State-by-State Guide to Pool Signage and Fencing Requirements

Swimming Pool Sign and Fence Laws Feature

For all its charms, pool ownership comes with some weighty responsibilities. To help pool owners and operators meet the challenging task of making sure that their pools are safe, we have put together a description of pool sign and fencing laws in all 50 U.S. states, as well as information about general pool issues such as insurance, liability, and safety measures.  Before we tell you what you need to know about pool regulations and safety issues, let’s begin with a brief story that shows why pool signs and other safety measures are so crucial.

Why Pool Signs?

On vacation in Palm Springs, California, Morris Haft and his son Mark—both inexperienced swimmers—went for a swim in the pool at the Lone Palm Hotel. The pool did not have a lifeguard on duty, and Morris and Mark were the only guests swimming that day. Tragically, both Morris and 5-year old Mark drowned. In the aftermath of the incident, the Haft family sued the hotel for failing to take necessary safety precautions to prevent the drowning.  After a prolonged legal battle, the hotel was found liable for damages since, among other things, it did not display signs with the warnings required by California law. This heartbreaking story illustrates the tremendous importance of posting safety signage—both to prevent unnecessary accidents and protect against liability.

While pools are less prevalent in some states due to climate, backyard and public swimming pools are extremely common across the United States. By some estimates there are nearly 7 million hot tubs and 9 million pools (public and residential) in the U.S. Considering how many devastating and, in many cases, preventable drownings (like that of the Hafts) occur each year, it is easy to see why swimming pool signage and other safety measures are so important.

Because of the potential for liability and the responsibility to protect strangers and loved ones alike, pool signage is an absolute must for both public and residential pools. In this post, we outline many of the laws, definitions, and legal precedents governing swimming pool liability at federal, state, and local levels. While there are countless legal issues relating to pool ownership (installation, location, care, maintenance, etc.) we focus on what we do best–signage. As a labor of love, we also outline swimming pool fencing laws for each state. We hope that the information we provide not only helps pool owners and operators adhere to relevant laws, but also reduces drownings and other pool accidents.

Before we dive in (sorry, couldn’t resist) let us note one quick disclaimer: we’re not legal experts and this post is not professional legal advice. While we’ve identified the laws that we know of, both homeowners and public pool administrators should ensure that signage and fencing used around pools meet any applicable local, state, and federal requirements. We will not be held liable for any signage or fencing that fails to meet legal requirements. Moreover, while we frequently reference federal, state, county, and city laws, we make no guarantees about the recency or validity of these codes. Pool owners are responsible for finding and following the statutes that govern their pools. With that out of the way, we can go forward with our discussion of the safety and liability considerations that pool owners should be familiar with. If you are only interested in the requirements for  your state, jump to our state-by-state breakdown of swimming pool laws.

What is Swimming Pool Liability?

Defined literally, liable means “responsible by law or legally answerable.” While swimming pool liability is fairly straightforward for commercial and public pools, it is much less so in a residential setting, since both sides have convincing arguments in pool injury claims. Home/pool owners can use trespassing laws in their favor while injured parties often use legal angles such as “attractive nuisance.” Other legal doctrines  that could come into play in a pool lawsuit include negligence, willful or wanton misconduct, and inadequate supervision. Regardless, the potential for liability is an indisputable reality of pool ownership.

What Kind of Pool Insurance do I need?

Though homeowners often believe they need some kind of separate insurance policy for their pool or spa, this is not the case. Rather, insurance for pools is covered under the personal liability section of any insurance policy. There are many things to consider when getting insured as a pool owner in a residential setting.

First, pools are dangerous regardless of  precautions taken. Consequently, almost all insurance companies and agents advise homeowners to increase their personal liability limit from the standard 100,000 to 300 or 500,000. This will help protect pool owners in the tragic case of accident or death and the resulting medical and/or legal costs.

Second, even after increasing personal liability limits, most insurance providers also recommend that homeowners buy a separate “umbrella policy,” which can  provide up to 1 million in personal liability protection and act as a supplement to personal liability coverage. In many cases, these umbrella policies can be had for an annual premium increase of as little as 50 to 100 dollars–well worth the assurance that you are covered if tragedy strikes on your property.

