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Materials Used for Pool Safety Fencing

    The safety fence can be constructed of any number of materials - chain link, wood, vinyl, concrete, lattice....the list goes on. Each material has a list of pros, cons and general safety guidelines that should be observed.

    Be aware of this important safety guidelines when choosing materials for your pool safety fence, or having a fence installed:

    The openings in any fencing materials should not exceed 1 3/4" inches. This prevents children from using the openings in the fence as toe-holds to climb over it. The smaller opening size also prevents children from reaching through the fence from the outside to open the latch on the gate. This safety guideline applies to pool safety fencing constructed of all the materials mentioned here. In all cases, the maximum opening should not exceed
1 3/4".

   Another important thing to mention is that your pool safety fence should not have anything attached to it on the outside that might enable a child to climb over it. While these guideline may or may not be stipulated in your state or local requirements for pool safety fencing, it just makes sense to follow the guideline and do everything in your power to prevent unauthorized access to your swimming pool.

    Now let's look at each fencing material individually:

Chain Link Fence is generally considered one of the most durable and maintenance free materials to use as a pool safety fence. It can offer many years of service without the hassle of painting or staining, and is available with a number of decorative posts and accents to minimize the "institutional" look of chain link fencing.

 Wood Fencing is another option as a pool safety fence. One drawback with wood fencing is that it requires regular maintenance - painting, staining, and repair. Any safety fence made of wood should be a solid wooden barrier of course, not a post-and-rail type construction. A pool safety fence constructed of wood should be inspected regularly to be sure that there are no broken boards, defects, or irregularities that might allow a child or pet to breach the fence barrier by climbing or squeezing between the fence. If recessed decorative accents are cut out of the wooden fence structure, they should once again be no more than 1 3/4" to prevent children from climbing the fence or reaching through it.

Post and Lattice fencing may also be used for pool safety fencing. While generally less durable than other options, it can provide several years of service and is perhaps one of the more cost-effective options for pool safety fencing. As with wooden fences, post and lattice safety fences should be examined regularly for defects and repaired or replaced as needed.

Wrought Iron is a durable option as a pool safety fence, though it is probably the most expensive option that we will cover. It has aesthetic appeal and it is available in many styles, with almost unlimited options of patterns and accents. But there are several drawbacks associated with wrought iron fencing if it is used as a pool safety fence.

    One problem is that your choice of patterns may be limited if you are to observe the 1 3/4" rule. It isn't always easy to find a wrought iron fencing pattern with openings that small. Another concern is that while wrought iron fencing is very strong and durable, it will require periodic maintenance as well.  Paint may become chipped or peel off, exposing the iron to oxidation (rust) that will lessen the aesthetic appeal of the fence. Without regular maintenance, the rust will eventually compromise the structural integrity of the fence and make it unsuitable as an effective pool safety barrier.

Vinyl fencing is perhaps the most durable and maintenance-free choice as a material for pool safety fencing. It will not rot, requires no painting or staining, and most vinyl fencing exposes a smooth surface that is extremely difficult for children to climb. A solid vinyl fencing style is of course the best option since it eliminates any holes that a child might reach through in order to get to the latch of the fence.

Concrete or masonry block can also be used as a pool safety fence, although it can be quite pricey. For most people, this isn't a viable option since it is cost-prohibitive...a concrete or masonry block wall can cost thousands of dollars, especially if there is a large area to be fenced.

    Professional installation of your pool safety fence is probably the smartest way to go. You can certainly install your own safety fencing if you choose to do so. However, chances are that a fencing professional in your area will be aware of all state and local codes associated with pool safety fencing, like minimum and maximum height requirements, opening sizes, and clearances and install it accordingly to keep you within compliance.

Take a moment to learn about  Safety Gates and Latches for your Pool Safety Fence
                                                           and how Pool Alarms can help keep your family safe.



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