Why it is important to understand national and local codes before purchasing a fence
Having a pool is an amazing addition to any home or commercial property — it brings entertainment, relaxation, beauty and exercise. However, a pool also brings with it the responsibility to keep children, guests and pets safe.
Most fencing products indicate if they are pool code approved at the national level — meaning the fence meets mandates set forth by the International Code Council (ICC). Look for a pool code approved icon while researching fencing options or ask your contractor to check for you.
National pool code specifications focus on three main features:
- Height of the fence
- Space under fence and between pickets
- Gate hardware and set-up
In addition to national pool code regulations, there are state and local codes to contend with as well. Before ordering any fence, homeowners and property managers need to be aware of state, municipality and even neighborhood requirements as well to make sure it will meet all local specifications.
Following are the national pool code specifications for fence panels and gates:
National Pool Code Fence Panel Specifications
- Fence panel must be at least 48” tall
- Distance from the top of the bottom rail to the top of the next highest rail must be at least 45”
- Spacing between pickets must be less than 4”
- Space from the bottom of the bottom rail to the ground must be less than 4”
National Pool Code Gate Specifications
- Must have self-closing hinges
- Must have self-closing latches
- Needs to open out (away from pool area)
- Opening mechanism of the latch must be at least 54” above the ground
- Must not use a cross brace
Styles of Pool Fencing
Freedom® offers several vinyl and aluminum fences in a variety of styles and colors that are pool code approved at the national level.
Freedom Vinyl Pool Fencing
- Emblem — full solid privacy
- Conway — lattice top with solid privacy bottom
- Wakefield — picket top with solid privacy bottom
- Terex — closed open picket style
Freedom Aluminum Pool Fencing
- New Haven and Easton — flat top designs
- Concord — alternating spear flat top design
- Providence — picket top design
No fence is complete without the proper hardware to make sure gates stay closed and meet all code requirements. Pool code approved hardware (including lockable gate latches and self-closing hinges) that is compatible with Freedom vinyl and aluminum fencing is available at Lowe’s.