Choosing the Safest Fence for Your Pool

Safety is your number one concern when you have a backyard pool or water feature, followed next by aesthetics. If you have children or pets, it's a good idea to fence in the pool area to separate it from the rest of the yard. Not all fences are created equal, but the following tips can help you and your installation contractor pick the best option.

Tip #1: Maintain Your Line of Sight

It may be tempting to use a tall, sturdy wood or vinyl fence around the pool. Although this is a good option for fencing in the entire backyard, it's not the best option for a separate fence around the pool itself. It's safer if you can see the pool when you glance out your back window or door, otherwise you may not see a disaster in progress.

Instead, opt for a fence with see-through rails or slats, such as aluminum or wrought iron fencing. You need to make sure the slats are set closely together so no one can squeeze between them, but far enough apart so that you still have a clear view of the pool from the house.

Tip #2: Prevent Climbing

Height and design will help keep children from climbing the fence. Select a design with as few horizontal slats as possible. Horizontal slats provide a foot hold, which makes it easier to overcome a fence. For this reason, metal rail fences are preferred because they only need a top and bottom rail.

Height also matters. The taller the fence, the more difficult it is to climb. Generally, fences between 4 and 6 feet tall are the most difficult for children to climb, although some dog breeds can easily jump over even taller fences.

Tip #3: Minimize the Jumping and Digging

With pets, jumping the fence or digging under it may be more of a concern. You can fully prevent digging by installing the fence over a hard surface, such as directly into the paved pool deck. For jumping, look to your fence design. Fences with upright posts or or pointed vertical rails may discourage jumping in some dogs. You can also put a stop to jumping by adding an extension onto the top of the fence that leans away from the fenced area at a 45 degree angle.

A quality pool fence is only one part of the safety puzzle. Make sure the fence gate is self closing and that the latch is too high for a child to operate. Door and pool alarms are also an excellent way to ensure safety. Talk to a professional like Outdoor Fence Company for more information.