Swimming Pool Gates

Swimming pools are great entertainment, soothing, and fun to just hang around. Lawyers, insurance companies, and municipalities consider swimming pools to be an attractive nuisance. That is similar to the “deluxe new backyard swing set, or trampoline.” Kids are attracted to the structure and it is your responsibility to keep it safe and secure. If someone is hurt on your property and you didn’t take the proper steps to secure the area, then you will be liable.

Swimming pool gates

Swimming Pools are inviting to children and adults

The objective of all swimming pool gates is the safety of small children…period.  So, some common sense rules apply no matter where you live to secure the pool from small children.

1. Gates open outward away from the pool.

Swimming Pool Gates

American Classic Arch Gate

This is so that if a child can jimmy open the gate, they will still have to move around and inside the panel to reach the pool area.

2. Swimming Pool Gates are a minimum height of 4′ on the OUTSIDE GRADE

I have heard some people argue that the inside of the gate was 4′ high even though the outside is less than 4′.  Even if the code inspector does not catch this, common sense tells us that the OBJECTIVE IS TO KEEP SMALL CHILDREN FROM ENTERING THE POOL AREA FROM OUTSIDE THE GATE!  You may not have small children in your home, but maybe your neighbors do, or maybe the grandparents down the street have small children visiting. The point is, do it right, take precautions, and keep your beautiful pool as safe as possible!

3. Swimming Pool Gates are to be SELF CLOSING!

swimming pool gates

Black Stainless Steel Adjustable Tension Gate Hinge

This is a super easy regulation to follow. Newer technology has spring-loaded hinges with lifetime residential warranties (tested for over 10,000 closings).  These lifetime warranty hinges are self-closing with ADJUSTABLE TENSION SPRINGS.  Why is that important? Over time, everything settles to one degree or another. The gate may misalign, hinges that are closed will need tightening, and swimming pool gate latches will need adjusting.  To keep the swimming pool gates effective, you need to check twice a year during the season to make sure working properly. Tension adjustment should close the gate from wide open and also when opening only an inch. That gate is useless if it only closes part of the way and does not latch!

4. Swimming Pool Gates are to be SELF LATCHING!

The swimming pool gates are to be self-closing and self-latching!  We like to use a magnetic adjustable latch called AQUA-LATCH for our swimming pool gates. Like the hinges, these great latches are tested for 10,000 closings and have a great track record, with a lifetime warranty included that makes a great latch.  We also use the long tube AQUA-LATCH so to raise the release knob to a 54″ minimum code across the country. Yes you can have a pool code fence and gate that is 48″, but your release latch is required to be 54″ for child safety.

5. Swimming Pool Gates have less than 4″ opening between pickets.

This is the same rule for the swimming pool gates as the swimming pool fence, a 4″ sphere cannot pass between the pickets securing the pool area.  The idea behind this rule is that if a child can get their head through the pickets, then they can enter the pool area.

So there you have it, the basic rules for swimming pool gates to secure your pool area. Remember to check with local code enforcement for up-to-date changes in the codes, and also your insurance provider to see if they have more stringent requirements.  If you do not follow the insurance provider’s requirements, they could deny any claim you may have.

Swimming pools are a great asset to your home, and we want you to be safe enjoying your pool. Remember, swimming pool gates and fencing are just one part of an overall safety plan which should include pool water disturbance alarms, door alarms (house to the pool area), and adult supervision of children along with others.