Pool Fence Latches: What are my safety options?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

 In ground pools have become more affordable in the past decade and that makes the subject of operational gate latches a major benefit to homeowners and pool fence installers. It can be a confusing topic for those who are not familiar with pool code requirements

Pool safety latches are designed to make it difficult, if not impossible, for small children to open the gate. These latches typically open by pulling up on a knob that releases the latch. This is an unusual opening action and kids are not inclined to understand how to unlock the gate. The latches are installed at the top of the gate to ensure that the latch is ‘out of reach’. Virginia Pool Code requires that the latch mechanism be at 54” above ground or higher. These latches also have a key lock on them as well.

Pool gates must also be equipped with automatically self-closing hinges that open away not towards the pool area. Once the gate swings back to the closed position the latch will automatically engage: it is then necessary for the pool-owner to actually turn the lock on the gate for additional security. Every city, county, or municipality has some form of pool code or regulations regarding the gate latches for pool fences.

Choosing an aluminum or vinyl pool gate latch that is compliant with those particular regulatory codes, is very important for safety and liability . 

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Peace of Mind is Priceless

Even in the very rare situation that your city, county or municipality does not have a code regulating the use of pool safety latches it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Your pool or fence professional will be familiar with your local pool fence code

By using an approved pool safety latch you will be providing security for your family as well as any wandering neighborhood children and pets who may exhibit interest in your inviting new pool. 

Below are a few options for your pool fence safety latch. Before you select and buy your latch, it is best to speak with your hired fence project manager in order to make sure that the pool fence you are installing or updating will work with this type of pool attachment.

MagnaLatch Series 3 Top Pull Manual Lock

  • Tested to 2 million cycles!
  • Up to 50% stronger!
  • • Visual Indicator provides locked & unlocked status
  • • 6-pin re-keyable security lock
  • • Vertical & horizontal alignment indicators
  • • Superior performance in extreme climates
  • • Industry's greatest gate/post movement tolerance
  • • Innovative vertical & horizontal adjustment
  • • T-track for superior fixing strength
  • • Lift knob is more ergonomic and child resistant
  • • Industry leading magnetic latching technology
81HVdYUtiYL._SL1500_.jpg 61xDo8kyRlL._SL1500_.jpg 31VaUjLMbnL.jpg

MagnaLatch Series 3 Magnetic Pool Child Safety Gate Latch - Top Pull 

  • World's most trusted pool safety gate latch. Industry leader protecting millions of toddlers and pets.

  • Superior magnetic mechanism ensures frictionless, self-latching every time. No jamming!

  • For Vinyl, Wood, or Metal Gates

  • No rusting or corroding

  • Super-tough polymer construction

MagnaLatch Key-Lockable Side Pull

 • Reliable latching action

• Key-lockable

• Adapts to all gates

• Magnetically triggered (no jamming or sticking)

• Quick & easy install


*Please note: Magna Latch only works on shorter fences
because the owner must be able to reach over the latch to operate it. 


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Topics: Code, Pool Gate Hardware, Regulation, Pool Gates

How to choose the fence option that suits your personal needs

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, Jun 20, 2014
Perhaps the best reason for putting up a fence isn't practical, it's emotional. A fence encloses your territory. Fences and walls really help make home feel special, separate and your own, like a haven and a sanctuary.

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A fence is more than just a barrier. Used in imaginative ways, it can become an architectural feature that blends well with the style of your house, a landscape element that enhances the appearance of your property, or an accent piece that helps define a part of your yard or garden.In The Fence Bible hands-on home improvement expert Jeff Beneke provides an in-depth, comprehensive how-to encyclopedia that enables homeowners to choose and build the fences and gates that are best for their landscape—both for appearance and function.Beneke suggests the appropriate types of fence to keep the swimming pool secure, confine the livestock, keep deer away from the garden, or create outdoor living spaces. He then discusses the essentials of proper fence design and provides step-by-step illustrated instructions for planning, building, maintaining, and repairing any style of fence.

Here's what goes into planning, designing and buying a fence and the materials to build one.

