Related to this, a community pool in Jacksonville, FL has drawn flak from residents due to a missing part of the pool fence. The barricade tape used in place of the gap doesn’t seem to be an assuring, temporary solution. With the pool located close to the playground, kids are especially vulnerable to drowning when they wander off. One resident tells First Coast News:
“The pool is steps away from the playground. And if someone just waders off shortly and parents [aren’t] looking, anything can happen. Every day this is open is a drowning risk for someone.”
Since the report, there has been no word as to when the gap will be permanently closed. The residents’ fears, as well as that of legislators, are in the right place.
In 2010, New Jersey legislators introduced William’s Law, a bill that would set new standards in pool safety throughout the state. To date, there has been no update on its status. If passed, it would set residential swimming pool and spa barriers at five feet, regardless of the barrier’s construction.
For now, the state code provides for the construction of such a barrier with a minimum height of four feet above grade. If the fence or barrier is mounted on the pool itself, a four-inch clearance between the top of the pool and bottom of the barrier is required. Spacing between fence members must be no wider than 1.75 inches for fences with 44-inch segments or less, and no 4 inches for fences with 45-inch segments or more.
However, many NJ pool experts point out that fences may not be enough to keep kids from wandering aimlessly into the pool. Over the years, there have been reports of children climbing over such fences or walls to get to the pool. Experts suggest installing pool covers in addition to the barriers to act as a second line of defense.
NJ pool construction firms like Scenic Landscaping are dedicated to building a kid-friendly pool without compromising aesthetics. A fence or barrier can actually enhance a pool’s appearance when done with the right design, and when it complements the landscape. Still, it pays to keep an eye out for children when spending an afternoon outdoors with them.
(Source: Missing fence turns pool into potential hazard, First Coast News, July 28, 2014)