Regulations regarding pool safety can vary by state. Take the time to find out what regulations apply in the areas in which you inspect.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is general and will not prepare inspectors to perform pool/spa inspections. Those wishing to provide these services should get adequate training!
From the US Consumer Product Safety commission
- Fences should be located where permanent structures cannot be used to climb them.
- Fences should be a minimum of 4 feet high (some jurisdictions require 5 feet).
- If the home exterior walls serve as a barrier, doors that open into the pool area should:
- be self-closing;
- have self-latching devices or locks installed that are out of the reach of children; and
- should have alarms installed. (SEE MORE BELOW)
- Gaps between components like balusters and bottom rails should be less than 4 inches.
- If the space between the tops of top and bottom rails is less than 45 inches, they should be located on the pool side of the fence.
- Chain link fences mesh should not exceed 1.25 inches (measured parallel to strands, not diagonally).
- The maximum opening in a lattice fence should be 1.75 inches (measured diagonally).
- The barrier should not be constructed in a way that makes it climbable.
- Should be self-closing and self-latching.
- Should open away from the pool.
- When the gate release mechanism is less than 54 inches above the walkway, it should be located on the pool side of the gate, at least 3 inches down from the top.
- The gate and barrier should have no opening greater than 1/2-inch within an 18-inch radius of the release mechanism.
Home Doors Serving as Pool Access Barriers
- The alarm should be LOUD and unique (not like the doorbell, smoke detectors, or phone).
- It should sound within 7 seconds of door being opened and last for at least 30 seconds.
- It should have a means (touchpad, switch, etc.) for re-set to allow adults to pass through the door without setting off the alarm. the re-set means should be at least 54 inches above the floor.
Potential Safety Issues
- Anti-entrapment drain
- Cover: function and condition
- Electrical clearances
- life ring w/rope
- Accessory pole
- Control systems
- Automatic sanitation
- Heating system
- Electrical system
- Pump and plumbing
- Must have a barrier compliant with the above.
- Access (ladders, stairs, etc.) must be secured in a manner that will deny children access.