Third, homeowners should also ascertain whether their insurance policy covers damage to the pool itself from adverse weather, installation, etc. pool owners should also make sure that the pool manufacturer or installation company is insured, since such contractors and companies often have a specific Pool and Spa insurance policy that reduces their liability in the case of an accident.

From the perspective of insurance companies, pools are very risky. Although it seems somewhat callous, the enormous costs associated with pool-related accidents and deaths prompt insurance providers to be extremely cautious in extending coverage to pool owners.

For example, almost all insurance companies require policyholders to erect pool fences that meet certain criteria such as height (4 feet is most common), building material, spacing of slats, placement, etc. While criteria vary from state to state, most providers also consider whether your pool sits above or below ground, has a diving board or water slide, and other characteristics. In short, they want to know every detail about the pool before signing off on a policy. In the paragraphs below, we outline many  ways that homeowners can make their pools safer. These precautions should go a long way toward obtaining an insurance policy.

How Far-Reaching is Homeowner Pool Liability?

Simply put, there is a lot of liability that comes with pool ownership. In some circumstances,  homeowners can be  liable for accident or death at their pool even if they post warnings and take proper fencing precautions. What’s more, pool owners may still  be held responsible when the person involved in the accident did not have permission to use the pool (this is often the case in the “attractive nuisance” situations described above). While a case involving unauthorized pool use would also involve trespassing laws, the potential for pool owner liability remains,  underscoring the necessity of taking every possible precaution to reduce risk. In brief, pool owners should do everything in their power to protect themselves from the inherent legal risks of pool ownership.

What about Liability for Public Pools?

If a simple residential pool, despite safety precautions, carries serious liability risks for homeowners and insurers alike, one can only imagine the legal issues faced by pools that are open to the public. In addition to prospective legal responsibility for swimmers, public-use pools must also deal with issues such as lifeguards, water sanitation, pool temperature, pool chemicals, employees, sexual abuse, crime, and more. Given all of these potential sources of liability,  it goes without saying that insurance for public-use pools is a must. In many instances, local regulations require pools that are open to the public (including pools operating by hotels, clubs, municipalities, commercial enterprises, etc.) to have insurance as a condition of operation.

Typically, public pool insurance policies are designed to cover “property and liability exposures.” This means that the policy contains elements that provide coverage for incidents related to the pool facility, lifeguards, staff, board, pool operators, equipment, as well as sexual abuse and molestation cases. Additional policies can be obtained for specific purposes or groups such as swim teams, pool management companies, and community pool operators, to name a few. Similar to residential policies, public-use pools can often purchase “umbrella policies” that supplement basic liability coverage, though these policies are usually in then 5-15 million dollar limit range though for pools open to the public (compared to 1 million in a residential setting).

As with any other type of insurance,  the accidents and amounts covered by policies for public use pools vary substantially. The bottom line is that any commercial or public pool operator needs to do their research to ensure they are protected in any scenario.

How Can Homeowners Reduce Risk?

Besides insurance coverage, there are a number of different ways that homeowners can reduce the liability that comes with owning a pool. As noted above, insurance providers often require some of these precautions before they will issue a policy.  While most of these measures will not absolve homeowners of underlying liability, they can go a long way in preventing incidents that trigger litigious situations, not to mention tragedies. Though not an exhaustive list, here are a number of common ways to reduce liability:

Pool Covers – Using a pool cover can be a great way not only to deter accidents involving children, but also prevent uninvited guests from swimming in your pool. Covers should be used regularly, not just during periods of infrequent use.

Fences / Gates – The most obvious way to decrease risk is to enclose the pool with a fence with gates that are kept locked. An additional steps would be to install some kind of pool alarm for the gate, building doors or windows with access to the pool area, or the pool itself. State, county, and city laws, insurance companies, and homeowners associations often have specific standards regarding fence height, material, spacing, gate specifications, and more. Many insurance companies won’t even insure you without a fence! Whatever the legal requirements, the fence and gate should keep unsupervised children out of the pool area, since children are particularly susceptible to drowning in residential pools.

Remove Distractions – Remove any pool toys, floating devices, and other things that may pique the interest of children and ultimately lead to drownings or other accidents.

Supervision – Ensure that there is always some kind of adult supervision when children are in or near the pools. Much like public-use pools need lifeguards at all times, residential pool owners should not assume that even experienced swimmers will be okay. Never allow anyone to swim alone or unsupervised.

