Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act sets the standards for swimming pool barriers and fences you must have around your home pool to protect young children and medically-frail seniors from accessing your pool. Your local government can enact separate regulations as long as they are at least as stringent as the state rules. You can be held liable for injuries or death If you do not follow the law on swimming pool safety.
How to Make Your Pool Meet Florida Safety Requirements
The fence or barrier must have these five characteristics to satisfy Florida law:
- The outside of your wall or gate must be four feet high or more.
- The barrier cannot have any areas a young child (five years old or younger) could fit through, climb over, or crawl under.
- The fencing must completely enclose the pool on all sides.
- If another fence, wall, or structure is part of the pool barrier, that portion must comply with the barrier regulations.
- The barrier has to be far enough away from the pool that a person who gets through the fence will not fall right into the water.
Just installing a fence doesn’t mean you can let the neighborhood kids have free rein in your pool. Check out these an additional ten tips to keep kids safe around pools.
Rules for Above-Ground Swimming Pools
You have three options for fencing an above-ground pool:
- Have a separate fence or barrier around the pool
- The barrier on the top of the pool may be considered its fencing
- Mount a barrier on top of the pool structure
Above-ground pools have a requirement that in-ground pools do not. You must secure and lock all means of access such as ladders or steps to the pool. If you cannot close them, you must remove them when you are not using the pool.
The Rules in Florida About Gates for Swimming Pool Fences
Yes. Every gate in a swimming pool fence or barrier must open away from, not toward the pool. When a gate opens away from a pool, a person is less likely to fall into the pool when going through the gate. Also, the gates must close, latch, and lock on their own automatically. Latches must be on the pool side of the fence and unreachable by a child outside the enclosure.
Why Florida Has Swimming Pool Fence Regulations
Swimming pools are “attractive nuisances” under Florida law, which means they can attract children to enter the property and suffer harm. People who have attractive nuisances on their property must take reasonable measures to protect children from harm.
If, for personal aesthetic reasons or otherwise, do not want a large fence around your pool, you can utilize other means to satisfy our state’s requirements. The state statutes mandate that every new pool must have at least one safety feature. A fence or barrier is one of these options. Other options include approved safety pool covers or alarms. However, your local government might require a wall or gate around your pool.
If you have suffered harm in a swimming pool, please call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 to schedule your free consultation so that we can determine if you might need a premises liability attorney in Fort Lauderdale.