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Pool Fence Laws in Florida

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The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, also known as the Preston de Ibern/McKenzie Merriam Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, requires Florida homeowners to take certain safety precautions with swimming pools, such as erecting fences and other safety barriers.


History:

The Florida Legislature created the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act to reduce the number of drowning fatalities in the state. As of 2009, when the Act became law, drowning was the leading cause of accidental death, including many age groups of children. Proponents of the Act believe requiring barriers or fences around pools will help prevent drowning fatalities.


Requirements:

Under the Act, all outdoor swimming pools must have a 4-foot fence or other barrier around the outer perimeter of the pool, with no gaps in coverage. The barrier must also be sufficiently away from the pool's edge so a child who penetrates the barrier or fence does not immediately fall into the pool. Entry through the barrier and to the pool must open outward and have a self-closing and self-locking device that is beyond a child's reach.


Indoor Pool Exemptions:

Pools indoors or within a screened in area are not required to have a fence or other barrier if all windows and doors that provide access to the pool have a wired safety alarm, or have a self-closing, self- latching device 54 inches or more above the ground.


Kiddie Pools:

Small, shallow temporary pools, often referred to as "kiddie pools" are exempt from fencing requirements. Public pools and private community pools, such as pools in a condo or apartment complex, are also exempt under the act but are under more stringent Florida laws for child safety.


Penalties:

Failure to erect a safety barrier or enact other approved safety devices is a second-degree misdemeanor under Florida law. However, if the property owner attends a drowning prevention program and complies with the act's requirements within 45 days, the state drops charges.


For detailed information on The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, please view Senate Bill No. 86.


Public Swimming Pools

The Public swimming pools in Florida must be VGB Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act compliant.

Signed by the U.S. President Bush on December 2007, the VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SSAct) has been in effect since December 19, 2008. This code is designed to prevent swimming pool accidents.

The VGB Act established U.S. CPSC standards for pool and spa insurance. Under the law, every drain cover must meet ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 in all public pools and spas. The water facilities which have only one main drain different than an unblockable drain must establish a 2nd device to contend for entrapments.

The fabrication, the trade or retail of drain covers which are not in conformity with the safety measures required by the CPSC is prohibited in USA to ensure that all drain covers accessible in the marketplace are compliant with safety specifications.

Each public pool must set up anti-entrapment drain covers and implement other levels of security such as SVRS or barriers.

A pool contractor should verify that the pool and/or spa is compliant with the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.


Florida Department of Health
The Florida Department of Health

For supplementary info about local safety requirements for private swimming pools, please call your city's building department. Or to get free swimming pool fence quote please call us at 1-888-919-2229 or search for a local installer near you.


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