One of the biggest questions many pool owners may have about pool safety is whether they need to purchase a fence for their above ground pool. Fences make sense for in-ground pools since they are flush with the ground and are easy to fall into, but what about above ground pools?
It’s recommended by safety experts that all pools, above ground and in-ground, should be surrounded by child proof fencing. Appropriate safety fencing can help prevent the drowning deaths of children and household pets.
Depending on where you live, your community may require you to have a fence around your above ground pool. Keep reading to learn more about above ground pool fencing and whether it’s illegal to have an above ground pool without it.
In most areas of the world, fencing is not legally required for above ground pools.
For example, there is no federal law in the United States that forces pool owners to put a fence around their pool.
While there are no federal laws that require fencing around above ground pools, this same thing cannot be said for states, municipalities, and homeowner’s associations (HOAs).
For safety reasons, many cities and HOAs require any pool to be surrounded by some kind of fencing that keeps it separated from the public to prevent drowning deaths.
This protective fencing is to help keep small children or animals from wandering onto the property and possibly falling into the pool by accident.
Because many areas require safety fencing when you install an above ground or in-ground pool, it’s a smart idea to check with local coding and regulations before installing your pool to see if fencing is required.
Here’s a quick answer video about fencing around above ground pools:
An Intex or inflatable above ground pool needs safety fencing just like any other type of above ground pool.
In fact, these inflatable above ground pools need fencing even more than their taller frame pool counterparts. Because the sides of an Intex pool are relatively low, this makes it easier for children and animals to accidentally fall in.
While additional safety fencing around the pool itself is often optional in many areas, almost all cities and states require pools to be installed behind a chain link fence on private property that is at least forty-eight inches in height.
Fences are required for any above ground pool that is lower than forty-eight inches (four feet deep). However, any above ground pool with sides that are forty-eight inches or higher is considered a barrier to unsafe entry and does not typically require fencing.
In most places, a fence is required to be installed around any pool that is at least eighteen inches in depth. (source: backyardsidekick.com)
Since most above ground pools are well above this minimum requirement, it’s reasonable to state that all above ground pools require some sort of fencing to separate them from public access.
Along with a fence, some areas where pools are installed may require pool owners to post signage on their fenceline acknowledging that there is a pool present.
Even in areas where this signage is not required, posting a sign that there is a pool can help protect the pool owner from liability in the case of an accident.
Many governments might require appropriate fencing to keep an above ground pool safe from potential drownings, but there are also some other requirements that you might want to look at before you choose your pool’s final location:
- Climbable features: Some local governments require that pools be located away from climbable objects that could be used to access the pool area as well as requiring a privacy fence for safety.
- Door alarms: If you have small children present in your home and an above ground pool, installing door alarms can help prevent wayward children from gaining pool access.
- Gates: Many local laws regarding pool fencing require that the gates to the pool fence swing outward and are self-latching. Check with local regulations for more details on your legal responsibilities in gating off your above ground pool.
- Home security systems: Home security cameras such as this Ring System involve motion detectors that can go off if someone enters the pool areas, allowing pool owners to intervene if a child or pet enters the area unsafely.
- Infrared detectors: Infrared Detectors Found Here can set off an alarm if someone enters your above ground pool without permission, and can provide an additional safety measure to help prevent accidental drowning deaths of children and pets.
When it comes to above ground pool safety, having a redundant set of safety measures can mean the difference between life and death in many cases.
Don’t be afraid to put more than one system in place on top of appropriate safety fencing.
What Happens If You Don’t Fence Your Pool?
In areas where a fence is required for your above ground pool, not fencing the pool can lead to municipal fines and even demands that the pool is removed from the property.
From a safety standpoint, not fencing your pool could potentially lead to the death of a child. Pool owners who do not adequately safeguard their pools are at risk of being sued or sent to jail for negligence.
Check Local Laws to Confirm Above Ground Pool Fencing
Even though many above ground pools are tall enough that protective fencing is not required, a safety fence around your pool is a good idea no matter how deep it is.
Installing a safety fence along with other security measures like alarms and cameras can give you the best chance possible at preventing a potential drowning death.