East Troy, WI (PRWEB) March 30, 2013
Modern Fence Technologies wants you and your family to enjoy a safe summer. Remember as you open your pool for summer use to look over the fence and gate system you have installed to keep your pool area safe. If you are considering a new pool, or looking to improve your existing one, the following explanation of pool safety fence guidelines may be helpful.
Why do we have seat belts in cars? Do they prevent car crashes? Obviously not. But they can help make the injuries crashes can cause less severe. Seat belts work in conjunction with safe driving habits to reduce injury in crashes.
A fence alone cannot prevent drowning. When properly used, both seat belts and pool fences help to prevent death and horrible injury in the event of an accident. While no seat belt or fence can make the world entirely safe, taking proper precautions can greatly reduce the risks.
It is important to separate fact from emotion when evaluating the relative safety of pools, pool fences and gates.
The first thing to remember is that if there is a body of water one inch deep, the potential for a drowning exists. No fence is fool proof. The American Society for Testing and Materials, (ASTM) standards for fence and gates around pools and spas is a basic minimum standard, which is based on best practices to prevent the average five year old child from being able to reach to open or climb a fence or gate. International Building Code Section 305.3 reads virtually identically to the ASTM standards. Some people still refer to the BOCA code, which in most areas, has been superseded by the ICC code.
We must also bear in mind that there is no single recognized legal authority that has specified exact standards for every pool fence. Each municipality has its own code determining minimum fence and gate requirements for pools and spas. Beyond that, insurance companies may refuse to insure a homeowner with a pool or spa that doesn't meet company underwriting requirements.
There is no style or brand of hardware or fence that can make a pool or spa safe. They can, however, be used to make a pool or spa safer. To that end, municipalities and the ASTM have written generic standards that outline the features and dimensions allowable for pool and spa fencing and gates. Any fence and hardware that meets those standards and is acceptable to the homeowner's insurance company are all that is necessary to make a pool or spa as safe as it can be. The rest is up to the user.
The user is ultimately responsible for the safety of the pool. Therefore, it is fitting that the user have the freedom to choose the fence, gate and hardware that serves his or her needs, within the framework of ASTM and local guidelines. Expensive marketing campaigns to the contrary, the safest pool gate hardware is the hardware that the user will use properly, and that won't easily break down and fail. All pools should have adequate adult supervision to help prevent the tragedy of drowning.
Make sure you are using your pool and fence safely. Children should never be inside the fence without direct adult supervision. Look over the hardware regularly and make sure the gate is latched and consider locking it when the pool is not supervised.
And don't forget the sunscreen!