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Florida and Swimming Pool Safety Fences to Protect Children

Updated on March 21, 2012

A backyard swimming pool in Florida is something that all families are thrilled to have, because it is a great source of fun and entertainment, particularly during the very hot months in the summer. But we must bear in mind that a home pool can also be dangerous and put the lives of very young children at risk.

Before 2001, Florida was the state with the highest incidence of child drownings. This is maybe due to the hot climate in Florida meaning that more people are likely to use the pool as compared to the cooler states. Because of the high number of child drownings that were occurring, new laws were introduced that require that all all owners construct a pool fence at the time of installing a swimming pool.

A safety pool fence does not only protect young children, but it can also lower the incidence of wild animals and pets falling into the water. Kids and adults are also involved in drowning incidents that could possibly be avoided if a safety fence was in place.

Safety fences can be constructed in a number of different ways. Some of the materials that are commonly used are aluminium sheets, glass, chain-link fencing, clear mesh or vinyl fencing. You can also have a fence made of wood which provides privacy, and can look beautiful when decorated with garden flowers and climbing plants.

All of these options for swimming pool fences have good points and bad. An aluminium fence can look rather ugly, especially if it is made with large panes. However if is a strong material that children will not be able to break through. Glass fencing looks absolutely beautiful, and can make a backyard appear much larger than it actually is. However, even though the glass must be of a certain density, it could still get broken if you often have boisterous groups of children playing in the garden. Chain-link fencing is a good option, providing you make sure that they links are not wide enough for a child to place his feet through, as this could be the leverage he needs to climb the fence. Clear mesh fencing is very popular as it is one of the cheaper choices, and easy to install. However it is not as sturdy as glass or aluminium fencing. Vinyl fencing is a good option for those who do not want to have to maintain the fence; it bears up to poor weather conditions well, but the downside is it is not as attractive as other types of fencing. Although wood fencing can look very attractive, and is the best choice for privacy, it does require maintenance.


Pool fence laws in Florida

Whatever type of fencing you decide on in Florida, you must make sure it meet the criteria of local laws. Your fence should be at least 4-foot high, and should only have one entrance which opens outward. It must have a self-locking safety latch positioned on the inside of the fence. You should also make sure that there are not any bumps in your backyard, because children could use these to climb over the fence. Likewise, you need to check there are no gaps wide enough for children to crawl under.

It is also very important that you routinely make sure that there are no plastic chairs or plant pots lying around the backyard. Children are very resourceful and they could use these to climb over the fence.


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