The Importance of a Pool Fence to Keep Your Children Safe
Even in the Fall and Winter months, keeping your children safe from the dangers that a pool presents is very important. Along with the fun, though, comes the responsibility to make sure it is safe, not only for your immediate family but also for your neighbors and their children. Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages one through four. It is the second leading cause of death in children up to fourteen, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As a pool owner, you should establish rules and have safeguards in place that ensure child pool safety.
Risk Factors for Pool Accidents
You can’t always tell what causes an accident. Around the pool, though, the following are among the most frequent threats to child pool safety:
- No fencing to keep children and pets out
- Inability to swim
- No adult supervision
- Slippery surfaces
- Toys or other small objects causing tripping hazards
No one can prevent all accidents, but you can take steps to mitigate the risks. Even if your state does not have specific legal requirements for pool owners, you could be vulnerable to a negligence lawsuit should someone get hurt. You might consider your swimming pool to be a wonderful luxury, but in the eyes of the law, it is an attractive nuisance. That means you must do your best to prevent any uninvited children it attracts from gaining access.
Features of a Secure Fence
A fence enclosure is your first and best barrier to uninvited children. It doesn’t matter whether you choose wood, chain link, or an ornamental aluminum fence as long as it complies with a few sensible safety guidelines. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following features in a pool fence:
- The fence should not be near structures that children could use to climb over it.
- The fencing should be a minimum of four feet high or meet local height requirements.
- Gates should be self-closing and latch securely from the inside.
- The space between vertical pieces should not exceed four inches.
- Horizontal pieces should be on the inside to prevent climbing.
In the fall and winter months when you are not using your pool as much you may assume that just putting your pool cover on is enough to keep children safe, however, this is not the case. There have been many reported cases of children drowning on top of pool covers as it only takes a couple of inches of water for a child to drown. It is important that a reliable safety fence is installed around your pool so that you have peace of mind all year long.
The Problem with Pool Alarms
A pool alarm, which sounds an alert when something disturbs the water, works well in addition to fencing, but it is inadequate as a stand-alone safety measure. Something must actually be in the water to activate the alarm, so someone is already in danger — whether child, pet, frog, salamander or tree branch – and you have no way of knowing what it is until you go out and check. Additionally, a pool alarm is ineffective unless someone is at home to hear it.
Your Source for Pool Fencing in New England
Hastie Fence has your fencing needs covered in the New England area. Our experienced installers are always on hand to help you promote child pool safety with a secure swimming pool fence. Contact us today to get started.