Is a homeowner required to have a fence around his pool?

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Is a homeowner required to have a fence around his pool?

Asked on December 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is known as the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act and here is a portion:

515.29  Residential swimming pool barrier requirements.--

(1)  A residential swimming pool barrier must have all of the following characteristics:

(a)  The barrier must be at least 4 feet high on the outside.

(b)  The barrier may not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or structural components that could allow a young child to crawl under, squeeze through, or climb over the barrier.

(c)  The barrier must be placed around the perimeter of the pool and must be separate from any fence, wall, or other enclosure surrounding the yard unless the fence, wall, or other enclosure or portion thereof is situated on the perimeter of the pool, is being used as part of the barrier, and meets the barrier requirements of this section.

(d)  The barrier must be placed sufficiently away from the water's edge to prevent a young child or medically frail elderly person who may have managed to penetrate the barrier from immediately falling into the water.

(2)  The structure of an aboveground swimming pool may be used as its barrier or the barrier for such a pool may be mounted on top of its structure; however, such structure or separately mounted barrier must meet all barrier requirements of this section. In addition, any ladder or steps that are the means of access to an aboveground pool must be capable of being secured, locked, or removed to prevent access or must be surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements of this section.

(3)  Gates that provide access to swimming pools must open outward away from the pool and be self-closing and equipped with a self-latching locking device, the release mechanism of which must be located on the pool side of the gate and so placed that it cannot be reached by a young child over the top or through any opening or gap.

(4)  A wall of a dwelling may serve as part of the barrier if it does not contain any door or window that opens to provide access to the swimming pool.

(5)  A barrier may not be located in a way that allows any permanent structure, equipment, or similar object to be used for climbing the barrier.

Speak with a lawyer or county official.  Good luck.


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