Phone / Communication – Another great way to reduce risk is to have a cellphone or landline close enough to the pool that if an emergency occurs, help can be called as quickly as possible.

Safety Devices – In addition to providing life jackets to inexperienced swimmers, pools should having a safety pole and other devices (ring buoy, first aid kit, etc.) to help struggling swimmers out of the pool. Built-in ladders can also reduce the likelihood of accident by providing an easier way out of the pool.

CPR – Take a class and become certified in CPR so that life-saving techniques can be used in case of emergency.

Pool Filters – Keep children away from pool filters or other parts of the pool where suction may entrap those who are unable to escape.

Non-Slick Surfaces – Installing non-slick surfaces can help prevent injuries from falls onto the pool deck or into the water.

Other obvious things pool owners can do include forbidding alcohol in or immediately around the pool, prohibiting swimming during rain/thunderstorms, keeping electrical devices away from the pool, and avoiding swimming after eating or when feeling fatigued.

How can Public Pools Reduce Risk?

In many ways, public-use pools are similar to residential pools. We outline some additional ways that pools open to the public can mitigate are briefly outlined below along with public use-specific ways as well.

Waivers – Technically, public-use pools usually aren’t required to make patrons sign a waiver, but it is not uncommon for swimmers to have to fill one out before using a pool. Sometimes waivers are only required if the facility features slides, diving boards, or other attractions are part of the facility. Residential owners could also use a waiver if they feel that doing so would mitigate liability.

Lifeguard – Surprisingly, some states do not require all public-use pools to have lifeguards on duty at all times. In some cases, whether a lifeguard is required depends on if the pool is administered by public funds or charges patrons directly. Alternatively, som laws state that if no lifeguard is on duty, warning signs and other safety devices (swimming pool pole of “x” length, etc.) must be present. (More on lifeguard signs in the section on state-by-state signage requirements below.) That said,most states do require that public pools have lifeguards on duty at all times to ensure swimmer safety.

Fencing – In almost all cases, public-use pools are required to have some kind of fencing around the pool. States, cities, and counties usually specify exactly what is required of these fences in terms of material, spacing, gates, locks, and more.

Swimming Ages and Pool Hours– Many states require public pools to post the ages at which children can swim without adult supervision. Likewise, public pools often must clearly state operating hours of the pool. These requirements vary state-by-state, as detailed below.

Other safety considerations for public pools include maintaining the proper swimmer-lifeguard ratio, keeping emergency communication devices near the pool, and first aid kits and safety devices, properly trained and certified staff, etc. As with residential pools, safety precautions such as those described above may not completely eliminate the liability of the pool. They will, however, help prevent accidents, provide evidence that the pool has done everything in its power  to reduce dangers to patrons, and encourage insurance companies to extend coverage.

Recreational Water Illness & Chemical Injuries

Another concern for both public and private swimming pools is the spread of illnesses through pool water. These are commonly referred to as “recreational water illnesses” (RWIs) and often result in ear, eye, gastrointestinal and/or respiratory illnesses due to contact with the water. Pool owners and operators need to ensure that proper chlorine and pH levels are maintained at the pool. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention has resources to help pool owners with RWIs. Careful usage of the chemicals used during maintenance is a must for both residential and commercial pool owners.

Pool Signage

Additionally, required pool signs (detailed at length in the state-by-state guide to pool sign laws) that provide information such as pool safety and sanitation rules, diving warnings, occupant capacity, emergency number listings, shutoff switch labels, restricted areas, etc. can also promote safety and reduce liability. If you already know what signs you need, go to our pool sign gallery to find customizable  sign templates or start from scratch to create your personalized pool signage. Otherwise, read about your state signage requirements below to see what signs your pool needs.

Pool Fencing

Pool fences are an important way to decrease the likelihood of child drownings and reduce the potential for liability in accidents that stem from unauthorized pool use. Pool fencing standards are often adopted by states, counties, and municipalities and vary significantly in strength and scope. Depending on location and pool type, regulations for pool barriers are often found in statutory codes, administrative codes, building codes, and zoning ordinances. Residential pool fencing specifications, for example, are frequently located in state and local building codes. These codes often draw heavily on a set of standardized international construction codes, specifically the International Residential Code and  the International Building Code. Appendix G of the International Residential Code and Section 3109 of the International Building Code (essentially identical, with the exception of section headings) contain detailed requirements for pool barriers. While we outline specific requirements for all 50 states and some localities, we provide an extensive explanation of both Appendix G and Section 3109 at the end of this post as a point of reference.

