Before you put in a swimming pool, you need to check with your local state and municipal governments to see what their regulations are concerning pools. What’s good though is that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers a booklet of guidelines for pool barriers to help with one aspect of this though you will still need to make sure it is up to code. And since swimming pool barriers help to prevent drownings; especially with young children, it’s an excellent booklet to help you make your decision on which barrier will be best for you.
So what is a barrier? It can be a fence, a cover that’s safety powered or door/gate alarms which ring in the home when the pool area is entered. Now if you’re choosing a fence as your barrier, then it should completely surround your pool. It also needs to be at least 4 feet high, but 5 feet or higher is better. Additionally, if you are going to have an access gate to your pool, it needs to be equipped with a locking device. Too, the gate needs to open outward, not inward towards the pool. Further it should self-close and self-latch as soon as the gates closed.
In addition, your gate lock should be located; measuring from the bottom of the gate, to the height of 54 inches or more. The mechanism to release the gate needs to be at 3 inches below the top of the gate facing the pool too. Also, by the release mechanism there shouldn’t be a space larger than ½ inches within 18 inches of the lock.
Now what is the barrier’s purpose? It is to provide a layer of protection between the pool and an unsupervised child, or perhaps an elder adult with dementia. Also, by having a barrier installed, it can give you the precious minutes that may make a difference between life and death. Now a barrier can’t replace adult supervision, and it’s not meant to, but it will make your pool safer and perhaps save a life.
Having some type of barrier protection around your pool isn’t something to overlook. Also in most municipalities, it’s a requirement. But even if this requirement isn’t in your area, installing some type of pool barrier is the best thing to do for both safety and your peace of mind.
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