Privacy, security, curb appeal, noise reduction: The benefits of residential fences are numerous.There also are plenty of practical reasons for a fence. "The place I always suggest starting with (is) function," says Jeff Beneke, author of "The Fence Bible." 
Here's a look at what fences can do and how you can build or select the right one for your budget. 
 AVAILABLE on AmazonEbayBarnes & Noble, and Google Books

The first step is determining what you want your fence to do. Fences serve many purposes, including:
  • Security Fence: Even a fence only 3 feet tall can help deter prowlers, says Chris McGoey, a security expert in Los Angeles. "It is psychological," he says. "A fence denotes a property.
    It says, 'This is my house, my property.' People are going to be reluctant to step over that fence. Even a small boundary fence will discourage people from cutting across your yard.

  • Privacy Fencing: Living your life shielded from the prying eyes of others is a luxury of private property. A high privacy fence, tastefully built, can give you room to let down your hair, no matter how small your deck or yard.

  • Decoration: A well-designed, professionally installed fence will frame your home and add tremendous curb appeal. It may also enhance your property value, depending on your neighborhood and the fence's design and quality.

  • Boundary: It's a good idea to define your boundaries, especially if you own a small lot. A fence prevents neighbors from encroaching on your property.

  • Safety: A fence offers peace of mind. They keep small children and pets safe from strangers, traffic and hazards such as swimming pools, high bluffs and ravines.

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    Garden protection: Just as a fence holds in your pets, it keeps stray animals and other pests from digging and defecating in your yard. Properly constructed, fencing around a vegetable or ornamental garden also can protect precious plants from foraging deer and rabbits.


  • Weather protection: Snow fences keep drifts from growing too large. A protective fence lets you enjoy a garden or deck in a windy area; Beneke says he likes a louvered fence for taming a windy patio.

  • Noise: A privacy fence can buffer some noise. Wood blocks noise better than most fence materials. Planting a hedge or other tall vegetation in front of the fence helps buffer noise even further. For serious noise protection, professional fence specialists offer noise-buffering blankets that can be pulled tightly over any fence. Costs for these products start at about $12 per linear foot for a 6-foot-tall fence.

    The most effective fence for dulling sound is a tall, custom-built fence of foam-filled aluminum or composite, says Chris Policastro, vice president of operations at Production Fenceworks in Atlanta. This kind of fence costs $60 to $300 per linear foot for a 6-foot fence. 

  • Cosmetics: Trash cans? Propane gas tanks? The neighbor's trampoline? A large or small fence may hide it. It's like putting makeup on a pimple, Beneke says. Planting a vine or shrub in front of it makes it even prettier.

Cost and Planning

Once you have a list of your fencing needs, take your specs to a professional fence contracting company and talk it over with experts. Even if you build your fence yourself, it helps to bounce ideas around and ensure you have the right expectations for your fence materials, design law and specifications in your individual rural, suburban or urban location.

Here's a scenario: Farmers who've built 6' high enclosures soon learn that deer can jump 8 feet. To remedy that issue take into account that an overhanging extension or one of the deer-fence ideas from Leonard Perry, extension professor at the University of Vermont, may be a viable solution.

In another scenario, Homeowners have installed chain-link and vinyl fences only to finding out that their homeowners association (HOA) bans them. So make sure you arm yourself with knowledge going into your fence project.

Fence costs can sometimes be steep. A lot of material and labor is involved. But costs always vary depending on your preffered materials and style. You can cut fence costs by and by choosing local species of wood. Get a couple estimates, look at thheir websites and credential when selecting a contractor.

Beneke, a proponent of doing it yourself, nevertheless says he warns against getting into a job that's too big for your skills or your time. Building a fence is a big job, and you deserve to have a fence that fits you and your needs.


