Texas Regulations for Private Pool Fence & Gates
Swimming pools offer added entertainment options during hot Houston summers and can provide valuable exercise for the whole family. The State of Texas requires some pool owners to install and maintain fences and gates around swimming pools to prevent accidental drowning, slip-and-fall injuries or other incidents. Staying on the right side of Texas, local city and even homeowner association regulations regarding pool safety and required fencing can help you avoid legal difficulties and can prevent accidents and unauthorized entry in your home swimming pool environment. Working with an established Houston fence company can ensure full compliance with local and state regulations while providing a more comfortable pool area.
Texas Regulations on Pool Fencing
Although most cities and HOA’s have their own requirements and restrictions regarding the configuration and height of pool fencing, Texas has established guidelines that apply throughout the state in environments where fencing and gates are required. According to Texas State Health and Safety Codes, sites that are required to maintain fencing and gates around their swimming pools that meet the following criteria:
- Pool fences are required to be at least four feet in height.
- Gaps in or under the fence must be too small to allow a spherical object of four inches to pass beneath or between.
- New pool enclosure installations may not be constructed of chain link fencing materials.
- Gates must be designed to self-close and self-latch automatically to provide added security for the pool area. Latching mechanisms must be installed in the top one-fourth of the pool side of the gate to prevent children from accessing and opening them easily. Texas law also requires that pool gates be lockable either by padlock, combination lock or built-in keyed or card-operated lock.
- Wood fences constructed of horizontal and vertical pieces must be oriented to place the horizontal cross-pieces on the side nearest the pool to prevent their use in climbing over the fence from the outside.
These regulations are intended to prevent accidental drowning and to protect homeowners against liability for incidents that occur due to unauthorized entry into swimming pool areas.
Houston Swimming Pool Regulations
In addition to the Texas state requirements, Houston city pool fence codes also set standards for swimming pools located in the metropolitan area. Houston health department officials are authorized to inspect swimming pool fences to ensure that they are in good repair and provide adequate protection against unauthorized access to pool areas. These city officials may assess fines of between $200 and $1,000 for each day in which a property is in violation of state or local codes. If the owner is unwilling or unable to repair or replace the fence, Houston neighborhood protection officials may act on their behalf and charge them for repair or replacement as well as accrued interest and added fees. As a result, it is usually in the homeowner’s best interest to perform repairs or arrange for replacement independently to comply with city regulations.
Along with maintaining compliance with state and municipal fencing requirements, homeowners in Houston, The Woodlands and Cypress, Texas can ensure greater fence safety for children, pets and other people in their neighborhoods by maintaining a few basic rules in the pool area:
- Always lock the pool enclosure when no one is outside or at home to supervise the area.
- Wood fences can offer added privacy and may reduce attempts by children to enter the swimming area by removing the temptation from view.
- Alarm systems can provide added warning of unauthorized visits to the pool and can help ensure the safety of younger children inside the home and in the surrounding neighborhood.
The right fencing solution can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized entry and can limit your liability for pool-related incidents. Working with an established Houston fence company can ensure the best protection for your swimming pool area and your home.