Having a pool is an excellent way to beat the spring and summer heat. However, as much fun as a pool can be, it’s also a hazard for small children. In fact, to help prevent drownings and make residential pools even safer, each state and county has various rules regarding pool fencing.

Fortunately, at Hulme Fencing, we’re more than equipped to handle all of the regulatory restrictions that come with protecting your pool. Not only that, but we will make sure that your fence looks good as well. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice safety for beauty.

The city of Methuen, MA, has more rules and regulations than most other places in the country. To help you understand these limitations better, we’re going to outline the major points in this article. Don’t worry. You don’t have to memorize them – unless you plan on building the fence yourself. However, we make it so easy for you that there’s no reason to take on that burden.

In-Ground vs. Above-Ground

If you want the ultimate backyard pool, it needs to be dug into the ground. Not only is it less intrusive, but it can be easier to maintain. One significant downside, however, is that it’s much easier for little ones to fall in by accident. We’ll cover some tips later in the article to help prevent pool accidents.

On the flip side, you may install an above-ground pool. If your home doesn’t have one already, this option is much more cost-effective than having to dig and lay concrete. The disadvantage of an above-ground pool is that it can be disruptive to your backyard, depending on how much space you have.

Pool Fence Codes for Massachusetts

Regardless of the type of pool you have, here is what the city of Methuen says about pool fencing. 

Height – Each section of the fence should be at least four feet above the ground. If your pool is already over feet high, you don’t need additional fencing, although that is an option.

Clearance – The maximum vertical clearance for a fence on the ground is two inches. If you attach a barrier to the top of your above-ground pool, the clearance can be four inches between them.

Openings – Regardless of the opening, whether it’s a hole in a chain-link fence or slat in a wooden fence, you shouldn’t be able to pass a four-inch ball through it.

Slats – The maximum distance between slats, or “horizontal members,” as the code dictates, is 1.75 inches. This is true whether the slats are made of wood, vinyl, or other material. The same is true for any decorative openings. If the vertical fence posts are more than 45 inches apart, the space between the slats can be up to four inches.

Gates – All gates shall also be a minimum of four feet, with the same clearance and opening guidelines as the rest of the fence. The gateway should also be self-closing and self-locking. While it’s not required to use enhanced security on the gate (i.e., a padlock), it should have that capability.

Ladder Access – With an above ground pool, the sides of the pool itself can double as fencing, provided that it’s tall enough. However, you need to make sure that the ladder to get in can be blocked off or removed when not in use. Also, removing the ladder shouldn’t create any significant openings that allow for easy access to the water.

All Hulme Fencing barriers adhere to these regulations, and when we install your fencing, we’ll handle all of the measurements as well. Simply give us a call, and we’ll handle the rest. We have many colors and designs available for various materials. Vinyl, aluminum, and wood are our specialties. Arrange a site visit and we can go over the best option for your pool.

Tips for Making Your Pool Area Safer

Since the goal of these regulations is to prevent accidental drowning, you want to take additional steps to ensure your pool is safe. Here are our top tips for Massachusetts residents.

  1. Post Signage – If you plan on having guests over for a pool party, be sure to post signs regarding the depth of the pool and any other house rules (i.e., no glass nearby).
  2. Never Leave Kids Unattended – Children have a knack for wandering off, and many of them love to swim. Make sure to keep an eye on your kids at all times. If possible, lock the doors that lead to the pool area if you’re going to be occupied.
  3. Get a Hard Pool Cover – Toddlers may not realize that a standard pool cover can’t support their weight. To alleviate potential falls, even while you’re around, a hard cap will be a safer choice.
  4. Teach Your Kids Safe Swimming Habits Early – The more comfortable your children are in the water, the less likely that they will panic in an accident. Teach them proper techniques to keep their heads above water and to reach the steps or ladder to get out.

At Hulme Fencing, pool safety is our ultimate priority. Be sure to give us a call today, so we can provide you the best fencing options for your home and make this summer season both fun and safe.