Sources: MSN.com, The Fence BibleMore on residential fences

Topics: Specifications, Specialty Fence, Residential Fence Choices, Homeowners Association, Vinyl Fence, Property Value, backyard Fence, Fence Permit, Pool Fence, Richmond Fence, fence regulations, chain link fence, fences richmond, Aluminum Fence, Pool Gates, Comparison, pickett fence, wood privacy fence, pressure treated fence


Posted by Kristen Fugere on Mon, Mar 05, 2012

Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina all have relatively similar pool fence codes and adhere to three basic guidelines regarding proper installation and layout of pool fences:

Pool Safety1) All pool fences are to be at least 4’ in height
2) Fence gates must be self-closing and self-latching   
3) Pool fences can be no higher than 2” from off the ground, making for a minimal gap between the bottom of the gate and the ground


Selecting the right pool fence material is important, and no matter which material is selected, the three aforementioned regulations must be met. The following section will delve into the four different types of pool fence materials that are commonly used, and some of their nuanced requirements to meet state pool fence codes:

1) Wood Fence: Pool code states that the fence verticals must have gaps spacing no farther than 1 ¼” apart when the space between the horizontal support rails is less than 45”. This restriction is meant to keep someone from gaining foothold and scaling the fence.

2) Vinyl Fence: A popular choice due to its maintenance free quality, moisture resistant properties, and lifetime warranty. Vinyl fences come in white or tan and in three styles that meet pool code:

  • Privacy: Provides complete seclusion, ranging in heights from 4’ to 6’
  • Semi-privacy: Provides 80 % privacy, also ranging in heights from 4’ to 6’
  • Picket fence: Typically chose for its aesthetic appeal. Picket pool fences can vary in height depending on the back rail spacing (45”) and specific picket style. Heights are commonly 4’ to 5’

3) Aluminum Fence: A popular choice for sharply-dressedAluminum Pool Fence pool enclosures, aluminum pool fences are also maintenance free with a lifetime warranty and come in a wide range of styles and heights to meet both customer needs and pool code. Like wood and vinyl fences, aluminum verticals must have gap spacing no farther than 1 ¼” apart when the space between the horizontal support rails is less than 45”. Furthermore, aluminum fences must have a closed top and bottom rail with no protruding pickets. This is to avoid the likelihood of someone climbing over or crawling under the fence from getting impaled.

4) Chain Link Fence: These fences require the fabric to be in 1 ¼” diameter diamonds to prevent foothold for climbing.

As mentioned earlier, regardless of fence material, all pool fences must adhere to the three basic guidelines: at least 4’ tall; must have self-latching gates; bottom must be no higher than 2” from off the ground. Picking out what’s right for you may seem like a daunting task, so feel free to contact Hurricane Fence for any of your pool fence-related questions.


Article contributed by Michael Fugere.

Topics: Residential Fence, Pool Fence, Pool Gates, codes

What is the best type of swimming pool fence?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Wed, Sep 29, 2010
The choice of pool fencing begs that the questions below be answered:

¨    Is this a private backyard pool? 

¨    Is this a hotel or resort pool?

¨    Is this a community or public pool?

A backyard pool fence type would depend on whether or not you desire privacy when taking laps or are quietly floating around. Nearby neighbors can be cause for another privacy consideration. You may also have a wonderful view you do not want to block.    A community pool may be very concerned with security from night invaders looking for an unwelcomed swim.   A hotels or resorts will always be looking for the most enhancing look possible in their fencing choice.

Your specific needs will determine what the best pool fence is for your purposes.  You must also need to review pool fence codes when making your decision. Read on for more product details to help you decide what the best type of fence for your pool will be.

Ornamental pool fencing is the most revered selection in the fence industry. These aluminum or steel fences provides a wonderfully decorative look and allow for good airflow. It also gives the lounging sunbather an unobstructed view while providing needed security.

ornamental pool fence

The most popular ornamental styles are 4 foot high 2-rail and 6 foot high pressed point. The 4 foot high 2-rail design allows the customer the shortest height fence allowed by pool code.  The shorter fence allows for plenty of airflow and panoramic views. The 6 foot high pressed point design gives the customer the decorative look of ornamental, but also provides great perimeter security. 

Additionally, ornamental gates are easy to install with self-closing and latching hardware that readily meets pool code. Other gates, such as vinyl, can only make use of less trusty hardware selections. Ornamental gates are typically lighter and thereby have less wear and tear on the installed gate hardware. Ornamental fence is definitely the most reliable for gate material.

Wood, vinyl, or chain link fence with privacy slat inserts offers complete privacy for pool fences. Wood fence is also the most cost effective way to produce a private pool area. Vinyl is the most decorative privacy style and has numerous colors to suit your homes look. Chain link with privacy slats gives the customer the most secure privacy fence.

