In many states, including California, Florida, Texas and Arizona, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death among children, and the majority of these accidents happen in residential pools. Of the more than 300 residential pool drownings each year, fifty percent happen in the child’s home. This has led many states to require the use of fences or other pool barriers. Whether or not your state or municipality requires that you use a pool fence or other barrier, it is a necessity if you have young children. Drowning in a home pool is an undeniable tragedy, but it can be prevented.
There is a wide variety of barrier options for your swimming pool, including pool nets, pool covers, pool alarms, and pool fences. While many of the states that mandate barriers, they typically require only one of these. As a parent, however, you may want to strongly consider installing more. You will never regret having too much protection, and too many parents regret not having enough.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a fence, including the material and durability of the frame, the safety features, such as self-latching closures, size, and finally appearance. Fortunately, today’s large selection of high-quality fences allows you to make sure that you have the best for your family. When considering a fence, first simply Google “pool safety fences” and you will find pool fence companies in your area. Make sure the company you select is a nationwide company with a large dealer network. Also, they should provide ASTM certified fence and have a solid track record in the business. All of these can help you make the right decision for your particular situation.
Another very important consideration is the material from which your fence is made. You can choose from metal, wood, plastic, or mesh. There are pros and cons for each. Wood will need repairs and may warp over time, causing weaknesses that allow children to gain access to the pool. Some materials may obstruct your view of the pool, which not only interferes with the appearance of your yard but also your ability to see if anyone is by the pool, and some materials will weaken, crack, and fade over time. Mesh fences are quite popular because sections can be removed, and they are constructed of extremely strong, durable interlocking or textilene mesh. Speak with a customer service representative to help you determine the best material.
When choosing a fence for your pool, ensure that it is at least four feet tall. This is the absolute minimum you should even consider. A fence does no good if a child can easily climb over it. The self-closing latching system also needs to be at least that high off the ground in order to prevent a child releasing the latch. Having your fence installed by a professional will give you the utmost peace of mind: if you are going to have a fence, you may as well let it work as well as it can for you.
A fence is a terrific start to ensuring the safety of your child. Additional safety equipment can provide extra peace of mind, which in addition to the safety of your child, is invaluable. Pool covers are made from durable, high-grade materials now that allow them to be used as safety devices. Mesh, nets, or solid covers offer protection for your child if someone inadvertently leaves the gate open. It is another layer of defense. Pool alarms can also be very useful because many parents do not even realize their children have gone to the pool area. In almost seventy percent of drowning cases, parents thought their children were napping or in another area of the house or yard.
Whether you make the decision to install a fence around your pool or you use a strong and durable safety cover, it will help to keep those living in or around your home safe. Not only will you be protecting the ones that you love, but you may also be protecting yourself from being held liable in the event that a tragic accident occurs.