Swimming pool must comply with the 2007 Florida Building Code (FBCR). The requirements for the enclosure or barrier are:
R4101.17.1 Residential Swimming pool barrier requirement. Residential swimming pools shall comply with
R4101.17.1.1 through R4101.17.1.14.
Exception:
A swimming pool with an approved safety pool cover, complying with ASTM F 1346-91.
R4101.17.1 Outdoor Swimming Pools. Outdoor swimming pools shall be provided with a barrier complying with
R4101.17.1 through R4101.17.14.
R4101.17.1 The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade the barrier may be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches.
R4101.17.1.2 The barrier may not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or structural components that could allow a young child to crawl under, squeeze through, or climb over the barrier as herein described below. One end of the barrier shall not be removable without the aid of tools. Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere.
R4101.17.1.3 Solid barriers which do not have openings shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
R4101.17.1.4 Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1¾ inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1¾ inches in width.
R4101.17.1.5 Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1¾ inches in width.
R4101.17.1.6 Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2¼ inch square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to no more than 1¾ inches.
R4101.17.1.7 Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than 1¾ inches.
POOL ENCLOSURE/BARRIER SPECIFICATIONS
R4101.17.1.8 Access gates, when provided, shall comply with the requirements of R4101.17.1.8 through
R4101.17.1.8 and shall be equipped with a self-latching locking device located no less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate. The device release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate and so placed that it cannot be reached by a young child over the top or through any opening or gap. Gates that provide access to the swimming pool must open outward away from the pool. The gates and barrier shall have no opening greater than ½ inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism.
R4101.17.1.9 Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following shall apply:
1. All doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool shall be equipped with and exit alarm complying with UL 2017 that has a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet and is either hard-wired or of the plug-in type. The exit alarm shall produce a continuous audible warning when the door and its screen are opened. The alarm shall sound immediately after the door is opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. The alarm shall be equipped with a manual means to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such deactivation shall last no more that 15 seconds. The deactivation switch shall be located at least 54 inches above the threshold of the door.
Exceptions:
a. Screened or protected windows having a bottom sill height of 48 inches or more measured from the interior finished floor at the pool access level.
b. Windows facing the pool on floor above the first story.
c. Screened or protected pass-through kitchen windows 42 inches or higher with a counter beneath.
2. All doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-
latching device with positive mechanical latching/locking installed a minimum of 54 inches above the threshold, which is approved by the authority having jurisdiction.
R4101.17.1.10 Where an aboveground pool structure is used as a barrier or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps, the ladder or steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access, or the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of R4101.17.1.1 through R4101.17.1.9 and R4101.17.1.12 through
R4101.17.1.14. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere.
R4101.17.1.11 Standard screen enclosures which meet the requirements of section R4101.17 may be utilized as part of or all of the “barrier” and shall be considered a “non-dwelling” wall. One end of the barrier shall not be removable without the aid of tools.
R4101.17.1.12 The barrier must be placed around the perimeter of the pool and must be separate from any fence, wall, or other enclosure surrounding the yard unless the fence, wall, or other enclosure or portion thereof is situated on the perimeter of the pool, is being used as part of the barrier, and meets the barrier requirements of this section.
POOL ENCLOSURE/BARRIER SPECIFICATIONS
R4101.17.1.13 The barrier must be placed sufficiently away from the water’s edge to prevent a young child or medically frail elderly person who may manage to penetrate the barrier from immediately falling into the water. Sufficiently away from the water’s edge shall mean no less than 20 inches from the barrier to the water’s edge. Dwelling or non-dwelling walls, when used as part or all of the “barrier” and meeting the other barrier requirements, may be as close to the water’s edge as permitted by this code.
R4101.17.1.14 A wall of a dwelling may serve as part of the barrier if it does not contain any door or window that opens to provide direct access from the home to the swimming pool.
R4101.17.2 Indoor swimming pools. All walls surrounding indoor swimming pools shall comply with 424.2.17.1.9.
R4101.17.3 Prohibited locations. A barrier may not be located in a way that allows any permanent structure, equipment, or window that opens to provide access from the home to the swimming pool.
DEFINITION: Pool Perimeter – A pool perimeter is defined by the limits of the pool deck and any dwelling or non-dwelling wall or any combination thereof which completely surrounds the pool.
Swimming pool must comply with the 2007 Florida Building Code (FBCR). The requirements for the enclosure or barrier are:R4101.17.1 Residential Swimming pool barrier requirement. Residential swimming pools shall comply with R4101.17.1.1 through R4101.17.1.14.Exception:A swimming pool with an approved safety pool cover, complying with ASTM F 1346-91.R4101.17.1 Outdoor Swimming Pools. Outdoor swimming pools shall be provided with a barrier complying with R4101.17.1 through R4101.17.14.R4101.17.1 The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool.
The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade the barrier may be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches.
R4101.17.1.2 The barrier may not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or structural components that could allow a young child to crawl under, squeeze through, or climb over the barrier as herein described below. One end of the barrier shall not be removable without the aid of tools. Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere.R4101.17.1.3 Solid barriers which do not have openings shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
R4101.17.1.4 Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1¾ inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1¾ inches in width.
R4101.17.1.5 Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1¾ inches in width.
R4101.17.1.6 Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2¼ inch square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to no more than 1¾ inches.
R4101.17.1.7 Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than 1¾ inches.
POOL ENCLOSURE/BARRIER SPECIFICATIONS
R4101.17.1.8 Access gates, when provided, shall comply with the requirements of R4101.17.1.8 through R4101.17.1.8 and shall be equipped with a self-latching locking device located no less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate. The device release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate and so placed that it cannot be reached by a young child over the top or through any opening or gap. Gates that provide access to the swimming pool must open outward away from the pool. The gates and barrier shall have no opening greater than ½ inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism.
R4101.17.1.9 Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following shall apply:1. All doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool shall be equipped with and exit alarm complying with UL 2017 that has a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet and is either hard-wired or of the plug-in type. The exit alarm shall produce a continuous audible warning when the door and its screen are opened. The alarm shall sound immediately after the door is opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. The alarm shall be equipped with a manual means to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such deactivation shall last no more that 15 seconds.
The deactivation switch shall be located at least 54 inches above the threshold of the door.Exceptions:a. Screened or protected windows having a bottom sill height of 48 inches or more measured from the interior finished floor at the pool access level.b. Windows facing the pool on floor above the first story.c. Screened or protected pass-through kitchen windows 42 inches or higher with a counter beneath.2. All doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with positive mechanical latching/locking installed a minimum of 54 inches above the threshold, which is approved by the authority having jurisdiction.R4101.17.1.10 Where an aboveground pool structure is used as a barrier or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps, the ladder or steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access, or the ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of R4101.17.1.1 through R4101.17.1.9 and R4101.17.1.12 through R4101.17.1.14.
When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere.R4101.17.1.11 Standard screen enclosures which meet the requirements of section R4101.17 may be utilized as part of or all of the “barrier” and shall be considered a “non-dwelling” wall. One end of the barrier shall not be removable without the aid of tools.R4101.17.1.12 The barrier must be placed around the perimeter of the pool and must be separate from any fence, wall, or other enclosure surrounding the yard unless the fence, wall, or other enclosure or portion thereof is situated on the perimeter of the pool, is being used as part of the barrier, and meets the barrier requirements of this section.
POOL ENCLOSURE/BARRIER SPECIFICATIONS
R4101.17.1.13 The barrier must be placed sufficiently away from the water’s edge to prevent a young child or medically frail elderly person who may manage to penetrate the barrier from immediately falling into the water. Sufficiently away from the water’s edge shall mean no less than 20 inches from the barrier to the water’s edge. Dwelling or non-dwelling walls, when used as part or all of the “barrier” and meeting the other barrier requirements, may be as close to the water’s edge as permitted by this code.R4101.17.1.14 A wall of a dwelling may serve as part of the barrier if it does not contain any door or window that opens to provide direct access from the home to the swimming pool.R4101.17.2 Indoor swimming pools. All walls surrounding indoor swimming pools shall comply with 424.2.17.1.9.R4101.17.3
Prohibited locations. A barrier may not be located in a way that allows any permanent structure, equipment, or window that opens to provide access from the home to the swimming pool.DEFINITION: Pool Perimeter – A pool perimeter is defined by the limits of the pool deck and any dwelling or non-dwelling wall or any combination thereof which completely surrounds the pool.

