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  1. #1

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    Unhappy Why private swimming pools should be fenced

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ats-phone.html

    Even when the adult IS paying attention to the children, I still feel strongly that all backyard swimming pools should be fenced with a a locked gate.

    What a sad tragedy.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

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    I 100% agree. The neighbors have just installed an in ground pool and they have small children. They have put up a huge privacy fence but I told my BF that I hope they have a fence around the pool. He looked at me like I was a weirdo and said you don't put a pool around your own pool. I'm emailing him all these stories. I will never have a pool because I have a 5 year old son and I just don't trust swimming without a lifeguard present.

    I do believe that along with a required fence or perhaps high tech cover&privacy fence, owners of pools should have a CPR certification.

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    Our friends almost lost their toddler that way. The only thing that saved that kid was that his big sister heard a splash and ran out to see what was going on.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Barb Underhill tragically lost one of her twin girls this way...and often there is NO splash....

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    Totally agree with everyone. All pools should have a fence around them, high enough and without horizontal slates that kids cannot climb over it, and with some sort of lock latch that is child proof. You can't be too careful. A privacy fence is nice, but won't save lives.

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    New York State specifically requires all residential swimming pools to be fenced. and not just with a fence surrounding the yard, but surrounding the pool, itself, which the pool in the story did not have.

    http://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/currpoolreq.htm

    An outdoor residential swimming pool must be provided with a barrier which completely surrounds the swimming pool and obstructs access to the swimming pool. The barrier may consist of a fence, a wall, a building wall, or any combination thereof. The barrier must be at least 4 feet (48 inches) high, and must satisfy certain specified requirements (which are discussed in more detail below).

    Access gates must satisfy the requirements applicable to barriers, as well as certain additional requirements (which are discussed in more detail below). In addition, access gates must be securely locked with a key, combination or other child-proof lock sufficient to prevent access to the swimming pool through such gate when the swimming pool is not in use or supervised.

    NOTE: In general, the barrier requirements discussed in this document apply to all swimming pools, without regard to the date of construction or installation of the pool.

    NOTE: The principal purpose of the Uniform Code’s barrier requirements is to make swimming pools inaccessible to young children. The specific requirements discussed below are intended to prevent a child from crawling under the barrier, fitting through the barrier, or climbing over the barrier. The requirements for access gates are intended to prevent a child from opening an access gate.

    Barriers provided for outdoor residential swimming pools must satisfy the following requirements:
    •The barrier must completely surround the swimming pool and must obstruct access to the swimming pool.
    •The barrier must be at least 4 feet (48 inches) high.
    •The space between the bottom of the barrier and the ground cannot exceed 2 inches.
    •In the case of an above-ground pool, the barrier may be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool structure; however, if the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the space between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier cannot exceed 4 inches. See Figure 3109.4.1 on Page 3.
    •Any opening in the barrier must be small enough to prevent the passage of a 4-inch-diameter sphere through the opening.
    Pools constructed after December 14, 2006 must be equipped with a pool alarm.

    Every swimming pool that is installed, constructed or substantially modified after December 14, 2006 must be equipped with an approved pool alarm which:
    •is capable of detecting a child entering the water and giving an audible alarm when it detects a child entering the water;
    •is audible poolside and at another location on the premises where the swimming pool is located;
    •is installed, used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions;
    •is classified to reference standard ASTM F2208, entitled Standard Specification for Pool Alarms (either the version adopted in 2002 and editorially corrected in June 2005, or the version adopted in 2007); and
    •is not an alarm device which is located on person(s) or which is dependent on device(s) located on person(s) for its proper operation.

    A pool alarm must be capable of detecting entry into the water at any point on the surface of the swimming pool. If necessary to provide detection capability at every point on the surface of the swimming pool, more than one pool alarm must be installed.

    There's a lot more info in the link, but you get the idea.
    Last edited by Karina1974; 06-12-2012 at 01:33 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    New York State specifically requires all residential swimming pools to be fenced. and not just with a fence surrounding the yard, but surrounding the pool, itself, which the pool in the story did not have.
    Yes, that is what I meant to say. The pool should have a fence surrounding it, not the just the yard.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  8. #8

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    We have a pool. Our kids were older (10 and 13) when we got it, but we purchased a walk on cover that is key operated. The lock is within view of the pool and you need a key to open the cover. I've walked across it several time so I know it is safe. The tricky part is when the pool is open and there are lots of people around - like at a party. We have a fence between the pool and the eating area and play area. The gate is self closing. You can get to the pool from the back door so there is always that risk. When my kids were little (and we didn't have a pool) I always set the house alarm to chime if a door or window was opened so I knew if a child was going outside.

