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Swimming pool fence regulations

Health Factors: Community Safety
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals Local Government
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 20-49% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Pool fencing requirements are designed to reduce children’s unintended access to swimming pools and to prevent drowning. Drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury and death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years (CDC-Swimming).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced fatal and non-fatal injuries

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that zoning regulations requiring swimming pool fencing decrease injury and significantly reduce the risk of drowning death among children (Cochrane-Thompson 1998). The CDC and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend fencing pools to prevent drowning and injury among young children (CDC-Swimming, US CPSC-Pool Fencing). 

Effective legislation includes enforcement provisions and requires isolation fencing with secure, self-latching gates for all existing pools (public, semi-public, and private), and for newly constructed pools. Fencing that completely encircles a pool and isolates it from the house is much more effective than fencing which allows children to gain access to the pool through the house (Cochrane-Thompson 1998). 

Implementation

United States

Zoning regulations that require fencing around private swimming pools are common in many states and municipalities, for example: New York state (NY Pool rules) and Fairfax County Virginia (Fairfax County Pool FAQs). 

Wisconsin

Zoning regulations requiring fencing around private swimming pools are not in place at the state level, but are common in most Wisconsin municipalities, for example: Grafton (Grafton WI Pools), Madison (Madison Pool Regulations), Kenosha County (Kenosha County Zoning), and West Allis (West Allis Pools).

Implementation Resources

CDC-Swimming - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stay safe in and around swimming pools. Accessed on December 8, 2015
US CPSC-Pool Fencing - US Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC). Safety barrier guidelines for home pools. Washington, DC: US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Pub. No. 362. Accessed on November 9, 2015

Citations - Description

CDC-Swimming - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stay safe in and around swimming pools. Accessed on December 8, 2015

Citations - Evidence

CDC-Swimming - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stay safe in and around swimming pools. Accessed on December 8, 2015
Cochrane-Thompson 1998* - Thompson DC, Rivara F. Pool fencing for preventing drowning of children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 1998;(1):CD001047. Accessed on December 10, 2015
US CPSC-Pool Fencing - US Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC). Safety barrier guidelines for home pools. Washington, DC: US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Pub. No. 362. Accessed on November 9, 2015

Citations - Implementation

Fairfax County Pool FAQs - Fairfax County Virginia. FAQs: Residential swimming pools. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Grafton WI Pools - Village of Grafton Wisconsin. Shed/garage and swimming pool requirements. Accessed on February 5, 2016
Kenosha County Zoning - Kenosha County Wisconsin. Zoning/permitting. Accessed on January 12, 2016
Madison Pool Regulations - City of Madison Development Services Center. Swimming pool: 1 & 2 family residential. Accessed on March 2, 2016
NY Pool rules - New York Department of State Division of Code Enforcement & Administration (DCEA). Swimming pool rules and regulations found in the uniform fire prevention and building code (uniform code). Accessed on May 20, 2016
West Allis Pools - City of West Allis Department of Building Inspections & Zoning. Swimming pools. Accessed on December 12, 2015

Page Last Updated

January 18, 2013

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