Is There a Safe Way to Keep My Kids Out of the Pool?
Kids and adults love splish-splashing the day away in a cool and calm pool at home. It is, in fact, because kids have a natural penchant for pools that these at-home water features, which were installed with fun in mind, can so easily transform into hazards. Invited or not, kids will want to play and swim in your pool. Sobering statistics indicate that accidental drowning remains a real problem. The Centers for Disease Control reported that between 2005 and 2009, an average of 3,533 people died annually due to unintentional drowning in the United States. That’s a staggering 10 people per day. Don’t become part of this sad statistic. Instead, protect your neighborhood children and yourself by taking measures to prevent curious kiddos from falling victim to injury or drowning in your pool by carefully securing your space.
The first step in securing your pool is putting a physical barrier between it and the rest of the world. Add an aluminum pool fence to your property to keep wandering swimmers out of your space. Nearly every insurance company requires that you place a fence around your pool as this is the single most important element in both securing your pool and limiting your liability as a pool owner. While the specific requirements for fence height vary from location to location and insurer to insurer, most town ordinances require that fences securing pools be a minimum of 48 inches tall. Some insurance companies have even more stringent expectations, requiring pool-securing fences to be at least six-feet high. Before investing in your aluminum pool fence, check with your homeowners’ association and your insurance company, as some also have specific requirements for minimum distance between the lateral bars of the fence and/or distance between fence pickets, both of which are intended to make the fence more difficult to scale and increase the security of your pool space.
You’re just trying to block access to a pool, not secure a penitentiary, so you can and should include some gating in your pool fence to allow for people you invite into the space to access it with ease. You should, however, exercise caution in planning your gate locations and selecting your hinge type. The type of gating you select is also very important in keeping your space secure and safeguarding you from liability. Most policies require the installation of gates with self-closing hinges. These hinges make it impossible for people entering your space to accidentally leave the gate open, as they are designed in such a way that the gate swings closed when not being held open. This is important as the presence of these latches eliminates the validity of any questions people may pose about whether your gate was left ajar. An additional consideration to keep in mind when planning for the placement of your gating is that, in most cases, policies require that gates open away from the pool, not towards it.
Finish out the security package of your aluminum pool fence with your final layer of defense: a reliable latch. For optimal security, and to meet the requirements of most insurance companies and HOAs, you need to outfit each gate with a self-locking latch. For ease of use and to most effectively prevent children from accessing your pool space, select a Magna Latch. These latches are magnetic and feature a raised release knob that sits out of the reach of children. It is recommended and often required that latches for a gate’s release rest at least 54 inches above the ground as to make it difficult for children to open the gate without adult assistance. Depending upon the height of your fencing, this latch will meet or exceed this requirement. When paired with self-closing hinges, this latch ensures that your pool remains secure at all times and substantially reduces the likelihood that a child will access your pool and suffer an accident.
Do-It-Yourself Ordering and Installation
The fence you place around your pool serves an exceptionally important function. In keeping unwanted guests away from your pool, it prevents avoidable accidents from occurring on your property and protects you from the liability when, despite your best efforts, something exceptionally unfortunate occurs. Great Fence fabricates premium, rust free pool safety fencing, gates and accessories that are 100% made in the United States. With several styles and 9 powder coat colors to choose from, you can order all your materials online and it will be made and shipped directly to your home for DIY installation.