Swimming Pool Blog
Rob Cox, March 13, 2012
5 ways to make a 3-sided pool fence safer
For safety, you just can't beat a 4-sided pool fence, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. There is no better layer of protection for your pool, to keep guests, family and neighbors safe.
They don't win any beauty contests, especially when they're this close to the pool, but they do the job.
Many areas are now requiring a 4-sided fence of a certain type to be installed around new pool construction. But back in the day, a 3-sided fence was common, with the fourth side being the house.
In some areas, not so long ago - pools were built without any fence at all, as long as it had an automatic cover. Or in rural areas, where inspection may be lacking, pool fences are too.
The majority of pools that I see, in my travels, are built rather close to the house, and a perimeter fence is installed that connects to the house. Over time, the fence will sag and the gates become rickety. But all in all, a 3 sided fence provides decent protection from those who would come in from the outside.
But! The danger of drowning is usually higher from the people that are inside the house, not those that are outside, like pool-hopping neighbors or lost dogs. What can you do to secure the fourth-side of your pool perimeter, that is the real question - and the topic of this blog post.
5 pool fence safety tips
1. Lock the doors! Automatic close and lock doors are available, even for sliding glass doors. Small signs can help too, placed just above the lock.
2. Door Alarms: Every egress to the pool, from the house should have a door alarm, that will beep when the door is opened.
3. Secondary perimeter fence. Install an interior fence, between the back of the house and the pool. Install wide gates on wheels, and you can open the inside fence fully during periods of high pool use. Mesh safety fencing is another option that can be easily removed by an adult.
4. Pool Alarms: An in-pool alarm acts as a secondary layer of protection, after the door alarms. If an person or animal falls in the pool, these alarms sound loudly at the pool, and in the house at a remote area.
5. Safety Cover: If you have a complete deck around your pool, you can install a mesh safety cover that can be put on quickly to secure the pool, and also be a winter cover (for those that need one).
This spring, take some time to review your pool fence, and if you have a 3-sided fence, or even worse, no fence at all - take some steps to make the pool more secure for 2012. A preventable tragedy in your backyard, would take all the fun out of owning a pool.