    The thing about pools is that there are so many misconceptions. First, people think if they take their babies to swimming lessons they will "drown proof them." The reality is, is doesn't work. Young kids who fall in a pool can't climb out and they can't swim for long, if at all. Dunking small children under the water to teach them to swim also has other hazards - but that is another thread. Second, many don't realize that drowning is a silent death. People who are drowning generally don't call out or thrash about like you see on TV. The body goes into a mode to save energy and they will hover just above, just below the the water line before finally going under. If you can't see the pool, you won't hear a kid drown. Third, pool accidents are just that, accidents. For the most part it really doesn't matter how good a swimmer the person is. If you hit your head, you hit your head, and swimming doesn't enter the equation. Finally, I am the most vigilant when there are many adults around. When you have lots of adults around the pool and kids are swimming, everyone assumes someone else is watching. I always make sure there is someone reliable who is responsible for watching. We try to do it so the shifts are short - 15 minutes at a time. That way we know there is someone paying attention.

    We have fairly strict building codes around pools, and the yard must be fenced, but I think that if the pool is not fenced off, a walk on cover should be required. When we looked into an alarm, we were told by a number of pool contractors that they are not a good idea. Apparently they are quite unreliable especially if a child walks into the pool by going down the stairs. They are designed for the big splash entry, which apparently is not what usually happens. I didn't do any further research because I liked the idea of having the pool completely locked down when we aren't around.

    Just an aside, but I remember reading last year that many drowning deaths happen each summer because kids have contests to see how long they can hold their breath under water. Someone hold too long and passes out and the other kids panic. If there isn't an adult watching you end up with a tragedy. Apparently this has even happened just in wading pool
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

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    I remember the attractive nuisance doctrine taught at business school. Because of the doctrine, you're liable for damages in situations like this (if there aren't already legislation passed on the subject matter)

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    That is so sad.

    I think I've read about pool alarms that float and detect splashes and start shrieking -- not nearly as good as a good fence, but perhaps as a second line of defense?

    The majority of California pools I've seen in backyards are not fenced off from the house.

  11. #11

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    I have a friend who had a swing in his front yard-one of those rope things with a tire attached to a tree limb. His kids loved it. But one day while the kids were at school and he and his wife were at work, a complete stranger and his kids trespassed onto their property and played on the swing. One child fell off the swing and was injured. My friend was sued for having an "attractive nuisance." Something about this is just totally unfair! Can you not place a "no trespassing" sign? In this case, the child was not badly hurt, but the charges were pretty severe, and we all thought the father of the trespassing family had seen this as an opportunity to make some money. Shame on him for using his own child that way. Nothing about this seems right.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    I have a friend who had a swing in his front yard-one of those rope things with a tire attached to a tree limb. His kids loved it. But one day while the kids were at school and he and his wife were at work, a complete stranger and his kids trespassed onto their property and played on the swing. One child fell off the swing and was injured. My friend was sued for having an "attractive nuisance." Something about this is just totally unfair! Can you not place a "no trespassing" sign? In this case, the child was not badly hurt, but the charges were pretty severe, and we all thought the father of the trespassing family had seen this as an opportunity to make some money. Shame on him for using his own child that way. Nothing about this seems right.
    Does there have to be a sign on someone's private property for strangers to keep off it? That doesn't sound right. If someone enters private property unasked I would assume that everything that happens is their own fault and they'd better keep quiet about it because otherwise they'd be charged. After all, they had no right to be where they were, did they? I'm shocked that someone could sue and stand a chance in a case like that. It's insane.

    On topic, I almost drowned when I was 3 or 4 years old at my parents' friends' place. They had a bar-b-q, adults were on the terrace, my friend and I played with our scooters at the unfenced pool. I just fell in and was lucky enough that one of the adults saw it. I guess it wouldn't have happened had the pool been fenced but I think Germans would put up a riot if someone tried to tell them what to do in their own back yard. However, I think I'm all for a requirement that pools need to be fenced in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nubka View Post
    I still feel strongly that all backyard swimming pools should be fenced with a a locked gate.
    I'll be the voice of dissent and disagree .

    Some swimming pools are almost artistic pieces (eg. specially designed infinity pools, etc). And if you have homeowners without children, why should they be forced to erect an eyesore kiddie gate around their very expensive water feature?

    I think government overdoes it at times trying to regulate the heck out of homeowners and individuals, and to me requiring *all* swimming pools to have such kiddie gates regardless of actual need for them would be an example of that.

    jmho

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I'll be the voice of dissent and disagree .

