An aluminum pool fence offers security, privacy and safety to your family, guests, pets and passersby. In addition to providing privacy and security for you and your guests, a pool fence can prevent unauthorized entry that can result in a drowning incident, which is a catastrophe for the victim and leaves you open to a lawsuit for wrongful death. A properly configured fence can also prevent animals from entering the pool area.
Aluminum is a preferred material for pool fences. This metal is strong, durable and corrosion-resistant. It is lightweight, making it easy for you to install it yourself.
The BOCA Code
When choosing commercial aluminum fence panels, you might need to adhere to the National Building Code used by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA). This depends on the jurisdiction where you live. Talk to your local authorities to determine if this applies to you or simply check your local building codes.
The BOCA code allows several types of fences and gates.
Our Style 10 fence panel at 48 inches high meets BOCA anywhere in the United States. The spacing between pickets is less than 4 inches which is one of the requirements. You will need to use a gate that is both self-closing and self-locking. The gate must open away from the pool. The Style 10 fence panel has just two rails.
The Style 9 and Style 3 fence panels at 54 inches high also meets BOCA. Style 3 must be configured with your bottom rail flush. Both of these panels have three rails. The pickets on Style 3 panels alternate between full height and a slightly shorter picket that leaves a space underneath the fence’s top rail. There are at least 45 inches between the horizontal rails. The purpose of the 45-inch rule is to make it difficult for a child to climb the fence as one would a ladder. The latch is at least 54 inches from the ground. The bottom rail is flush.
If you are mounting commercial aluminum fence panels to a structure such as your home or a pool house, you must ensure that the space between the fence and structure does not exceed 4 inches. You can use mounts in vertical, horizontal and straight configurations for this purpose. You might have to trim the rails. This is easily done with an electric saw or hacksaw.
The BOCA code stipulates certain features on pool fence gates. These are designed to keep curious children out of the pool area. A Magna Latch uses magnetism so that it is self-latching. The knob operating the gate is high enough that children can’t reach it. You can also lock the gate with a key. This latch won’t be forced open, either.
A self-closing gate hinge is spring-loaded so that it swings shut after being opened. Easily installed and adjusted, this hinge is sturdy and immune to rust, so you won’t need to replace it often.
Keeping Pets Out of the Pool Area
You can add a dog panel to the bottom of your pool fence to keep tiny animals in or out of the pool area. The dog panel has pickets spaced at an interval that is half that of the fence’s interval. This prevents smaller animals from squeezing through the fence. To accommodate a dog panel, you will need to use a fence with a height of 72 inches. This is necessary in order to space the fence’s rails at least 45 inches apart above the dog panel in accordance with BOCA regulations.