How Do Pool Fences Prevent Drownings?

Wire fence surrounding a pool situated beside a home

Are Pool Fences Important?

Having a swimming pool in your backyard is considered by many to be the “lap of luxury”. With a pool in the backyard, it can feel like you’re constantly on vacation. But one thing can pull you out of that ‘vacation state of mind’ in an instant: accidental drownings.

An accidental drowning can be devastating, especially when it can be prevented. This is why laws have been established with pool safety fences and other features for several reasons. A few key reasons include: 

  • Children between the ages of 1 and 4 are more likely to die from drowning than any other cause.
  • Each day, 3 children die from drowning.
  • An estimated 10 people drown each day. 

Texas does in fact require a pool safety fence to be installed. This law isn’t just for a home with children, but for neighboring children that may find their way into your backyard. 

How close to a fence should a pool be?

This can vary based on state laws. Some states require a distance between the pool safety fence and the swimming pool of 24 inches.  Most states require a minimum of 20 inches between the pool safety fence and the edge of the pool.  This is checked when a safety inspection is performed, which could be a new-build pool, with a new home, or a home that is being sold. 

A fence installer will often add 4 inches to accommodate for corners and curves of the pool that can cut into that space by 3 inches or more otherwise. If the additional 4 inches aren’t included, the pool safety fence could fail inspection. 

How deep does a pool fence need to be installed?

In Texas, there must be at least 20 inches from the pool safety fence to the swimming pool edge. 

How high must a fence be around a swimming pool?

Every swimming pool in Texas is required to have a pool safety fence installed that is no less than 48 inches high from the ground up. It must not be made of chain link or any other type of material that can be climbed unless the climbable features are on the poolside of the fence, like horizontal slats. Any gaps in the fencing must not be wider than 4 inches and decorative openings in a pool safety fence must not be bigger than 1 and ¾ inches in all directions.

What are the rules for fencing around a pool?

Pool Gate: 

All gate access to a swimming pool must be a minimum of four feet tall. The gates must be self-closing and self-latching with a latch that a child cannot operate. The gate must open away from the swimming pool and must be able to lock. 

Door & Windows Openings

A home with a direct entrance to a swimming pool or has windows facing the swimming pool must have a keyless bolt locking device that is a minimum of 3 feet from the ground. French doors and sliding doors must have a deadbolt lock and the sliding door should have a bar-and-pin lock as well. All windows that have access to a swimming pool must be sealed permanently.

Alarm Requirements

If a swimming pool has a boundary wall on one or more sides, all doors or windows must be equipped with an alarm. All alarm bypass buttons must be installed so that children cannot reach them. 

Above-Ground Pools

Any swimming pool that is not a permanent fixture is still required to follow all the same fencing regulations as set for in-ground pools. Each municipality may have established its own guidelines in addition to state laws for above-ground pools. 

What is the safest type of pool fence?

A four-sided fence made of aluminum or mesh panels is the best pool safety fence that meets most codes. Both can be installed 4 to 5 feet high and do not have any cross rails that can assist in climbing.

A mesh pool safety fence is attractive and meets all pool safety fence codes and has a sleek, see-thru style.

Do inflatable pools need a fence?

No, but they should be drained when not in use. 

How hard is it to install a pool safety fence?

The installation of a pool safety fence should be done by a professional to give you the best and longest-lasting results. When not installed correctly, the decking can be damaged, costing you more money. However, once your pool safety fence has been installed, the technician will show you how to temporarily take it down for those times when there aren’t any children around. 

pool surrounded by a glass fence

At The End of The Day 

Anything you do to your home can increase or lower the value of your home. So, will a pool fence lower the value of my home? There are many homeowners that do not want a swimming pool, but those that do are usually willing to pay the price. And if there is a pool safety fence already installed, even better!

If you have realized the importance of having a fence installed around your pool, don’t wait to get started! Give us a call at 817-948-4503 for pool fence installation in your area.