Are There Regulations or Codes for Swimming Pool Gates?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes

Wed, Jan 19, 2011


SUMMER IS FUN! 

And so is your very own a backyard pool.  It can be a great source of exercise and relaxation. Kids and adults can join in on the fun, but pools must be made safe for all!

pool safety

Yes, there are very specific safety regulations on pool fence gates.  The BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators) is a code that governs pool barriers and gates, among many other building codes.  It calls for all pool gates to be self-closing and latching.  The latches and hinges can and will differ depending on style of fence.

For example:

  • Ornamental fence pool gates use a self-closing hinge in which the spring is actually located inside the hinge.  This latch must be mounted at least 54” high from ground in order to be out of the reach of curious children.  These latches also have a spring-loaded knob that can be easily height adjusted to meet code requirements.  

  • Wood fence pool gates employ a strap hinge that is in no way spring loaded.  A sturdy spring can be added to the post in order to force gate closed.  It is also possible to use the ornamental spring latches for wood pool gates seeking to meet BOCA code.

  • PVC fence pool gates use a self-closing hinge that also has a spring located within the hinge and the latch that is used for wood and ornamental can also be used for PVC.

  • Chain-link fence pool gate hinges are not self-closing. Again, a sturdy spring must be added to the post, thereby forcing the gate closed.  The latches used for wood, ornamental, and PVC can also be used for chain link fence.

The most commonly used latches and hinges for pool fence are manufactured by Tru-close.  There are other manufacturing companies that make the same style latches and hinges.

Pool fence regulation latches

Safety and Liability are always of issue to homeowners. Nobody wants a child’s drowning on his or her conscience. Furthermore, death by accidental drowning is absolutely the homeowner’s legal responsibility if the unwanted swimmer enters a pool that does not have the proper code meeting safety equipment.  You will want to protect yourself and your wealth from a potentially disastrous lawsuit.  Insurance companies will also require that your pool meet safety regulations to insure you. Local laws may apply, so look closely at the local code or ask your local fence or pool installation company. The regulations set forth in BOCA code are standard for most states and are set to maintain the safety and security of all of the United States.  When choosing your installation people it is imperative that they are knowledgeable and professional.  Your safety and security are at stake in the pool code arena.

Topics: Gates, Code, Pool Fence, Regulations