California’s pool fence laws have changed over the years because the state wants people to be safe.
They continue to evolve to guarantee minimal drownings.
It is vital to know the pool fence laws in California before designing your pool to ensure that it gets approval.
That way, you can have the safety needed and the visually appealing barricade for your pool.
California Code: Three Types of Pool Codes
California pool codes cover several areas, as you will find out below
California Pool Fence Codes
The code states that you need a fence around your pool if it is 18-inch deep or more.
Besides, your local authority might have special pool fence laws for your county, but every residential pool in this state should be fenced.
The code also notes that the fence should be 5-foot tall with maximum openings of at most 4-inch between fence slats, 2-inch under the fence, and the gate mist self-latch and self-close.
It further states that the barricade can be 3-sided and joined to your house or any other structure (however, this will not be treated as a pool safety measure).
The mesh safety fences added with a self-closing gate can add to the safety measure and make for an attractive backyard (this meets the safety standards).
If you opt for a removable fence, it should offer multiple sections of 10-foot each.
You should connect the pool’s wall or fence to perimeter fences or walls to ensure the facility is isolated from the patio, backyard, and home areas.
California Pool Alarm Codes
We should mention that the law requires you to have two or more safety devices for your pool.
Most pool owners go for an alarm as it secures the garage doors and back doors leading to the swimming facility area.
It is one easy way to meet the California private swimming pool regulations without much hassle.
This security system should shut the gate for the door closers and provide a door latch at 54-inch above the ground.
Devices for accomplishing the door latch are often expensive, and people turn to pool alarms.
California Pool Drain Code
The spas safety and VGB pool act was enacted into law in 2002, and new swimming facilities are required to have dual central drain systems.
This code also requires the constructors to use safer VGB drain covers since they reduce suction risk on the drain.
You are required to upgrade the drainage system if you decide to renovate your pool.
The VGB replacement safety drain cover should meet the ANSI/APSP-16 standards.
Pool Fence Requirements California
Pool fence requirements in California look at two central aspects of the barricade, which are enclosure and gates
Swimming Pool Enclosure
Your swimming pool should be barricaded by one or more of these things: walls, parts of a building, a fence, or other long-lasting, durable barriers.
Gates, windows, doors of the living houses or premises are not allowed to be part of the enclosure.
The barricades, gates, and doors should meet some specifications, which are:
- The pool fence height should be 5-foot or higher when measured from the backyard side of the enclosure.
- Gaps, holes, or openings in the wall, gates, and doors should not allow a 4-inch diameter sphere to pass through.
- The enclosure should be made of permanent and hard material like concrete.
- It should also be designed and made to prevent people from climbing over, especially kids.
- Diagonal and horizontal members design that can act as a ladder is prohibited.
- Horizontal members should have a maximum spacing of 48-inch.
- No structures or planters are allowed within 5-foot of the fence from outside to prevent people from climbing (that is also with a 5-foot arc).
- The area 5-foot outside the fence is a public area and should be open.
- Chained links are allowed if the openings are at most 1¾-inch when measured horizontally.
Doors and Gates
Doors and gates to your swimming pool should also meet some particular conditions.
- Doors and gates shall be installed with self-latching and self-closing devices.
- The self-latching system should keep them closed securely.
- Doors and gates should open away from the pool unless otherwise allowed by the law.
- Hand activated gate and door shall be installed at the height of 42-inch or above, but less than 44-inch above the walkway or deck.
- Doors and gates should easily be locked when the pool is not in use.
- Exit doors that meet champed 10 of California Code of Regulations are considered to meet the standards.
- Your pool’s fence should have an egress that does not require a key for an emergency exit.
- Every door with the emergency exit should be labeled clearly about 4-inch with an “EMERGENCY EXIT” sign.
- The barricade shall be made so that people pass via a typical door or gate when gaining access to your swimming pool.
- Every door or gate exiting the pool should open to a walkaway or public area accessible by patrons.
Pool Fence Certification: Start with the Fence
When someone wants to construct a pool, the first thought on the mind is the facility’s location and size.
However, your pool is incomplete if you do not add a fence to the design, and you can be denied the certification to construct one.
A fence might be deemed attractive, but it is a vital safety regulation required by California state and counties.
You should think about the enclosure and how it will look when it should be the first thought in your backyard.
That way, you will figure out how to erect a fence to meet your garden and architecture design.
You can bet on having an attractive site.
The next thing is to design your swimming pool inside the visualized fence.
Pool Safety Tips for the Owners
While the California pool fence laws and regulations can prevent accidents around and inside your pool, these facilities are never 100% safe.
There is a risk that comes with every water body in your compound, and you should take measures to guarantee people and pets’ safety.
Below are things you can do to keep your pool safe:
- Make sure that you follow all the California laws when it comes to pool safety
- Remember that the pool’s fence is not a substitute for a grownup supervision
- Never leave a kid around a body of water even when they know how to swim
- Let your child learn how to swim from a professional
- Consider knowing the basics of CPR to ensure that you can be of help during an emergency
- Display resuscitation procedure near the pool – one the fence or door
- Always have a “no dive” sign if the pool is shallow
- Do not leave climbable items around the pool fence, such as furniture
- Do not take alcohol while supervising kids inside the swimming pool
What Are the New Requirements?
The California pool fence laws have changed over the years, and some of the new rules are:
- A before 2007 pool is not required to have additional safety measures.
- You only need to ensure that the gates and fence are in good condition.
- It is only valid if no major renovations happen in the future.
- An after 2007 pool should have two accident prevention measures such as a fence and a mesh pool fence, a mesh safety cover, a door alarm, a pool alarm, or any other measure.
- Permanent barricades like planters, decorative walls, and retaining walls can act as barriers and often qualify as safety measures.
Summary of the 2018 New California Pool Measures
From 1st January 2018, every new pool owner in California is required to install two or more safety measures from the list below:
- An enclosure, wall, or barricade meets the standards we have discussed above – they are in section 115923 of the act.
- A removable mesh fence that meets the American Society for Testing and Materials standards F2286.
- As outlined in section 115821 of the act, a certified safety pool cover is a manual or auto pool cover that meets ASTM F1346-91 standards.
- Exit alarms for all doors offering direct access to the pool area or spa.
- A self-latching and self-closing device for the door with the system being at least 54-inch from the ground.
- An alarm that can detect an accident or when an unauthorized person touches the pool water.
- Any other means of protection that can match or exceed the above recommendation is also allowed by the California state’s law.
The pool laws in California allow you to install your desired safety measure to ensure a safe swimming facility.
One thing you should always think of even before you desire your pool is the fence, how it will look, and who it will keep out of your pool.
It is advisable to seek professional help when installing the safety pool fence.
Besides, you can always find ready-made pool fences that meet the state’s standards from various stores.