If you have a pool, keeping your family and guests safe should be your top priority. Pools are a great way to relax, exercise, entertain and more, but you can’t keep an eye on everyone all the time. Each year, hundreds of children drown or have to visit the emergency room due to pool accidents. That’s why the California Health and Safety Code has specific provisions for pool fencing in Los Angeles, CA. When you plan to build a pool, or buy a home with one, it’s important to make sure it has the appropriate safety features.
California pool safety laws
California Health and Safety Code 115920-115929, also known as the Swimming Pool Safety Act, provides that if you have a pool (defined as a structure for swimming or recreational bathing with water more than 18 inches deep), it needs certain safety features. The laws apply to pools, hot tubs, spas and non-portable wading pools.
Section 11592 dictates that when you get a building permit to build or renovate a pool for a single-family home, you need to protect the pool. That includes the following:
- “An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.”
- Removable mesh fencing, which meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286. It also needs a self-closing, self-latching gate with a key lockable device.
- An approved safety pool cover.
- Exit alarms on the home doors if they provide direct access to the pool or spa. They can either use an alarm noise or a verbal warning.
- “A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor” on any doors that lead directly to the pool or spa.
- An alarm inside the pool that will sound if someone accidentally falls in (or goes in without your authorization). It needs to conform to “ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser and infrared type alarms.”
- Another way to protect the pool, if the protection is equal to or greater than those above and meets the appropriate safety testing standards.
If your plans include safety features that meet the standards above, your permit will be approved.
The Act also guides homeowners about the type of enclosures that are permitted. For example, they need to be at least 60 inches (five feet) tall, and can’t have any sort of gaps or footholds that make it easy for children to slip through or climb over. If there are any gaps in the fence (such as between slats), they can’t be more than four inches in diameter, and the fence can only be two inches above the ground.
It might seem like a lot of rules, but when you break it down, it’s just codified common sense.
When you’re ready to build a pool (complete with pool fencing and safety features) in Los Angeles, CA, call Avanti Pools, Inc.