Do you need a removable pool fence?

Do you need a Pool fence? Of course!

If you are a swimming pool owner, there can be no other appropriate answer when the safety of the children in your home, and in your neighborhood, is considered. Swimming pool barriers are one of the very last protective layers keeping a young child away from the swimming pool.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hundreds of children drown in swimming pools every year. Thousands more require treatment at a hospital emergency room as result of being submerged in a residential swimming pool.

Diligent supervision is the first priority when considering swimming pool safety but, even with the best intentions, it can be the first “protective measure” to fail. A failure in supervision can be fatal if no additional “layers” of protection are in place. It takes just a few seconds for a child to wander into the pool area, and just a few seconds more to fall in. In fact – by the time you realize he or she is missing, it may be too late! What child isn’t attracted to water?

Here are a few statistics, published by the CPSC:

  • Most victims were being supervised by one or both parents
  • Nearly half of child victims were last seen IN THE HOUSE before the pool accident occurred
  • 69 percent of child victims were not expected to be in or around the pool
  • 77 percent of swimming pool accident victims were missing for less than five minutes

Who were the supervisors when a drowning incident occurred? The child’s parents in most cases. This is not surprising data. Children are with their parents more often throughout the day. This is also the time when parents feel most secure regarding their child’s safety. Security and familiarity breed carelessness.

Supervisor statisticsWho was the supervisor?

  • Parents – 69%
  • Baby sitter – 14%
  • Relative – 10%
  • Siblings – 7%

What was the supervisor doing? It doesn’t take much! Just turn your back for a minute or two and your child could find his/her was into the pool. Can you think of a routine house or yard activity that might require turning your back for just a few seconds?

Supervisor activityWhat was the supervisor doing?

  • House/Yard – 39%
  • Socializing – 18%
  • Phone – 9%
  • Sleeping – 8%
  • Other – 19%

Layering protection is critical in keeping children away from your pool and keeping children alive in the event they do fall into the pool. It is equally as critical when considering your personal liability.

Elements of layered protection plan include:

  • Diligent supervision (First priority! There is no substitute)
  • Alarms on all exits to the pool area
  • Self Closing Self Latching gates on all perimeter fences
  • Properly installed swimming pool safety barrier with a Self Closing Self Latching gate
  • Pool alarms
  • Swimming lessons
  • CPR training

The CPSC has published Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools containing some basic minimum guidelines for constructing an adequate pool safety barrier. Much of the information on this page is an excerpt of that guide. If you are a pool owner or concerned parent, you owe it to yourself to get familiar with its contents. It has been adopted into building code by many communities throughout Virginia and the U.S., but it must not be considered authoritative. Ensure you check the building codes and swimming pool requirements in the city, county or state you live in.