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Why private swimming pools should be fenced

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by nubka, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Got some here we could export.
  2. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    No kidding.
  3. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    Adding to what agalisgv said, I have a pool in my backyard. The yard is pretty inaccessible to young children. All the walls are at least six-feet high, plus have high trees and bushes that would be extremely diffcult for anyone to get through. From the driveway, you would have to go through two gates, each with latches that are five-feet off the ground.

    When I bought my house, the pool came with a mesh fence. It is a complete eyesore. The pool is a very unusual shape and dominates my small backyard so having a four-foot high fence surrounding the pool basically means you look out my windows and see the mesh fence. Still, I have left the fence up. However, one piece tore and I cannot find a matching piece (the fence comes in parts that each have three mesh screens and must fit the existing holes poured in the concrete). A new fence would probably cost at least $1,000.

    The other thing about the fence is that opening it up to actually use the pool is a bitch. you have to force the fence out of one of the holes (it doesn't have a gate). Some of the newer fences have "gate" pieces, but those pieces alone seem to run more than $300.

    Given that I have no children, none of my family members or friends bring children to my house, and it is virtually impossible for a child to access my yard, I don't see why a pool fence is necessary. According to the CDC, between 1999 and 2007, the rate of swimming pool drowning deaths was 0.3 per 100,000. That is 3 out of 1 million. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's 2010 report indicates that there are about 4,200 submersion "incidents" annually in the US, with about 385 deaths among children under the age of 15. Appoximately half of the incidents and 3/4 of the fatalities occur at private residences as opposed to public facilities. Of the fatalities, 46% occurred at the victim's own home and 22% occurred at the home of a family member or friend. Only 5% of the deaths were reported as occurring at a neighbor's home.

    From that data, I think the odds of one of my neighbor's children entering my yard and dying in my pool is .00000015 or 1.5 out of 10 million. I think I have better odds of being killed by lightning.
  4. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

  5. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    Agree with it all. My six foot privacy fence which is locked is sufficient. I am not going to put up an ugly screen around my pool, too. I am assuming if someone's special snowflake can scale the six foot fence, no need for one around the pool because they would get around it as well. If it's toddlers wandering about and falling into pools, would they not be more likely to be hit by cars? People need to be responsible for their kids, not legislate others who don't have kids to make their PRIVATE property kid proof.
  6. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Seriously. Likewise, if your little Poopykins is left unattended on the side of the road to crawl under my electrobraid fence that's legally marked (electrified fencing is required to have signs something like every twenty feet or so), how is it my fault you can't be bothered to keep track of your child?

    Sadly with horses it's often the "parents" (if one can call them that) who will tell the kid "Oooh, look at the horsies! Go pet the horsies!" Ignoring the electric fence, padlocked road gate, and "posted-no trespassing" signs.

    The neighbors behind us where I grew up had a pool. We were allowed to come over and go swimming if we asked and our Mom was there to supervise. It would never have occurred to me to just wander over on my own.
  7. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    Well, if you look at the original article, the kids were on the property with the caretaker, not just 'wandering in'.

    I hoestly think that if you have little kids on a property with an unfenced swimming pool, you need to pay attention. I don't think that is too much to ask.

    For any pool easily accesible (no fenced property) I can see the argument, but if the pool is on a private, fenced lot, I don't see why you would need the fence.

    The thing is - sadly, no matter how you try, you can't protect people from thier own stupidity, and you can't protect kids from their parents stupidity. :( There are so many bad choices you can make while having your kids around - only hope is to keep parents informed.

    btw - as an aside - this summer we will be staying at my in-laws summer house, which has a small water feature (pond, about 30 cm deep?). Any good ideas about how to temporarily fence it off or otherwise close it so we don't have to hawk over our 16 month old? Considering getting some cheap wooden boards and place on top?
  8. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    If I had young children on my property, most definitely I would have a fence. I was responding to the laws requiring fences because pools could be an attractive nuisance that entice neighborhood children. I'm grandfathered at the moment from a fence law, but I may be required by law to have one if I remodel the pool.