Federal Swimming Pool Laws

The most well known federal law for public use swimming pools is the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act). This law is named after a 7-year-old girl who tragically drowned in a hot tub due to the powerful suction of the drain. The girl, Virginia, was the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III. Despite being able to swim proficiently, the powerful suction made it impossible for her to escape the hot tub, despite  her mother’s efforts to pull her free. The resulting legislation requires anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices to be employed in pools and hot tubs. It was signed into law by President Bush in 2007.

Here is a brief summary from Pool Safely, the website set up to help promote and educate about the Act:

  • “All pool drain covers manufactured, distributed or entered into commerce on or after Dec. 19, 2008, must meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard.
  • All public pools and spas must be equipped with new ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 compliant drain covers.
  • Pools and spas operating off of a single main drain (other than an unblockable drain) must also add one or more of the following options:
    • A safety vacuum release system (SVRS)A suction-limiting vent system
    • A gravity drainage system
    • An automatic pump shut-off system
    • A disabled drain
  • Any other system determined by the Commission to be equally effective as, or better than, the others listed above”

Full details and requirements of the law are included on the Pool Safely website. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has also been involved in warning consumers about the danger of pool drains.

Other Federal legislation for pools includes the “Accessible Pools Means of Entry and Exit” requirements, which were added to the ADA accessibility standards for public-use pools in 2010. According to this regulation, newly constructed or altered pools need to be ADA accessible compliance with the 2010 regulations. The full details can be found here: Accessible Pools Means of Entry and Exit – ADA Requirements.

These and other federal acts work together with state, city, and county laws to ensure that public-use swimming pools are both safe and accessible for all potential swimmers. Generally speaking, residential pools are also subject to state, city, and county regulations. We provide a description of signage and fencing requirements for both public and residential pools below; other state pools laws can be found in official state statutory, administrative, and building codes, while local laws can be found in municipal and construction codes and zoning ordinances.

State-by-State Pool Sign and Fencing Requirements

Click on the map below to go directly to your state. Once you are there, click on any sign template to create a custom pool sign. If you can’t find something you like, design your own sign or choose another template from our pool signage collection.  Whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of our free professional design services.

Alabama

Although Alabama does not currently have statewide laws regulating pool signage, residential pools may be subject to the pool fencing standards outlined in the Section 3109 of the 2009 International Building Code, which Alabama adopted as of October 2012. We describe these fencing standards here.  See the Alabama Building Commission for more details.  To our knowledge, Alabama does not currently have any other statewide regulations or laws surrounding swimming pool signage or fencing. However, at least three counties–Baldwin, Jefferson, and Mobile–do have regulations, which we describe below.

         Alabama Pool Rules Sign - Black

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Local Regulations: Baldwin County

Signage

Baldwin county signage rules require that public pools conspicuously post safety signs warning of dangers related to chemical areas and equipment as well as operation and maintenance instructions, emergency shut off procedures, names and phone numbers of nearest emergency services, and pool rules, including:

  • No glass in the pool area.
  • No animals allowed in the pool area.
  • The maximum bathing load.
  • Bathers with diarrhea, skin diseases, open lesions, etc. may not use the pool.
  • Pool hours of operation.
  • All bathers must shower before entering the pool.

These rules should be printed using at least ½ inch lettering and be “easily readable, simply stated, and conspicuously posted.” Spa rules should also be posted and can be found in 9.3 Section D of the above link.

      

 

Fencing

Fencing statues in Baldwin County are as follows:

“Swimming pools and wading pools shall be protected by a fence, wall, building, enclosure, or solid wall of durable material of which the pool itself may be constructed, or any combination thereof. Artificial barriers shall be provided so as to afford no external handholds or footholds, be at least four feet (4’) in height, and be equipped with a self-closing and positive self-latching closure mechanism at a height of at least forty-five inches (45”) above the ground and provided with hardware for locking. The barrier shall have no opening that allows the passage of a sphere of four inches (4”) in diameter. Wading pools shall be physically separated from the main pool by barriers addressed in Section 9.4.A-B. Wading pools constructed prior to adoption of these rules shall comply with this rule within two (2) years of the onset of these rules.”

