Pool season is upon us. Does your pool meet the latest pool fence laws? In California, pool owners need to install at least 2 of 7 specified ‘drowning prevention safety features’ at their home pool to reduce a child’s risk of drowning. And, yes, a ‘pool’ in California includes a spa.
These measures allow homeowners to choose from barriers, alarms, fencing and pool covers. The following general guidelines can be read in more depth at California Legislative Information. In addition, it’s helpful to know these pool fence laws apply to pools at single family homes.
Approved safety measures stated in the Pool Fence Laws
Read through and find two of these safety features you can feel comfortable with to prevent drownings.
- An enclosure that isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home. An “Enclosure” means a fence, wall, or another barrier that isolates a swimming pool from access to the home.
- Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.
- An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921. This can be a compliant automatic or manual pool cover.
- Exit alarms on the home’s doors & windows that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.” Exit alarms are also required on ANY door or window that permits access from the residence to the pool area without an enclosure between the pool and the home. The exit alarm must make a continuous audible sound when the door or window is open and or ajar.
- A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed higher than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa. This applies to ANY door opening on to the pool area, sliding or otherwise.
- An alarm that sounds when someone enters the pool water, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, for detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, infrared type alarms. (A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.)
- Other means of protection. If the degree of protection afforded is equal to that of any of the features set forth above can be used. The other method must be independently verified by an approved testing laboratory. And meet standards for those features established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
These pool fence laws may seem a bit more technical than you are prepared for, but your pool service technician should be able to help you out.