    Oddly, the law does not apply to pools in apartment complexes or any residences other than single-family homes (e.g., duplexes).
  9. Rogue

    Rogue Sexy Superhero

    In that case, the fence uses the house as one of its sides, preferably with a door that beeps when it is opened. That's what I did with my pool.

    The issue is restricting access to the pool, not blocking it off completely. There are reasonable precautions that can be taken without ruining the aesthetic of the pool area.

    Now if you live miles from your neighbors and own several acres surrounding the pool plus you never allow children on your property, I would concede that you could skip the fence.
  10. Rogue

    Rogue Sexy Superhero

    In many cases it is your homeowner's insurance company that requires the fence, regardless of local law.
  11. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Pool fences are not the answer, watching the kids you are responsible for is.

    Sounds like grandma/housekeeper is to blame, get off the phone and watch your kids.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  12. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    JMHO, but I don't see how a kiddie gate of any design wouldn't ruin this pool's aesthetic.

    If you don't have kids and your property is fenced, you aren't in need of those precautions. It's like requiring every car to be outfitted with a baby car seat whether you have a child or not. Not everyone needs one, and those that do should take responsibility for getting one without having to legislate everyone in the country having one too.

  13. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Since that home is in CA, which has a pool safety law, I'd assume it meets the requirements already.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  14. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    For this pool I would recommend electric eels.
  15. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    So if tresspassers die of pool-related causes other than drowning, all is well?

    If the goal is to keep children and others out of the pool without spoiling the landscape with a fence, then how about picturesque visible threats outside the pool that will scare folks away before they get there?

    Attack dogs? Attack swans? Scantily clad models with designer assault weapons?
    AxelAnnie and (deleted member) like this.
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    And apparently she didn't even realize where they were until the family got home. Small children left to run amok get into trouble. Wasn't the pool's fault.
  17. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Ron Jeremy sipping mai tais in a Speedo could work, too.
  18. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    You need more than just a fence surrounding the yard/property, you need a fence surrounding the actual pool. Otherwise, a child could just slip out the back door and have full access to the pool.

    Why wouldn't you be hawking a child that age? My grandparents had a brook on their property that, in certain places, was deep enough for a child to become completely submerged, and it also had a dam and a 15-20' waterfall about 60' from the back of the house. Some times during the year, you could walk right across on the stones; other times (Spring thaw) it was rushing fast and deep enough that it could sweep a small child right off their feet. Between 1959 and 1970, there were ten grandchildren coming to visit between the ages of 10 years and 16 months, and you can bet damn straight that my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and my own parents (the youngest 2 kids were my older brothers) were "hawking" all those kids so they wouldn't fall in. I myself was "hawked" by my parents, other adult relatives as well as my cousins, who are 7 to 15 years older than I am. Guess what, none of us either drowned or had a near-drowning.
  19. rjblue

    rjblue Having a great day!

    I'm 52 years old with three children. I read all the parenting magazines, took swimming lessons myself and for my kids, and I've taken multiple first aid courses, and I DID NOT KNOW THIS until someone posted this link (Drowning DoesnÂ’t Look Like Drowning) on Facebook last year.

    I sent the link to all my colleagues at work who have children.
  20. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    I think the stiff incline is more of danger than the pool in that house. And those endangered would more likely be drunken socialites than children.
  21. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I can't get the link to open, but the law in California requiring fencing for the pool itself only applies to pools that are built or remodeled after 2007.
  22. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I don't know why people expect parents to watch their kids every darn second. My parents were strict as all get out (hello, Asian!), but I wasn't watched every darn second.

