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If you are a homeowner in Ohio with a swimming pool, you must build a fence around it to prevent injuries and accidental drowning!
Under Ohio Administrative Codes Chapter 3701-31-01(M), a private swimming pool is an outdoor or indoor chamber with water used for bathing, diving, or swimming. The pool must be free to use for the residents who own it and their guests.
The fence around the pool is crucial
The backyard swimming pool is one of the fun spots for family and friends to gather around and the lack of adequate safety precautions may lead to a tragedy. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reported about 400 residential pool drowning cases annually. About 67% of those involve toddlers between one to three years old. There are many more youngsters who suffer moderate to severe injuries due to the lack of pool safety.
However a pool fence and other pool safety systems will help reduce the statistics of tragedy.
Regulation of pool fence as per IBC
Pool fence regulations tend to vary in general. They follow the specifications of the International Building Code Section 305 that represents pool barriers. The International Code Committee designed the IBC base code that many local building authorities adopted throughout the United States. Every three years the code gets updates so make sure that you follow the most current version.
The municipal government in Ohio has the right to create guidelines for the swimming pool fence requirements. In Ohio, the height of the private swimming pool fence must be at least 6 feet. Pool owners who wish to construct a pool fence higher or lower than 6 feet need a permit to do so.
Types of residential pools that require fences
- Portable pools do not require a fence as per the legal perspective. However, if unfenced between use they must be either emptied and stored or covered.
- Hot tubs and outdoor spas need to be equipped with either a cover or a fence in most jurisdictions. It depends on the depth of water.
- The pool installations that are above ground need fencing, and it depends on the water depth. (You must check the depth as per the local code. The usual depth is 18-24 inches).
- In-ground swimming pools (partially or completely) must have a fenced enclosure.
Basic requirements for pool fence
Height: Even though a 5 feet fence offers secure protection, the minimum height as per norms must be 4-feet.
House wall: You can use your house wall as the fourth wall for the fence. All you need is a window or door that leads directly from the house to the pool with an alarm or install a pool cover.
Clearance: The under fence clearance must be 4 inches maximum that way it will prevent a small child from climbing it.
Prevention from climbing: Fixed and large objects like planters, pool pumps, etc., that are easy for a child to climb must be kept away from the outer part of the fence. The outer side of the fence must not offer any footholds or handholds. You can follow the current recommendations to the allowable measurements for spacing and openings of fencing components.
Gate: All the pool gates need to be self-latching and self-closing.
Materials: Pool fence materials do not be specified by code. Popular types of materials are steel, wood, PVC, glass, and aluminum. Movable mesh pool fencing is much more convenient, but you must be aware of the specifications for clearance as they might differ.
- You can decide on the kind of fence you want. It depends if you want a barrier that can also act as a privacy fence or you want to show off the spectacular.
- You must choose a corrosion-resistant material if it is a saltwater pool.
Location: The construction of swimming pool privacy fences in Ohio must be around the pool. The swimming pool privacy fences must be kept in good working order and affixed with a locking gate.
Permit for swimming pool fence
If your fence exceeds four feet in height, then you’ll need a permit as per most jurisdictions. Make sure that the pool fence installation complies with your HOA regulations.
If you require a pool fence for the safety of your kids and the people around you avoid the mishaps before it happens. Make sure you follow The Laws by the Ohio Government for private pools. You can also consult your local building authority for precise details of the requirements applicable to your property. Lastly, be sure that you hire a reliable contractor with good experience in swimming pool fence installation.