California’s Swimming Pool Laws: A Guide for Property Owners

California’s Swimming Pool Laws: A Guide for Property Owners

Drowning is one of the leading causes of injuries to children in California, which led to the state enacting several swimming pool laws. As a property owner, you should know these laws apply to residential homes. The regulations apply to both in-ground and above-ground pools that contain 18 inches or more of water and are intended for bathing or swimming. Taking a look at these laws helps you plan for your upcoming San Diego pool installation or make sure your existing pool complies with them.

Swimming Pools Must Have Enclosures

This is the most common pool safety measure homeowners were using even before the laws were put into place. Pool fences keep children and small animals away from the water, which dramatically reduces the chances they’ll fall in. 

Keep in mind there are also several regulations in place regarding the type of enclosure you use. For instance, the height of the enclosure must be at least 60 inches, and the slats shouldn’t allow an object more than 4 inches wide to pass through them.

Access Gates Must Meet Specific Requirements

An enclosure is essential, but you’ll also need to make sure people can safely access the pool while ensuring no unauthorized children or pets can breach the barrier. California law also stipulates access gates must be self-closing. This prevents someone from being harmed by a swimmer accidentally forgetting to close the gate. Access gates also need latches placed no lower than 60 inches from the ground, which puts them out of a child’s reach.

Removable Mesh Fencing Is an Option

Some property owners prefer to know their pool enclosures are temporary. Similar to a permanent fence, this type of enclosure must be free of openings and other features a child could use as a handhold or foothold to climb over the railing. This type of fencing has a lower height requirement of 48 inches, but you’ll still need to ensure it has a self-closing gate that allows for the use of a key lockable device.

Pool Safety Covers Can Also Serve as Barriers

A pool cover is a legal barrier, but you’ll want to remember this isn’t the general type you use to keep debris out of the pool. Safety covers must be compliant with the standards put in place by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). An approved cover can hold approximately 485 pounds, which allows a person to be kept out of the water while awaiting rescue. The cover should also reach the perimeter edges of the pool without leaving gaps an object or person could pass through.

Property Owners Must Also Take Additional Safety Measures

Naturally, it might not be possible to include all of the available safety features in one pool. Your swimming pool contractor can guide you to the ones that best suit your property, and the law allows you to choose two out of seven safety features you can implement to be in compliance. In addition to an enclosure, you might choose to install exit alarms on the doors to your home. Installing pool alarms that alert you to something being in the water is another option you can choose to increase pool safety on your property.

If you’re considering adding a pool to your home, make sure to work with an exceptional San Diego pool contractor. The team of experts from San Diego Pools specializes in every aspect of commercial and residential pool construction, and we’ve been building the finest pools in Southern California for more than 40 years. Call us today for a complimentary consultation.

Leave a Reply