News flash: Safety fences aren’t just for inground swimming pools. Drownings and near-drownings happen in above ground pools as well. While no one feature can guarantee safety, a fence or other barrier makes it less likely that your pool will end up being the site of a tragic accident.
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider that having a safety fence may be required by law in your area. Yes, even above ground pools are often included in pool safety laws. If you don’t know for sure, check with your local housing authority.
Besides making your pool safer, a fence also provides privacy. Because when you’re goofing around in your swimsuit, the last thing you want is to be worrying about what the neighbors think. A fence makes it easier to just be yourself while enjoying your pool.
Whatever your reason for installing a pool fence, there are a variety of options and styles to choose from. This article rounds up some of the best above ground pool fence ideas to help you make the right choice.
Any type of fence can be a “safety fence” as long as it’s effective at keeping young children out. For above ground pools, the fencing options tend to fall into one of the following categories:
This type of barrier attaches to the top of an above ground swimming pool, effectively making the walls taller and more difficult to climb over. Obviously, this sort of barrier won’t work for every type of pool. But for people with hard-sided pools, it’s an attractive option because it’s relatively cheap and easy to install.
If you have a deck attached to your pool, the deck railing can serve as a de facto pool barrier. However, bear in mind that deck railing is only an obstacle if access to the deck is closed off with a lockable gate.
By this, we mean fencing that completely surrounds your yard. Obviously, this comes in a wide variety of forms, and depending on the dimensions, can keep kids from getting anywhere close to your swimming pool.
As opposed to perimeter fencing, this type of fencing surrounds only a portion of your yard – in this case, the pool area. The advantage of this type of fencing is that it typically doesn’t connect to the house, and therefore provides fewer entry points to worry about.
It’s important to note that while we’ve listed these as types of above ground pool fencing, they may not all technically qualify as safety fences according to local pool safety laws. To get to a setup that satisfies both the law and your own desire for safety and privacy, you may need to combine different varieties of barriers.
Tips on Choosing a Pool Fence
What’s the right above ground pool fence for you? It depends on the type of pool you have, the layout of your yard, and of course, your personal preferences. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when making a decision:
1. Know the safety laws in your area
Check with your city or county to make sure your pool is in compliance with all local safety laws. Many local governments have adopted the CPSC’s Safety Barrier Guidelines For Residential Pools, which includes recommendations for above ground swimming pools. These guidelines recommend a pool fence that’s at least four feet high with a self-closing and self-latching gate.
2. Value privacy
Taller fencing with minimal gaps is ideal for blocking lines of sight to your pool. It’s also good for muffling voices and other sounds that might otherwise reach the ears of your neighbors.
3. Secure your pool ladder
If you’re relying on the pool wall and/or extenders to secure your pool, you also need to make sure the pool ladder can be easily locked or removed. In fact, this is a smart security measure for any above ground pool with ladder access. Look for an above ground pool ladder designed with security in mind.
4. Hide your fence with plants
Not everyone likes the look of a fenced yard, especially when that yard also features an above ground pool with a high profile. To tone down the feeling of being “walled in” in your backyard, use plants, trees, and thick bushes to make the fence disappear into the scenery. In this case, you may want to use a chain link fence or something similarly easy to conceal.
With everything there is to consider and all the options there are to choose from, finding the right above ground pool fencing isn’t always simple. But given the safety and privacy a fence provides, it’s well worth the effort. Hopefully the ideas in this article have gotten you a little farther in your search.