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9 Guidelines for Pool Fencing and Gates


A backyard swimming pool is a great way to relax, have fun and enjoy the outdoors, but make sure children can’t use it when there is no adult supervision. One of the best ways to do this is with a four-sided fence—which is the law in several municipalities in Canada.

  1. There be a four-sided barrier completely enclosing the swimming pool area. It should block access from neighbouring children as well as kids living in or visiting a home with a pool.
  2. The fence should have a minimum height of 1.2 m (4 ft). Some municipalities require the fence height to be 1.5 m (5 ft), so check the bylaws in your area.
  3. The spaces between your fence and the ground must be less than 5 cm (2 in.).
  4. If you have a chain link fence, link openings should be no more than 3.8 cm (1.5 in.) wide and should be designed to prevent climbing by young children.
  5. For wood or iron fences, make sure horizontal fence rails are at least 1140 mm (45 in.) apart, and all vertical rails are no more than 100 mm (4 in.) apart.
  6. Check your fence often and repair any holes or defects immediately.
  7. Gates should be as high as your fence (at least 1.2 m (4 ft) high. Some municipalities require 1.5-m (5-ft) fencing. Check the bylaws in your area.
  8. A self-closing, self-latching gate should control each entry point to the pool area. When properly installed, they automatically close and latch every time the gate is opened to prevent unsupervised access by young children. Latch hardware should be installed on the inside of the pool area to prevent children from reaching it.
  9. All latches should be locked when the pool is not being used.

These guidelines cover all pools (inground, above-ground, portable, inflatable and hydro-massage pools, hot tubs and decorative ponds) with a depth over 0.6 m (2 ft).
—courtesy Safe Kids Canada

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4 comments on “9 Guidelines for Pool Fencing and Gates”

  1. Just had pool fence repaired. Pool gate opens outward not inward, plus gate closure is manual not automatic. The gate can be opened when in use by children, any other time latch is locked with bolt lock. Am I within code?

  2. I never knew that it’s important to check the bylaws in your area to check the required fence height because some municipalities require the fence height of your pool to be 1.5 m. We’re looking to install a pool fence for the safety of our children, and it’s important for us to make sure that our pool fence is going to be installed base on the standard of the law. We’ll make sure to contact a pool fence contractor to be certain that we’ll end up installing the right pool fence. Thanks!

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