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Florida Laws on Residential Pools

By Heather Leigh Landon
To help prevent drownings, Florida has enacted laws regarding residential pools.

The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act regulates the use of residential pools in Florida, including the need for barriers. Residential pools must be surrounded by a barrier or fence, which will prevent the access of a child to the water. Homeowners are required to fulfill all pool-barrier requirements or face fines based on the county of residence's laws and regulations.

Barriers

In an effort to secure the perimeter of pools and stop young children from accidentally drowning, the state of Florida enacted a law regarding barrier requirements for residential pools. According to stature 515.29, a barrier must be at least four feet high on the outside, must be placed around the perimeter of the pool and sufficiently far enough away from the edge of the pool's water. A barrier cannot have any gaps, openings or anything that may allow a child to climb or crawl through the fence. The barrier should not be placed in a position where any other structure or object will allow climbing access over the barrier. The wall of a house may be used for part of the barrier as long as it does not have a door or window which allows access to the pool.

Above-Ground Pools

According to Florida statute's, an above-ground pool may act as its own barrier or a barrier can be placed on top of it. The barrier of an above-ground pool must be able to be secured, locked or have means of not allowing access to the water. Another way to prevent access to an above-ground pool is to remove the ladder from the pool's edge or lift it up in a locking position out of the reach of a small child. Homeowners must make sure there is nothing around the above-ground pool's perimeter that may be used for climbing. This includes any storage boxes, patio chairs or other pool and lawn equipment.

Barrier Gates

Barrier gates which allow access to a residential swimming pool must open outwards. According to Florida statues the gate must swing away from the pool and be self-closing. The latch must also be out of a young child's reach and must also meet general height and other requirements of the remainder of the barrier. If a residence is being used as part of the barrier and contains a window or doorway, which would be considered a gate, both must be able to be secured to deny access to the pool area. Gate locks must be out of the reach of a small child and be locked at all times when not in use.

 

About the Author

 

Heather Leigh Landon has been a writer since 1988 when she started her career as a stringer for "The McHenry Star News." Since then she has worked for newspapers such as "The Woodstock Independent," "The Northwest Herald" and "Press Journal." Landon graduated from William Rainey Harper College with an Associate of Applied Science in journalism.