Swimming is a popular activity for both children and grown-ups. Having multiple levels of safety around your pool is the best thing that you can do to help your family stay safe this summer. Preventative tips for pool safety include never leaving any child unattended near water, life vests, pool alarms, swimming with a buddy, and creating a barrier between your child and the pool.

Many pools, especially those that are in-ground, attract children to have unsupervised access to the water. Pool fences or enclosures are key components that prevent small children from being unsupervised in a swimming pool. photo

Pool fences should be at least 4-feet high, have a self-closing gate, and a latch high enough that a small child cannot reach. Several different types of pool fences are available. These include glass, aluminum, steel, wood and mesh. Though many options are available to home owners most choose mesh fencing for its safety and appearance. This type of pool fence was created for the use around a swimming pool as a preventative measure to keep children out. For this reason the fence is difficult for children to climb, open or crawl under.

The mesh fencing sections range from 6' to 15' in length. Each section consists of a number of poles mounted into plastic or aluminum inserts that are drilled into a patio or deck surrounding the pool area. The mesh stretches across each support pole which is normally made of either aluminum or fiberglass. Once installed the fence is made sturdy by the extreme tension it is manufactured and installed under. These fences are easily removable and come in a variety of colors including black, white, green, tan, and brown to blend into or compliment any landscaping. Given the mesh itself is nearly transparent the focus can still be the pool area but allows parents to feel safe with small children around.

Another option to create a safe barrier for children from your pool is an enclosure. Currently there are two main types of pool enclosures. The first is the retractable enclosure and the other is the non-retractable enclosure. These enclosures are limited in color but act like a roof system that can encompasses the entire pool.

You can build a year round pool enclosure with glass or plexi-glass panels or you can build a seasonal enclosure that has the framework with mesh or screen panels. The year round variety will be more expensive, but will also allow you to swim all year round with comfort and safety.

Deciding which barrier option is best is not an obvious decision. We suggest that you decide what will work best for your family and your budget.

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