Local Regulations: Jefferson County

Signage

Jefferson County mandates that public pools have permanent depth markings, as well as pool regulations and instructions that are posted in a conspicuous manner.

            

Fencing

Fencing rules for Jefferson County are similar to those of Baldwin County and can be found in section 8.13 of the above link.

Local Regulations: Mobile County

Signage

Mobile county has rules around both fencing and signage. Signage requirements include posting pool rules and instructions in a conspicuous manner. Pools must also post a warning sign when no lifeguard is on duty that reads “Warning – No Lifeguard On Duty” and “Children must not use the pool without an adult in attendance” (printed legibly in at least 4 inch letters).

       No Lifeguard Sign - Mobile County, Alabama

Note: Make sure that your signs use the wording and text height required by Mobile County law.  If you need help, use our free design services to create a sign that meets your needs.

Fencing

Mobile County mandates that all outdoor pools be protected by a fence, wall or building that is at least 4 feet tall, has an opening at the bottom that is no greater than 2 inches high, and has lockable gates or doors with self-closing and positive self-latching closure mechanisms at least 45 inches off the grounds.

Presumably, other nearby counties and cities have similar fencing and posted signage requirements. Alabama pool owners and operators should carefully search for county or city-specific laws and building codes and contact local municipal offices to verify these standards. In several Alabama counties, public-use pools are inspected to ensure safety and cleanliness. These inspections can include an inspection of posted signage. Failed inspections can result in pools being closed.

Alaska

Signage 

Alaska has at least some state-level codes for pool signage which are found in Alaska’s Administrative Code (18 AAC 30.546). This section states that pool rules signage must be posted in a visible manner in both the dressing rooms and pool area and provide the following notices:

  • “Bathers must shower with warm water and soap and rinse off all soap before entering the pool.
  • Any person known or suspected to have  a communicable disease, skin lesions, sore or inflamed eyes, or mouth, nose, or ear discharges may not use the pool.
  • No urinating, spitting, blowing the nose, or depositing any foreign matter in the pool.
  • Tobacco, food, and drink are prohibited on the pool deck or in the pool.
  • Only persons dressed for swimming are allowed on the pool deck and in the pool.”

From what we can tell, these are the only state-level requirements for public-use pool signage. We are not aware of any specific signage laws for residential pool owners, but advise that you confirm these requirements with state offices. There appear to be more state requirements for public-use pools built by educational institutions (but nothing on signage). Cities and counties may also local requirements for pool signs, though many cities simply adopt state requirements. For example, the city of Anchorage has the exact same requirements found in the Anchorage Code of Ordinances under AO 16.15-170 Hygiene requirements. Still, we  recommend that pool operators examine pool laws at state, county and city levels to make sure additional signage is not needed.

       

 

Note: If you don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

After consulting Alaska state pool regulations as well as the Alaska amendments to the 2009 International Building Code, we are unable to find any statewide fencing requirements for either public or private pools. Pool owners and operators should make sure that their pool safety precautions satisfy city, county, and state laws.

Arizona

Signage

Under Arizona State law, the following signs are needed for public or semi-public pools:

  • Diving signs for pools that have areas that are less than 5 feet deep or do not meet the dimensional requirements in R18-5-222 of the Arizona Administrative Code. The diving signs should be prominently displayed and must state “NO DIVING” in letters that are 4 inches or larger or display the international symbol for no diving. (See R18-5-222 for additional pool marker requirements.)
  • Rules signs (R9-8-806) posted within 50 feet of the pool, that direct pool users to:
    1. Use the toilet before entering the pool
    2. Take a shower before entering the pool
    3. Not enter the pool with a cold, skin or other body infection, open wound, diarrhea, or any other contagious condition
    4. Wear tight fitting rubber or plastic pants or a swim diaper if incontinent
    5. Observe all safety regulations
  • Chlorine signs (R18-5-234) placed on the outside of the chlorine room door warning against the danger of chlorine gas using letters 3 inches or larger.

Arizona law specifies that state laws are minimum requirements that can be superseded by local regulations. Consequently, pool operators should check relevant state, county, and municipal laws to ensure that pool signage conforms to current legal requirements. We also note that while Arizona law does not appear to require residential pools to post signs, pool owners should consult state and local regulations to verify compliance.

