Fencing Around Your Pool: What You Need to Know

April 29, 2021

It’s almost summer! That means more time spent outside enjoying your yard.

Whether you’re looking to install a new pool or are ready for a new fence around an existing pool, there are some important things to keep in mind about California’s regulations.

Safety Requirement Background

California has certain regulations in place that exist to maintain the safety of swimming pools in residential areas. It’s important to follow these closely to avoid the possibility of accidental injury or drowning associated with your pool.

Every pool in California over 18″ deep needs a fence around it, per the California Safety Code. As defined in the “Swimming Pool Safety Act” of the code, “Swimming pool or pool means any structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing that contains water over 18 inches deep. “Swimming pool” includes in-ground and above ground structures and includes, but is not limited to, hot tubs, spas, portable spas, and nonportable wading pools.”

Pool Fence Specifications

Per the Act, pools or spas built or remodeled after January 1st, 2018 in California must have a fence or enclosure around them that meets all of these requirements:  

  • All access gates through the fence should open away from the pool and must be self-closing with a self-latching device that is fitted sixty inches above the floor.
  • The fence must have a minimum height of sixty inches.
  • A maximum vertical clearance from the floor to the bottom of the fence of 2 inches.
  • If there are gaps, it should not allow passage of an object that is more than four inches in diameter.
  • The outside surface of the pool must be free of cavities, protrusions, or any other physical feature that can serve as a foothold or handhold to a child.

In addition to a fence that meets the above requirements, the pool must be equipped with at least two of the following safety features:

  • Removable mesh fencing and a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.
  • An approved safety pool cover.
  • Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
  • A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
  • An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. 
  • Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above.

Different localities may also have specific pool fence ordinances that are used, so always be sure to check your local and HOA regulations.

Keep in mind that the pool safety laws in California also require home inspectors to examine pools and spas and record details about the safety features before a home is sold.

A backyard pool can be a great oasis for you and your family this summer; just remember to keep everything up to code so everyone can enjoy your pool safely!

Ready to get started? Join the over 10,000 happy customers who have had fences built by Ergeon. We specialize in fence installation and repair and hold a 4.6 average rating!

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