It’s no secret. Most South Africans are unaware of any pool fence regulations. Statistics provided by the Department of Water and Sanitation show that more than one child drowns in our country every day. This tells us that drowning is still a serious, unsolved problem in SA.
So often, in South Africa, a by-law or regulation may be in place but has not been successfully communicated. A person sometimes only finds out that there is a regulation in place after an event like an accident, and for the purposes of this conversation, a drowning which could have been prevented if the by-laws were strictly enforced.
In the case of legislated pool fence regulations in our country, very few pool owners know about these laws and don’t put the necessary protection in place, causing potential risk to their families and the public.
If you have a swimming pool and inquisitive toddlers that are not yet swimming on their own, then you should ensure that you are aware of the pool fencing laws and prevent your children from getting into the pool area.
So, what is the pool fencing laws that you should know about?
This video answers two of the many questions homeowners often have around pool fence regulations:
How high does a pool fence have to be?
If your pool is accessible from the street or to the public, the height of your pool fence needs to be 1,2m high. If however, your property is enclosed with a wall or fence of 1,2m or higher, and your gate to the road access is locked, then the height of your pool fence can be 1m. The law states that in this instance you are not necessarily required to have a pool fence then, but if you have toddlers that you need to protect from the pool area, then a pool fence needs to be a serious consideration on your property.
What is the safest pool fence?
The safest pool fence has a self-closing gate that is also self-latching, meaning that, upon opening, the pool fence gate must close by itself and lock to prevent any mobile toddlers from getting into the pool area. In most situations, you should also only be able to open the pool gate from the inside when standing outside by having to reach over the fence to open the gate. This is another prevention method for small children not to be able to open the pool gate by themselves easily. It is not advisable to have
horizontal rail balustrades as a pool fence. The rails create a ladder for curious toddlers who like to climb. The alternative is to go with a glass pool fence like the one below; ensuring that a professional has engineered and installed the fence with the correct materials and installation methods.
Here are more pool fence regulation questions that homeowners have:
Who can install a pool fence?
A qualified and professional pool fence supplier that has engineered designed and safety tested a pool fence should be your first option for your new pool fence. DIY systems are not necessarily developed in consultation with an engineer and may not guarantee your toddlers safety. Ensure that the locks and latches are guaranteed to self-close and self-latch for the duration of their lifespan. There are many cheap knock-offs around that don’t work. If you’re installing a glass pool fence, ensure that the glass thickness is approved by an engineer and that the stainless steel hinges and locks are solid cast stainless steel and not plated, otherwise they will not last and will corrode due to exposure to the chlorinated or salt water in the pool area.
Can a glass pool fence break?
Depending on the object that hits the glass pool fence, yes, it is possible. If a sharp object hits the glass panel, it will undoubtedly break, e.g. if your garden service uses a weed eater too close to the glass pool fence and a stone shoots up and hits the glass, it could break. It is essential to ensure that your supplier installs a toughened safety glass and not just standard float glass. If a glass panel breaks, the toughened safety glass will break into a million little pieces which shouldn’t hurt a person in contact with the glass panel. However, if your installer has supplied a standard float glass, you stand the risk of the glass breaking into large, sharp shards that can seriously injure someone. That said, your glass pool fence, that acts as a balustrade and a safety element, must be impact and load tested to prevent you or your children from falling through the glass upon impact.
Report a pool without a fence and save a life.
If you know of a pool or any open council water that is exposed to the public and does not have a safety fence around, report it to your local council. This way you can ensure that unnecessary accidents and drowning’s don’t occur.
For more on pool fence regulations and ideas visit our webpage https://www.steelstudio.co.za/pool-enclosures/ or call us today on 011-608-1963 to speak to one of our qualified sales executives.