Category Archives: Aluminum Swimming Pool Fences

Install an Aluminum Pool Fence Before Warm Weather Returns

You may still be experiencing cool days, but that will change before you know it. Install an aluminum fence around your pool now, and you can start the outdoor season with peace of mind, knowing that your pool area is safe. With a pool fence, you have several types of security. A fence protects you, your family and your guests when swimming. It protects the pool area from intruders when you’re not using it. Finally, and most importantly, an aluminum fence prevents small children from entering when unaccompanied, which can avoid drowning accidents.

Aluminum fence panels are great for pools. Most homeowners can install an aluminum fence without hiring expensive contractors. At most, you will need someone handy with tools, and they cost much less. Aluminum fence panels are strong but light, so they’re easy to work with and sturdy once installed.

getting-pool-fence

Pool Fence Regulations and Requirements

Pool fences are subject to regulations for safety reasons. In addition, if you have a homeowners association, you may have to deal with its regulations. These typically deal with esthetic issues. Check with your homeowners association along with your local government. You don’t want to build a fence and then learn that you need to alter or remove it because of an unanticipated rule or regulation.

What’s a BOCA?

Pool fencing from greatfence.com meets the BOCA code. BOCA is the acronym for the Building Officials Code Administrators International, Inc. The BOCA code for pool fencing sets out specific criteria to ensure that fencing is safe, and specifically, that it is designed to prevent small children from entering a pool area and risking drowning.

The BOCA code has the following requirements: The height of the fencing and the gate must be at least 4 feet (48”). The horizontal rails on a fence must be at least 45” apart. The point here is to eliminate possible footholds that could aid a child in scaling the fence. The code requires vertical pickets to be spaced at intervals smaller than 4”. This is close enough to prevent small children from squeezing through. The fence’s bottom rail must be close to the ground, specifically 4” or less. The code ensures that gate latches are high enough that small children can’t reach them. Latches must be 4-1/2 feet (54”) from the surface or greater. Any gates must be both self-closing and self-locking. Gates must open in the direction away from the pool.

Aluminum Fence Panels are Perfect for Pools

As you can see, aluminum fence panels have many benefits. Besides being easy to install, aluminum fence panels are quite strong and also light. Aluminum doesn’t corrode, either. This is an important attribute in a pool fence. Moreover, aluminum deals well with temperature fluctuations. It is not too brittle when the weather turns cold, yet it’s strong under the hot summer sun.

Optional Features for Enhanced Safety

Your aluminum fence will be quite safe, but you can make it even safer with the addition of a self-latching Magna Latch gate lock. This has the advantage of being lockable with a key. The self-latching device extends over the top of the fence so small kids can’t get to it.

Swimming Pool Fences Increase Safety

premium_swimming_pool_fence

Installing a pool fence is one of the best things you can do to prevent accidental drowning incidents.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 10 people die on average each day from non-boating related drowning. Two of those 10 are children under the age of 15. In addition, nonfatal drowning incidents can cause severe brain damage. In 2009, more than 30 percent of deaths of children aged 1 to 4 from unintentional injuries were due to drowning, and most of these deaths occurred in home swimming pools.

If you own a swimming pool, you should strongly consider installing an aluminum fence around your pool to prevent unauthorized entry that can lead to accidental death. The CDC states that barriers like pool fencing prevent young children from accessing pools without a caregiver’s awareness.

While it is possible to build a three-sided pool fence while using a structure to complete the barrier, a four-sided fence that isolates the pool area from the house and yard decreases a child’s risk of drowning by 83 percent compared to a three-sided barrier. A three-sided barrier may allow a child to enter the pool area through a door or window, so you should really be putting up a four-sided pool fence.

It’s a Barrier, not a Fence

You can’t just erect a pool fence and assume everyone will then be safe. Kids will be kids. However, a fence can buy you some time if you lose track of a child. When it comes to pool safety, every second can make a difference. Looking at this as a barrier issue rather than just a fence, you are erecting a barrier that children can’t pass through in the absence of an adult, nor can they go under or over it. That means your fence shouldn’t be situated near an object or structure that could aid a child trying to climb over it.

The BOCA Pool Fence Code

Fences enclosing pools are generally held to the BOCA safety code, which is issued by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. GreatFence.com sells fence panels that meet this code. Check with your local authorities in any case, as some local governments have more stringent requirements for pool fences.

According to the BOCA code, a pool fence should have a height of 48 inches or greater. You should not be able to pass a sphere with a diameter of 4 inches or more through the barrier. Vertical pickets on your fence should be less than 4 inches apart.

You must have a lockable gate that opens outwards and is self-closing and is self-latching. If a release mechanism is less than 4 feet 6 inches from the bottom of the gate, it must be mounted on the inside, and it can be no less than three inches from the top. You can’t have an opening larger than a half inch that is closer than a foot and a half to the mechanism.