    Anyways, I have no real opinion on this but the pool in my condo building is outdoors and is surrounded by a glass fence and trees. It's actually quite pretty.
  23. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    This home was built in 2007 so may be grandfathered. It is an 11,000 sq ft place that cost over $34M to build and is now for sale for $19.3M - hardly an example most of us can relate to as far as landscaping a pool and worrying about the aesthetics of a fence.

    This link may work.

  24. pat c

    pat c Well-Known Member

    I didn't watch mine every second, nor did my parents do that to me. But water is different. My fil had a swimming pool, in the summer time when we were visited him, I was with my kids everytime they went outside. Both kids took swimming lessons starting at 3, wore life jackets, water wings and every flotation device going. ;) When they were old enough and adept enough, they were on their own. And we drilled into them many rules about what you can and can't do in or around the pool. It takes a lot of work, but water is unforgiving. It only takes 3 minutes to drown. So for any of you with small kids around water, no matter if it's a mud puddle, you're on the hook. There have been 4 people drown in my area in the last couple of years, they were adults. It only takes 3 minutes to drown.

    I understand why people wouldn't want to double fence their pool. It really makes it too much trouble to take care of, to use. And I don't think they should have to if they've made a reasonable effort to keep out unwanted visitors. Others have to respect it's private property. That means parents with kids have to go that little bit extra. (shrug) ymmv

    I think all over Canada pools are attractive nuisances. Living in the country, you have a tendency not to fence in pools etc.
  25. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Exactly. My mother didn't watch us ever instant of the day, but if we went to the neighbor's pool, she went and watched us. When we went to the pool at grandma's apartment complex, grandma came with us and watched. If it's your own house and you have kids, having the extra fence might be sensible. If you're visiting somewhere that has a pool, best to pay attention.

    And if it's a pool on private property that you're not supposed to be in, teach your kids to stay the eff out and don't let ones too young to understand wander off on their own.
  26. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    :rofl: not to an infininty pool they can't !
  27. CanuckSk8r

    CanuckSk8r New Member

    I was fortunate enough to grow up with a pool. My sisters and I had strict rules regarding the pool and pool safety. The grandchildren have these same rules. Very simple, if the rules were broken, priviledges were revoked, no exceptions. No one swims alone, no child is in the backyard unattended - ever, no bathing suit means no going on the cement surrounding the pool, under 5 must wear life jackets.

    When we were small, the fence was immediately around the pool. As we aged and money was there, the fence moved outward until it eventually ended up at the perimeter of the yard. All doors leading to the backyard do have chimes. I can't speak for my sisters but it never crossed my mind to be in or around the pool without permission - it would have made for a miserable summer not being allowed to swim.

    Drownings infuriate me, especially when it seems majority are from "supervisory" lapses. I understand that accidents happen but choosing to not supervise children around water is not acceptable. I always wonder if these same people would leave their children unattended in the bathtub.
    halffull and (deleted member) like this.
  28. Rogue

    Rogue Sexy Superhero

    Well, the infinity part is generally built in a way that you can't access the pool from that side anyway.;)

    But I'm sure a good architect and engineer could figure out how to use tempered glass fences appropriately.:D
  29. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    No one thinks you have to supervise every kid every minute, but the example was a 16mo old. Why would you let a toddler be outdoors with or without a pool handy & not watch them every minute?

    As a child, we got swimming lessons every summer but I don't ever remember being in a pool without an adult watching until I was in my teens & then it was only if I was swimming with a buddy.

    Probably. There are plenty of idiots in the world.
  30. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    well, if it was my example - it isn't a pool, it is small pond in a completely fenced back yard. And if it wasn't for the pond, I don't think I need to watch him all the time, I can sit in the yard and mind my own stuff, or get in and get a glass of water. I honestly think toddlers need to explore and not be coddled.

    However, I wanted to secure the water feature, since with the pond there, I would be reluctant to take my eyes off him even to read a book.

    There is a difference to keeping tabs on someone in a secure place, and what you need to do in an dangerous environment, and any pool is that to a small child.