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Pool Fence Height Requirements in Wisconsin

Wisconsin communities have strict regulations on pool fencing regarding how high the fence must be and what types of pools need a fence. The regulations include the type of latches and the distance from the fence to the pool. These regulations are in place to protect people from entering the pools and possibly drowning.

Inground Pools

Inground pool fences must be at least 3 1/2 to 4 feet high and have a self-latching and self-closing gate. Some local ordinances may require the fence surrounding the pool be at least 5 feet high. The fence must be at least 4 feet from the actual pool and a distance from the property line of a connecting property according to the city, county or state ordinances.

Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools will need a fence around the pool if the slide or step ladder is not removable. Pools 3 1/2 feet or higher do not need a fence as long as the pool equipment meets the requirements of being removable. Any above ground pools that are less than 3 1/2 feet in height require a fence and required latching system. Different city or county ordinances may have different requirements for what the minimum height for an above ground pool can be without a fence. Any items that are left around the pool that would allow a person to climb into the pool must be removed or a fence must be erected if the item cannot be removed.

Fencing Latches

Fences surrounding above ground or inground pools must be self-latching and self-closing. This means that when the gate is open, upon closing, the gate and latch will connect and latch without being physically latched by a person. Any other gates surrounding the pools that do not let people in and out of the pool area do not need to be self-latching. However, these access gates need to have a secure latching device for when the pool is not being used.


Gates must open outward away from the pool area. Latches are secured at least 54 inches up from the grade on the gate and 3 inches from the top of the gate, according to the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, which is what pool and fencing installers follow. Many states follow this code as well when placing swimming pool ordinances into law.

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