If a building wall forms part of your barrier, you need an audible alarm on any door opening onto the pool area. Those doors must be self-latching and self-closing. The door should open into the building, and any release mechanism should be 4-1/2 feet or higher from the floor.

Finally, pool safety codes differ all over the United States.  Some jurisdictions in rural areas have no restrictions.  Therefore, it is imperative that you check your local building codes and/or your HOA prior to ordering and installing pool fencing materials.

Safety and Your Swimming Pool Fence

pool-fence-safety

It’s easy to install your own pool fence, but remember that your DIY pool fence has an additional function beyond that of other fences. You want your fence to look good, and you often seek security. However, a pool fence has one additional function, and that is to prevent people from entering the area and possibly drowning. This especially applies to children.

Kids love swimming, but pools don’t always love them. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 390 children younger than 15 died from drowning in swimming pools and spas in 2012. Almost 300 of them were younger than years old.

Pool Safety Considerations

Any barrier can be compromised. Don’t think of your pool fence as an impermeable barrier. You still need to watch the kids, but a fence or other barrier can give you a bit more time to find a child before something untoward occurs. The CPSC states that a barrier must keep a child from getting over, under or through when an adult is not present.

Don’t erect a barrier near a structure or an object that someone could use to help climb over the barrier. It’s best not to use a structure as one side of a barrier, especially if one can enter the pool area through a door or even a window.

The BOCA Code

Pool fencing is usually constructed to meet the code published by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA). The BOCA swimming pool code is designed to enhance the safety of your pool enclosure. GreatFence.com makes it easy for you by selling pool fence materials that meet the BOCA code. Nevertheless, be sure to consult your local government, which might have additional requirements.

In brief, here are some of the highlights of the BOCA pool fence code.

The top of your DIY pool fence should be at least 48 inches above the ground, although it’s worth noting that the CPSC recommends a 5-foot high barrier. A 4-inch-diameter sphere should not be able to pass through the barrier.   You must have 45 inches of free (VERTICAL) space between the horizontal members of the panel or gate.  This is required to make it difficult for a child to use the fence/gate as a ladder and climb over the barrier.

Gates should conform to the same standards as fence panels, and they must be lockable. The gate should open outwards from the pool area, and it should be self-closing and self-latching. If the release mechanism of a self-latching device is less than 54 inches from the gate’s bottom, it must be located on the inside of the gate—the pool side—at least three inches below the top of the gate. Also, there should be no opening in the gate that is greater than a half inch within 18 inches of the mechanism.

Building Walls as Part of a Pool Enclosure

There are specific requirements when you use a wall of a dwelling as part of the enclosure and the dwelling has a door leading to the pool area.

Any door leading to the pool must have an audible alarm. Consult the BOCA code for specific requirements. Doors leading to the pool should be self-closing and self-latching, just like the gate. The release mechanism must be at least 54 inches from the floor, and the door must open away from the pool area.

Installing a DIY Aluminum Pool Fence

Aluminum-fence-around-pool

A DIY aluminum swimming pool fence makes your pool area safer, protects your property, and looks great. You can save money by doing it yourself.

There are several good reasons to install an aluminum pool fence, and if you’re remotely handy, consider installing it yourself. An aluminum DIY pool fence looks great and can save you a lot of money. Aluminum is strong, and it’s much lighter than competing materials.

There is one more reason to secure your pool with aluminum fencing: it looks great! You can choose from a variety of fence styles, add ornamental touches if you like, and select from a number of colors and finishes.

Rules, Regulations and Safety

Your community might issue requirements for pool fences. Check with your local government before moving ahead with a pool fence. If you have a homeowners’ association, they might have something to say about this, especially when it comes to styles and colors.

Many communities follow the pool fence code issued by the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA). The fence and gate for a pool must be 48” high or more. Horizontal rails must be 45” apart, and pickets should be spaced at intervals of less than 4”. The clearance between the bottom rail and the ground should be less than 4”. Gate latches must be high enough from the ground that children can’t reach them. BOCA code sets this at 54”. The code calls for self-closing, self-locking gates that open away from the pool.

For your self locking gate, you need to purchase a Magna Latch gate lock for its self-latching feature. The lock is high up, beyond the top of the fence, where it’s secure from small hands. The Magna Latch is key-lockable as well, and it remains locked even under force. You also need to install a self-closing gate hinge. This hinge is spring-loaded, and you can use it with both single and double gates. It’s easy to install and make an initial adjustment. This hinge won’t stain, sag or rust.  You, or whomever is installing your gate, can decide on-site which way the gate swings.

