits. Homeowners can see through the fence both inside the pool area and outside; it's very attractive. Also, these lightweight fence panels can be removed during the off-season. These fences are typically durably designed and are climb proof for children and animals.


Looking for a comprehensive book How to plan, install, and build a fence and gates? Check out "The Fence Bible," by Jeff Beneke. Visit our Bookstore!

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