Many families throughout Florida spend the majority of the summer in their backyard pool. If you’re planning to construct a pool on your property or have an existing pool, having a professional construct a sturdy fence isn’t only a luxury, it’s your legal obligation.
In addition to keeping your children safe, a fence is also required by Florida law. Here is some valuable information about how to have a proper fence erected around your Florida pool.
The Importance of a Proper Swimming Pool Fence
Your backyard pool is the place to be during the summer. You want easy access to your pool, and you don’t think a fence will mesh with your backyard’s aesthetic. However, if you have children, installing a proper pool around your fence is a matter of life or death. It’s estimated that 350 children under 5 drown in a pool every year.
Your child’s safety, as well as the safety of the neighborhood children, is the main reason why you need to have a fence constructed around your pool.
Florida Swimming Pool Enclosure Laws
Your child’s safety is the main reason why you should erect a fence around your pool. As the homeowner, you are also legally responsible for constructing and maintaining a proper fence. Florida has many codes and regulations regarding pool fences and enclosures. Here are a few:
- Any structures that are meant for swimming and are filled with two feet of water or more must be surrounded by a fence.
- The fence must be, at the very least, 48 inches tall and cannot contain any gaps or openings that are large enough for a child to fit through.
- The fence must be far enough away from the pool that if a child were to climb the fence, they would not fall directly into the pool.
- The fence cannot be near anything the child could use to climb up over it. For example, you cannot erect the fence near a post or a tree.
- The gate must have a self-latching lock and open away from the swimming pool.
These are only a handful of Florida codes and regulations regarding pool fences. If you have additional questions, contact a fencing company or your county’s planning and zoning department.
Choosing a Pool Fence
The pool fence will be a focal point in your backyard, which is why you want it to not only comply with all of Florida’s laws but also to look attractive. There are several options available that are attractive, functional, and safe for your children. Here are a few.
If you choose a fence with vertical slats, in addition to being at least four feet tall, you must take the spacing between the slats into consideration. There should not be enough room for a child to slide their body or foot through the fence. A child could easily slide their foot between the slats and use the horizontal member to scale the fence.
If you choose latticework fencing, the holes should be small enough to make it difficult for your child to climb the fence.
Chain Link Fence
The space between the links should be narrow enough that it makes it difficult for your child to scale the fence. If you choose this type of fence, consider weaving vertical slats through the chain link. These slats will make it even more difficult for your child to get a foothold and climb the fence.
There are only a few options available. Speak to a fencing contractor if you have additional questions.
Additional Pool Fence Safety Measures
Complying with all of Florida’s pool enclosure laws is a great first step. There are other ways that you can make your pool fence even safer. For example, a gate alarm will alert you immediately if one of your children or pets manages to bypass the fence. You can also keep your hot tub or above-ground pool covered when not in use.
Many homeowners choose to have an existing wall serve as part of the fence. If this is the case, installing an alarm on your patio or back door will alert you if one of your children attempts to enjoy a swim on their own. Never leave chairs, tables, or any other objects near the fence that would make it easier for your child to access the pool.
Inspect your pool fence periodically and watch for signs of damage. For example, if you have a wooden fence, animal-related damaged could make it easier for your child to bypass the gate or shimmy underneath the fence.
Constructing a fence around your pool is not only safer for your child, it is your legal responsibility. If you have any further questions about the type of fence that will work with your pool, backyard, and budget, contact the professionals at Carter Fence Company.