    Some swimming pools are almost artistic pieces (eg. specially designed infinity pools, etc). And if you have homeowners without children, why should they be forced to erect an eyesore kiddie gate around their very expensive water feature?

    I think government overdoes it at times trying to regulate the heck out of homeowners and individuals, and to me requiring *all* swimming pools to have such kiddie gates regardless of actual need for them would be an example of that.

    jmho
    I do see your point. Guess I'm just one of those better safe than sorry type people...
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    Does there have to be a sign on someone's private property for strangers to keep off it? That doesn't sound right. If someone enters private property unasked I would assume that everything that happens is their own fault and they'd better keep quiet about it because otherwise they'd be charged. After all, they had no right to be where they were, did they? I'm shocked that someone could sue and stand a chance in a case like that. It's insane.
    It seems to be that way. My fil had a pool in his yard, no it wasn't fenced, but he did live on a farm. Anyone driving in the yard in the summertime with kids was told, there was a pool. You could either swim in it, or the onus was on you to watch your kids. But pools are considered to be an attractive nuisance as are trampolines, hot tubs.........

    Quote Originally Posted by agalisvg
    I think government overdoes it at times trying to regulate the heck out of homeowners and individuals, and to me requiring *all* swimming pools to have such kiddie gates regardless of actual need for them would be an example of that.
    You can't legislate common sense. You would think that if someone has something on their personal property it's not yours to use, and that includes telling your children that too. That's not the case tho.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I'll be the voice of dissent and disagree .

    Some swimming pools are almost artistic pieces (eg. specially designed infinity pools, etc). And if you have homeowners without children, why should they be forced to erect an eyesore kiddie gate around their very expensive water feature?

    I think government overdoes it at times trying to regulate the heck out of homeowners and individuals, and to me requiring *all* swimming pools to have such kiddie gates regardless of actual need for them would be an example of that.

    jmho
    ITA. I'll fence up my yard (front, back, and sides) but my pool too?? That's a little too much if I don't have kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I'll be the voice of dissent and disagree .

    Some swimming pools are almost artistic pieces (eg. specially designed infinity pools, etc). And if you have homeowners without children, why should they be forced to erect an eyesore kiddie gate around their very expensive water feature?

    I think government overdoes it at times trying to regulate the heck out of homeowners and individuals, and to me requiring *all* swimming pools to have such kiddie gates regardless of actual need for them would be an example of that.

    jmho
    And why does it have to be an eyesore kiddie gate? Fences can be quite decorative and add to the ambiance.

  18. #18
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    Florida requires fencing but since almost all residential pools are screened that satisfies the requirement. The law also requires an alarm on house doors opening to the pool area but existing pools were grandfathered and our doors are not wired.
    3539 and counting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pat c View Post
    It seems to be that way. My fil had a pool in his yard, no it wasn't fenced, but he did live on a farm. Anyone driving in the yard in the summertime with kids was told, there was a pool. You could either swim in it, or the onus was on you to watch your kids. But pools are considered to be an attractive nuisance as are trampolines, hot tubs.........
    In some states, yes. Horses also fall (in certain states*) under "attractive nusiance", meaning the homeowner has to make an effort to keep people out. However, if they HAVE made the effort, and trespassers ignore the warning, the homeowner is not in fact liable--if you climb the eight-foot privacy fence around the pool, if you crawl under the posted electrobraid to get into the horse pasture, etc., you're ignoring clearly-posted indications you are not supposed to be there. Though I'm waiting for the parent who argues "But my little Poopykins is FOUR, she couldn't READ the 'No Tresspassing/Electrified Fence' signs."

    *Open-range or "fence-out" states are a little different-livestock has right-of-way and if you don't want the animals on your property, you have to fence them out.

  20. #20
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    When I was less than a year old, we lived in Florida and had a screened in pool. My dad used to take me in it and I just loved it - I would scream when he took me out (I am still a fish). When my mother was working in the kitchen, she'd put me on the floor and let me take pots and pans out of a lower cabinet to keep myself amused. She had a gate on the kitchen door to keep me in there, but the sliding door was usually open and the screen door was not locked. No-one thought I could open it....

    One day the doorbell rings so my mother answers it. The teenage kid who lives behind us shoves her out of the way, runs through the house, and jumps in the pool fully clothed. And comes up out of the pool with me. I had gotten the screen door open, and fortunately, he was in his backyard and saw me dive into the pool. He said I was floating on my back kicking around, but I had only been there a couple of minutes.

    Interestingly, when we moved to Maryland when I was 5, we built a house with a pool - and no fence. Ah the 60s!
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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