             Arizona Private Community Pool Hours Sign

 

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The pool fencing rules below apply to residential pools only. According to Arizona Office of Environmental Health and A.R.S. § 36-1681 in the Arizona State Code, residential pool fencing must conform to the following rules:

At any residence where one or more children below the age of six reside, a swimming pool must be protected by a wall, fence, or barrier surrounding the pool area.

If the enclosure does not include the adjacent residence, it  must:

  • Entirely enclose the pool area
  • Be at least 5 feet high
  • Have no openings (besides doors or gates) larger than 4 inches in diameter
  • Have no openings, handholds, or footholds that can be used to climb the enclosure from the exterior
  • Be at least 20 inches removed from the water’s edge.

If the enclosure does include the adjacent residence, it must:

  • Be at least 4 feet high.
  • Have no openings larger than 4 inches in diameter.
  • Have a gate that opens outward from the pool and is self-closing and self-latching.
  • Have no openings, handholds, or footholds that can be used to climb the enclosure from the exterior.
  • Be at least 20 inches removed from the water’s edge.
  • Have a motorized safety pool cover that requires a key switch and meets American Society of Testing and Materials standards.

Additionally, if the residence is located within the pool enclosure, each door or window with direct access to the pool area must have:

  1. A self-latching device at least 54 inches above the floor
  2. A wire mesh screen or keyed lock that prevents the window from opening more than 4 inches.

Pool gates must open outward from the pool and be self-closing and latching. If the latch requires a key, combination, or digital combination, it can be located at any height. If not, the latch must be 54 inches above the ground and five inches from the top of the gate, be located on the pool side of the gate, and not have any opening greater than ½ inch within two feet of the latch.

While the rules above do not seem to apply to public pools, operators should verify fencing requirements by examining regulations at municipal, county, and state levels. This is especially true because cities and counties often have more pool signage and fencing regulations that are more detailed than those at the state level. Additional pool signage and fencing requirements for Arizona’s most populous county, Maricopa County, are listed below.

Local Regulations: Maricopa County

Signage

Signage for public and semi-public pools in Maricopa County must contain all of the following notices (requirements specific to Maricopa County are italicized):

  1. Persons with sore or inflamed eyes, colds, nasal or ear discharges, boils or other acute or obvious skin or body infections, or cuts may not use the pool.
  2. No glassware allowed within the pool enclosures.
  3. No animals allowed except for service animals.
  4. No drinks, candy, tobacco, popcorn, gum, alcohol, or food of any kind shall be permitted in the pool or within the required walkways of the pool
  5. Keep gate(s) closed – do not prop open.
  6. Shower and use the toilet before entering the pool.
  7. Wear tight fitting rubber or plastic pants or a swim diaper if incontinent.
  8. Observe all safety regulations.

Similar to the state of Arizona, Maricopa County does not seem to have rules that require residential pools to display signs, but pool owners should verify that they are adequately following city, county, and state rules governing pool signage.

         

Fencing

Fencing for public and semi-public pools in Maricopa County must:

  • Be constructed with materials that prevent foot or handholds and cannot be penetrated by children or animals.
  • Be at least 6 feet high.
  • Not have openings larger than 4 inches in diameter.
  • Have any horizontal components spaced at least 45 inches apart on the interior of the fence.

For wire fences:

  • The maximum mesh size is 1.25 by 1.25 inches and the maximum opening area size is 1.56 square inches.
  • The maximum opening formed by the composed diagonal members shall be no more than 1.75 inches.

Fencing standards for residential pools in Maricopa County are highly similar to state-level requirements, though the County rules are somewhat more restrictive. In addition to the state regulations, the County requires that the bottom of pool enclosures be no greater than 2 inches from grade (4 inches if the ground is cement or another solid surface) and that horizontal members be spaced at least 54 inches apart. County regulations also state that there may be no barrier openings larger than 1.75 inches, or 4 inches if the horizontal members are more than 54 inches apart.

While the paragraphs above provide a good overview of Arizona pool signage and fencing regulations, pool owners should carefully check applicable city, county, and state regulations to ensure compliance.

Arkansas

Signage

Arkansas pool signage rules and regulations are published by the State Board of Health under the authority of Ark. Code Ann. § 20-30-103 and appear to apply primarily to public pools.

