Deciding on a Pool Fence Height
When installing a fence around your pool and spa, one of the many factors you’ll need to consider is pool fence height. There is not a federal pool fence law in the U.S., so you’ll want to look into regulations at the state and local level.
Codes and recommendations for the height of a pool fence start at 48 inches, but many insurance companies request a taller barrier. Let’s dig into some of the suggestions and elements that will affect your decision when choosing your pool fence height.
What are the Pool Fence Height Requirements & Recommendations
Here are recommendations from some well-known organizations you may want to consider:
- American Academy of Pediatrics – 48-inches minimum
- Consumer Safety Product Commission – 48-inches minimum
- National Drowning Prevention Alliance – 60-inches
- Safe Kids USA – 48-inches
Keep in mind that the height of the fence is a measurement of each side from the ground up. It’s also important to note that when a 48-inch fence is required, the pool gate’s latch must be 54-inches above the ground.
Statute ASTM F2286-16 designates a 4ft pool fence height, but don’t be surprised if building departments, municipalities, daycare, or adoption and fostering agencies request a 5ft fence for code compliance.
4 Questions to Help you Select The Height For Your Pool Fence
As you can see, there are varying opinions on the best height, but all organizations ask for at least four feet. These questions will help you decide on the best pool fence height for your family.
- Is the pool in a windy environment? The taller the fence, the more likely it could be damaged by a gust of wind.
- How many children or grandchildren will be near the pool? One unsupervised child could be intimidated by a four-foot fence, whereas a couple of 3-foot-tall kids may be brave enough to scale it.
- Are the children that will be near your pool compliant to your instructions or boisterous? A 4ft pool fence could be enough to deter a calm, complying child from trying to climb a fence. However, a “wild child” may be more likely to attempt the ascent.
- Are aesthetics a concern? Many people believe that a 4ft fence looks better than a 5ft pool fence. This is likely because the average adult’s line of vision is right at five feet, while a foot shorter is below eye level. The real question is not what is more visually appealing though; it’s about what is safer.