Monday, 20 July 2015

Essential Things You Should Know About Pool Fencing

What is a pool fence? 

A swimming pool fence is a passive barrier with a certain height from the ground and is created with the main purpose of restricting access of children below the age of 5 years to the swimming pool. They are designed in a way that small children cannot go through or climb over them. The International Code Councils (ICC) has strict guidelines regarding pool fencing. The guidelines specify the design, height, distance between pickets, operating mechanism of the latch and the gate to name a few. They should also have self-closing and self-latching gates

Countries and Laws

Most countries design, install and maintain swimming pool fences according to the guidelines of the ICC. However, the rules and regulations vary between countries, states and municipalities. The rules range from none to absolute strict laws and routine inspections. Countries that have laws pertaining to pool fencing are:
  • Australia -- There are rules within each state and certain guidelines that the states from the whole country have to follow. Queensland, the second-largest state of the country, has one of the strictest laws for swimming pool fencing compared to World standards.
  • United States of America -- There is no federal law pertaining to swimming pool fences. However, the states where swimming pools are the most abundant, like, Arizona, Florida and Texas, have safety standards and regulations in order to reduce accidental drowning of children.
  • European Nations -- In 2004, France became the first European country to introduce regulations regarding swimming pool barriers. Failing to comply with it results in a significant monetary penalty of about 45,000 Euros. Spain also reported that it would set up appropriate compliance standards for the same.
  • Other Countries -- Specific swimming pool fencing laws are also present in nations like Canada, New Zealand, The United Kingdom and South Africa.

Materials used to make swimming pool fences

Swimming pool fencing is made from different materials. Some countries or states may specifically determine what type of fence needs to be used. Check with your state laws regarding pool fences before purchasing. The usual materials used to make pool fences are:
  • Aluminum
  • Glass
  • Steel or stainless steel
  • Vinyl / PVC fencing

Points to consider while purchasing or setting up a pool fence

If you are looking to purchase or install a swimming pool fence, here are a certain things that you need to strictly keep in mind:
  • Purchasing platform -- There are numerous offline and online stores/portals from where brand new or used fences can be purchased at reasonable prices.
  • Installation -- While purchasing a swimming pool fence unit online or offline, always try to find whether the price of installation is included. Usually, the installation is separate and the price varies accordingly.
  • Do it yourself approach-- Many people prefer to install the fence units themselves, therefore cutting costs. If you plan to do so, please do not forget to get the instruction manual along with the fence unit. Also, make sure that you have the necessary tools and equipment to install this unit. It is always easier if you get some advice from an expert or someone who has already installed such fences. Consider the layout of the ground, plan and execute.
  • Regulations -- Follow the ICC guidelines or the National/Federal or state compliance regulations regarding swimming pool fencing.
  • Additional precaution and accessories -- Keep away any climbable object from the fence as the main purpose is to restrict access of small children. Also, there are several items which can be purchased like pool alarms and pool covers which enhance the security of the fence.
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