While swimming pools can be great fun, they also require responsibility. You will enjoy your pool even more if you have peace of mind that comes with following some basic rules for swimming pool safety.

If you have young children and are considering purchasing a home with a swimming pool, many resources exist to help keep your children safe. The most obvious measure you can take is signing your kids up for swimming lessons. Consult your pediatrician regarding the best age to do this. Some will advise you to have your children learn as early as six months old. Other doctors feel it is better to wait until they are at least two years old. Ask your child’s doctor about the pros and cons of each approach. You can find swimming instructors at health clubs, or you may want to check your local listings for a private instructor to teach your child at home.

Another service available at health clubs and community centers is CPR instruction. Every adult and teenager in a home with a swimming pool should learn CPR. Although you can equip your home with a variety of other swimming pool safety measures, accidents may still happen. When properly performed, CPR can mean the difference between life and death should a non-swimmer fall into the pool.

You can do many things to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Safe swimming pools are equipped with at least one easily accessible floatation device. This can be a life preserver, inflatable raft, foam “noodle,” or other buoyant item that is easy to grab onto. Beach balls are hard to hold when wet and will not serve as life saving devices in an emergency, so be sure you have something more stable on hand. You should also check that your floatation device is always inflated.

Another way to ensure swimming pool safety is to install a privacy fence. Fences should be at least six feet tall and made of materials difficult to climb. Chain link fences should not be used. Make sure gates are locked whenever not in use.

If you have a baby or toddler, you may install child proof fencing directly into your pool deck around the perimeter of your pool. These fences are made of plastic or mesh that won’t obscure your view of the pool and still keep little ones from accessing it through the house.

Remember, no safety equipment or training can substitute for proper supervision. Always watch children at the pool. Many accidents can be prevented by the presence of an adult who enforces safe behavior. This way, you can relax and enjoy your swimming pool along with the young swimmers in your life.