For any pool with areas that are less than 5 ½ feet deep, the sign must read “NO DIVING” in 3 inch lettering. Where lifeguard service is not provided, the sign must state “Warning – No Lifeguard On Duty” in clearly legible letters at least 3 inches high. The sign must also state that children should not use the pool without an adult in attendance.

For pools that also have spas, the Board of Health publishes a list of recommended precautions to be published on pool signage. The Board also stipulates that pools with water slides must post the following warnings:

  1. Always slide feet first and only after previous slider has cleared the area
  2. No jumping or diving from slide
  3. Only one person at a time allowed on the slide
  4. No play equipment on slide

Finally, Arkansas also requires that pool signage display the pool-specific maximum bather load as well as a warning that oils, body lotions, minerals, and other chemicals not used for water disinfection are prohibited.

      

 

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

In Arkansas, public-use pool enclosures should prevent unauthorized entry by means of self-closing, self-latching and lockable gates. The fencing should surround all four sides of the pool but not prevent visual observation of the pool. For new outdoor pools, an adjacent building may serve as one (and only one) side of the pool enclosure.

Outdoor public pool fencing must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 4 feet high
  • Not have open horizontal spaces larger than 4 inches
  • Not have more than 4 inches of space between the bottom of the barrier and the ground.

Indoor public-use pool areas must be secured by self-closing doors or fencing that meets the outdoor pool requirements above and should be secured by some type of access restriction such as key or card.  If the pool has a water slide, the area  that includes the slide, pool, pool deck, and  walkway to the slide should be fenced to restrict access when the slide is not being used. Our research suggests that residential pools in Arkansas are not subject to these or other fencing requirements.

Local Regulations: Benton County

As in other states, pool regulations in Arkansas vary significantly within the state. For example, local requirements in Benton County, Arkansas’ second most populous county, state that public pool fencing must be at least 6 feet high, located 5 or more feet away from water’s edge and have gates with locks that are at least 4 feet above the ground. For private pools, fencing must be at least 5 feet high, located 5 or more feet away from the edge of the pool, and have a latch that can only be opened from the interior side of the fence. These requirements are more stringent than those at the state level. Because cities and counties often adopt localized rules, pool owners should verify that any signage and fencing complies with all local requirements.

California

Signage

California recently updated its pool signage regulations in the California Building Code (Title 24). According to the current version of the code, public pool signs must be attached to a permanent structure, be visible to all pool users, and use text that is at least 4 inches high (unless otherwise specified). Signs must display the following notices:

  • NO DIVING” (for pools with maximum depth of 6 feet or less).
  • NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” (if no lifeguard service is provided), along with the words “Children under the age of 14 shall not use pool without a parent or adult guardian in attendance.”
  • NO USE OF POOL ALLOWED AFTER DARK” (if pool does not have lighting).
  • Notice that persons who have had active diarrhea within the last 2 weeks are not allowed to enter the pool (text must be at least 1 inch high).
  • Maximum user capacity (specific to each pool).
  • A sign on the outside of pool gates that states  “KEEP CLOSED.”
  • Emergency information including “911,” the phone number of the nearest emergency services, and the name and street address of the pool facility.
  • An illustrated diagram of artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures (diagram text must be at least ¼ inch high).

Currently, California does not require private pools to display pool signs. We recommend, however, that residential pool owners verify this information with city, state, and county authorities. For additional notices required of public pools with spas, wave pools, spraygrounds, and automatic chlorine chemical feeders, see section 3120B of the California State Building Code.

  

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Under the California Health and Safety Code (Section 115923), fencing for residential pools must:

  • Be at least 5 feet tall
  • Not have space greater than 2 inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence
  • Not have gaps larger than 4 inches in diameter in the fencing material
  • An outside surface free from potential handholds or footholds that could enable a child below the age of five years to climb over.
  • Gates (if any) must open away from the swimming pool, be self-closing and self-latching with the latch no lower than five feet from the ground.