Working with Aluminum Fence Panels

Aluminum is great for a DIY pool fence. Thanks to its light weight, it is easy to carry around and maneuver during installation. Aluminum is very strong. It doesn’t rust or corrode. Unlike some other materials, aluminum doesn’t require upkeep – just install it and forget it. Aluminum stands up well to temperature extremes, neither becoming brittle and breaking in cold weather nor suffering when it gets hot outside.  For salty climates, it is recommended that you wash down the fence once a year with water from a hose.

Pool Fence Styles

Several fence styles are available for pools. Style 3 has a smooth top rail. It’s rackable for use on slopes or with stairs.

Style 9 has a smooth top and, at 54 inches in height, is the most popular pool fence/gate style. The pickets extend to the top rail. The bottom rail extends flush to the bottom of the pickets. This style can be customized with ornamental rings running under the top rail. This fence is rackable for slopes and stairs.

Style 10 also has a smooth top, with a bottom rail running flush to the bottom of the vertical pickets. This style is heavy rackable, which means you can use it for steeper slopes and even stairs.

Installing an Aluminum Pool Fence During Cold Months

Pool-Winter-Months

If you install an aluminum fence around your pool while it’s cold outside, you’ll be ready to enjoy your pool in safety when the weather turns warm.

Winter is a great time to build an aluminum pool fence. When warm weather finally arrives, your pool and its users will be safe and secure. It’s easy to install an aluminum fence. The materials are light, strong and easy to maneuver.

A pool fence gives you two levels of security. It provides security for your pool and its users, and it also prevents children and pets from entering the area and possibly drowning.

Restrictions and Regulations

Many communities have specific requirements for pool fences. Be sure to consult with your local building codes before planning your project. You should also check with your homeowners’ association if you have one to ensure that you comply with all regulations.

Pool fences are subject to the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) code. An aluminum fence and gate must be at least 48” high. Horizontal rails are required to be 45” apart. Picket spacing should be less than 4”. The bottom rail must be less than 4” from the ground, while gate latches must be 54” or higher off of the ground. Gates should be self-closing and self-locking, and they must open away from the pool.

Benefits of Aluminum Fence Panels

Aluminum is a wonderful material for a pool fence. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver during installation. This means it is easy to install yourself, which can save you a lot of money. Aluminum is a strong and highly durable material that is impervious to corrosion. It doesn’t become brittle and breakable when the weather turns cold, yet it manages to remain sturdy at hotter temperatures.

Safety Features

When mounting an aluminum pool fence, you can add features that provide extra protection for small children. A Magna Latch gate lock is a self-latching device that extends past the top of the fence where kids can’t reach. You can lock it with a key if desired, and there is no way to force it open. A self-closing gate hinge is spring-loaded to automatically close both single and double gates. It’s a snap to install and adjust. This hinge will not rust, nor will it stain or sag.

Fence Styles for Swimming Pools

You can choose from several styles for your pool fence. These panels all have pickets spaced at 3-13/16”.

Style 3 has a smooth top. It has three rails with the bottom flush to the ground. The pickets have alternating heights for a staggered effect. You can add a dog panel to this design, which adds a rail and has pickets spaced tighter to keep dogs out of the pool area. You should order this style with a height of 54” or higher. This fence is rackable for hills and stairs.

Style 9 has a smooth top with uniform picket heights that run flush to the top of the fence. The bottom rail is flush to the ground. You can add a dog panel to this fence. Ornamental rings that are placed at the top of the fence are also available. This fence is rackable for hills and stairs.

Style 10 has a smooth top and a bottom flush to the surface. It is heavy rackable for sharply sloped areas.

Dog Panel Option not allowed

The dog panel / puppy pickets which is an optional decorative item should not be added to your panels or gates enclosing a swimming pool because it does not comply with BOCA.  The added short pickets would essentially allow a child to use the panel or gate as a ladder and get into the pool area unaccompanied by an adult.

Aluminum Pool Fences Offer Safety and Security to Adults, Children and Pets

 aluminum-poolfence-safetyAn 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.
Continue reading Aluminum Pool Fences Offer Safety and Security to Adults, Children and Pets

Drowning Prevention:
National Water Safety
Month

May is officially National Water Safety Month, an awareness campaign that we’re committed to speaking out about. Hosted by the NDPA (the National Drowning Prevention Association), National Water Safety Month spreads critical information about drowning prevention and encourages the use of pool fencing as a proven method of prevention. Continue reading Drowning Prevention:
National Water Safety
Month

BOCA Codes
and Swimming Pool Fence

What does BOCA it stand for?

There is a lot of confusion about B.O.C.A. and BOCA codes.  We’re here to clarify for you.

B.O.C.A stands for the Building Officials and Code Administrators International Inc It is a nonprofit agency is now known as The International Code Council or ICC . This agency along with other code organizations work to make all building and safety industry codes uniform. Continue reading BOCA Codes
and Swimming Pool Fence