Airflow can be big concern when opting for privacy fencing. If you have a small pool area with little to no shade this is something that should be taken into proper consideration before selecting your fence.

Per pool code, all walk gates for pool fence must be self- closing and latching. They must swing out or away from the pool area. Driveway gates must remain locked at all times because they cannot self close or latch.  

With all these variables and considerations, it would be impossible to assess the BEST POOL FENCE without your compete project details. It really is up to YOU to decide what is your best pool fence!

Comment below and tell us about your best pool fence.

Topics: Gates, Vinyl Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Pool Fence, Pool Gate Hardware, Aluminum Fence, Pool Gates, Comparison

Vinyl Fence Versus Aluminum Fence: Advantages and Drawbacks

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Sun, Sep 19, 2010

This can be a confusing decision on for the general public. The overall fence look you want and color selection must be accounted for, but the real judging points on who wins when making the choice between Vinyl (PVC) and aluminum fencing are security, gate configuration, and privacy. Read the advice below to make an easy and expertly informed pick.

Privacy Settings: Vinyl Fence

One point goes to vinyl in this round. 

Because of its complete privacy application, vinyl fence is perfect for back yards, pool enclosures, perimeter fences and dumpster or mechanical enclosures. Vinyl privacy fences 6’ or 8’ high are attractive long lasting and almost maintenance free. 

Little to no maintenance is gives vinyl a slight advantage in the race, but ornamental fence is also low maintenance.  A simple occasional wash with soap and water is all it takes to keep this vinyl as beautiful as the day it was installed. 

The main difficulty with vinyl fence is its gate limitations Vinyl fence does not meet the material conditions for large gate uses. It simply cannot be made as security conscious as it aluminum counterpart. Read on in ‘gates’ for the vinyl’s limitation factors.  This is the number one factor in the vinyl versus aluminum decision!

Aluminum Fence

Security is definitely Ornamental aluminum’s advantage in the competition.

When looking to improve the security and look to any office building, apartment complex, etc. commercial grades are always the best choice.  Heavy duty and decorative gates can easily be equipped with automated electric operators and access controls for added security and ease of entry and operation. Selecting commercial and industrial grades of this product will improve the overall security that is achieved by aluminum fencing. Residential grades are somewhat less secure but are an ideal solution for keeping children and pets in or out of the back yard.  Pool styles also offer attractive and secure protection to any back yard pool. 

The main drawback of aluminum fence is that it doesn’t offer the same amount of privacy as vinyl unless fill-in panels are added. These panels can take away from the traditional ornamental look of the fence. Going for the traditional wrought iron look of aluminum will be significantly altered in a privacy application.



Many customers need larger gates and ornamental gates can be made huge.

ornamental aluminum gates

Aluminum gate sizes vary from 3’ wide walk gates to 30’ wide slide gates.  Aluminum gates install and work with ease.  Self-closing hinges, pool latches, magnetic latches, gate operators and access controls for lager gates work well with the aluminum fence. These gates are easily used for automated access control systems. Aluminum gates also work smoothly and reliably to meet standardized pool codes.

Vinyl Gates are only manufactured in sizes from 3’ wide single panel swing gates to 12’ or 16’ wide double panel swing gates.  Large gates are usually constructed with pipe posts and frames and vinyl fence panels then attached. Vinyl products are rarely used in automated systems.


Cost of Aluminum and Vinyl fence

The costs of these installations are about the same relative to size. Obviously the price goes up as the size of the fence increases. Large ornamental aluminum gates will cost more than smaller sized vinyl ones. 



Ornamental Aluminum Fences are available in a variety of styles, sizes and grades for almost any fence requirement.  The standard powder coating colors of green, brown, white and black give years of attractive protection. Ornamental color variations are currently being increased but specific suppliers do produce custom colors.

Although, most vinyl fences are white many manufacturers are offering several color selections as well as wood grain and textured surfaces.

The final winner in the vinyl versus aluminum fence choice of depends on whether you want privacy or security. Vinyl is a great for privacy and aluminum fence is excellent for security!


Topics: Gates, Vinyl Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Aluminum Fence, Pool Gates, Comparison

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