Should You Put A Fence Around Your Swimming Pool?
As an owner of a residential swimming pool, one decision that you're faced with is whether or not to install a fence around the perimeter of your pool. While some local codes require pools of certain sizes to be fenced, many areas leave it up to the owner. If a fence is not required in your area, the necessity of one is largely dependent on your unique situation. In most cases, a fence is a great way to provide additional privacy, security and safety to your pool.
Swimming pools are excellent sources of fun and exercise for children, but they can also be a potential danger for younger swimmers if the proper precautions aren't taken. If you have children, or if you live near families with children, installing a fence is a must in order to ensure safety. Studies show that the majority of residential pool drowning incidents were preventable and could have been avoided if access to the pool had been restricted by a four-sided fence. By installing a fence around the perimeter of your pool, and by making sure there is attentive adult supervision, you can greatly minimize the risk that your pool poses to children.
One of the fun things about owning a pool is that you tend to have a lot guests. One of the not-so-fun things is that sometimes, your guests are wild animals who have made their way into the pool when you weren't looking. As untold numbers of pool owners have found, the mere sight of a skunk, squirrel, raccoon, or other animal floating in the pool can be enough to ruin a planned day at the pool. Because you probably aren't able to keep 24 hour surveillance of your pool, installing a fence is the next best way to keep these critters out.
For pool owners with pets, installing a fence is highly recommended. Sure, your dog might be able to impress the neighbors with his Olympic-level paddling, but that doesn't mean that your pool isn't a danger. Unsupervised pets that fall into the pool may not be able to climb out, and older pets in particular may have trouble staying afloat for extended periods of time. Even if your pet is afraid of jumping in the pool, you don't want them drinking the chemically treated water. Putting in a fence with a self-latching gate will help keep pets away from the pool when you're not present.
Perhaps there are no children, wild animals, or pets in the picture to present safety concerns with your pool; does this mean you have no reason to install a fence? Not necessarily. Depending on how close you are to your neighbors, how visible your pool area is, and how many surprise visits you receive, a fence might provide some much-needed privacy.
Before making any decisions regarding a fence for your pool, be sure to check your local codes to see what the requirements are. Keep in mind that while a fence can significantly improve the safety of your pool, there is no substitute for adult supervision.