Today we are going to be answering questions your Community or HOA might have about pool gate code requirements. Our mission is to help you protect your people and your property, and there isn’t a more important thing to protect than your Community Pool and the people who will visit your pool.
We routinely encounter questions from communities who are concerned about the security of their pool gates and that have questions about being code compliant. With the weather beginning to warm up, the Opening Day for Pool Season will quickly approach. We want to help you and your community be prepared with a little prior planning so you will have a seamless opening day! Addressing issues now before the Pool is inspected can be the difference between passing or failing. We are going to cover some of the commonly asked questions for Pool Gates when it comes to a health inspection or fire inspection.
What are code requirements for my pool gate? Although there are many requirements, we will be covering 4 Main aspects today. You can find the complete list by clicking here.
- Gate Height: Does your gate meet the minimum height requirements? Gate height must be a minimum of 48′ tall, including the gate and fencing surrounding it. This 4 foot minimum is to prevent people from hopping over the gate but mainly to ensure that young children are unable to access the pool to prevent accidental drownings.
- Self Closing & Self Latching: Does your gate automatically close and positively-latch, and is the self-latching device 54 inches or less from the bottom of the gate? On the outside of the gate on the right side, we see the closer attached to the gate which is self closing. Once opened, there is enough pressure from the closer to ensure it shuts completely and latches. This is to prevent any young child from being able to enter from a propped gate and reduces the likelihood of an accidental drowning.
- Swing Direction: Does your gate swing outwards? Gates must swing outwards from the main pool area unless topography or landscape prevents it. All pool gates that were constructed after 2010 are automatically out swing gates. This means the gate opens toward you. This is important for several reasons; the first being preventing small children from leaning on the gate and it fall inward allowing a chance of accidental drowning, and the second for people inside the pool to be able to exit quickly in an emergency by pushing on the bar to open.
- Locking Mechanism: Does your gate’s release mechanism require the use of a key, combination, or card reader to open? Your gate needs to be locking with either a key, combination, or card reader (utilizing a key card, fob, or mobile credential) to comply with code. This is to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the pool or community amenities.
While working with communities for the past 20 years, we’ve learned some of the roles that the inspectors and HOAs play and how it can affect your pool opening. The Health & Safety Inspector is focused on ensuring young children cannot accidentally access the pool and keeps an eye out for hidden dangers, as well as making sure that there are emergency actions that can take place quickly in the case of accidental drownings. The Fire & Life Safety Inspector is focused on ensuring people can exit the areas if there is an emergency or issue. HOA Boards are focused on safety but with a priority on ensuring the right people have access to the facility during the correct seasons and hours.
Code compliance can be complicated which is why we are offering 2 classes in March to help you learn the 3 Essentials necessary for a Safe and Successful Pool Season. In this class you will learn the ins and outs of gates, key card / fob systems, and cameras. Our Instructors will help you understand different solutions to solve pool code violations and malfunctions. You will also discover the components of a pool gate and how they work, techniques to control the access to your pool and other common areas, and how to protect your people and property.