According to Section 3119B.1 of the California Building Code, enclosures for public pools must be:

  • At least 5 feet tall
  • Constructed over a hard, permanent surface equivalent to concrete
  • Designed so that small children cannot climb the wall (horizontal elements must be spaced at least 4 feet apart).
  • Void of planters or other design features that could enable climbing
  • Surrounded by a 5-foot common area (open to the public)

Local Regulations: Los Angeles County

Pretty much everyone knows that Los Angeles County is home to a ridiculous number of pools. If conventional wisdom isn’t enough for you, check out this tour of all 43,123 pools in LA. Given this proliferation of pools in Southern California, cities and counties tend to adopt their own regulations. We include a brief description of regulations in Los Angeles County to provide a flavor of county-level pool rules in California, but pool operators should examine relevant laws for all levels of government that have jurisdiction over the area where they reside.

Signage

Signage requirements for public pools in Los Angeles County are nearly identical to those at the state level. L.A. County does not seem to have any signage requirements for residential pools.

Fencing

Los Angeles County code states that public pools must have fences that are at least 5 feet high with a maximum clearance of 2 inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence (or 4 inches if the ground is a solid surface such as concrete). Any openings in the barrier must be smaller than 1.75 inches diameter. Most other county pool regulations are identical to state rules; pool owners should consult Section 11.32 of the Los Angeles County code and other relevant municipal, county, and state laws to ensure that enclosures and signage are in compliance with applicable statutes.

For residential pools, Los Angeles County regulations are outlined in the County Building Code Manual and are highly similar to state regulations. The county code goes into more detail about the types of building materials that may be used. For example, it specifies the required depths for fence posts composed of wood (at least 18 inches), galvanized pipe (at least 12 inches), and cement respectively (at least 12 inches). Additionally, the county-level regulations prohibit the use of double doors, overhead garage doors, driveway gates, and gates wider than 4 feet as part of the pool fence.

Colorado

Signage

In Colorado, state-level pool regulations are overseen by the Colorado Board of Health and appear to apply only to public pools.These regulations state that operators must post the pool’s maximum bather load. The rules also require that chlorine room doors have a sign that warns pool users against the dangers of chlorine gas by displaying the following symbol:

Colorado Pool Sign -  Chlorine Warning
click to customize

To our knowledge, Colorado has no other specific pool signage requirements for public pools, nor does it require private pools to post signs. Since rules vary from county-to-county, however, pool operators should check all city, county, and state regulations to ensure compliance.

Colorado Pool Sign - Maximum Bather Load   Colorado Pool Sign - Pool Hours   Colorado Pool Sign - Pool Rules

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The Colorado Board of Health has issued the following rules concerning fencing for public pools (see section 3.24):

“Every swimming pool in a non-restricted public place shall be fenced to prevent unauthorized access to the pool except through controlled entrances. A building or structure can serve as a fence or barrier. Fencing shall be a minimum of sixty inches (60″) high, and shall have self-closing, self-latching gates, with the latch a minimum of fifty four (54) inches high. Wrought iron fence picket spacing shall not be greater than four (4) inches. Entrances shall be handicapped accessible.”

As far as we can tell, these pool enclosure rules do not apply to residential pools. Because regulations vary by city and county and tend to change over time, however, we recommend that pool owners verify the accuracy of this information. On that note, Colorado state law stipulates that local laws take precedence over state laws when local laws are more stringent. Accordingly, we now review the pool regulations in Denver County to provide a glimpse of county-specific regulations in Colorado.

Local Regulations: Denver County

Signage

In addition to the minimum requirements put forward by the state of Colorado, Denver County pool regulations require that public pools within the county post signs with the following information:

  • Safety regulations for the pool area, including:
    • The location and instructions for the emergency telephone
    • Normal pool hours and a statement that the pool cannot be used at any time outside these hours
    • Spitting, spouting of water, or blowing the nose in the pool is prohibited
    • Rough play is prohibited
    • Bottles, crockery, glassware, or other hazardous objects are prohibited
    • Smoking is prohibited
  • WARNING: NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” (if the pool is not required to have a lifeguard).

 

Fencing

When it comes to fencing, Denver County pool rules and regulations (see Article III, section E in the link above) require that all pools, both public and private, be enclosed by barriers that:

  • Are at least 5 feet tall and don’t have any openings larger than 4 inches wide.
  • Isolate the area for swimmers while still observing minimum deck space requirements.
  • Allow the pool to be seen through the barrier.
  • Have self-closing and self-latching gates or doors that open away from the pool, have a latch that is 54 inches above the ground, and are handicap accessible.

Once again, we strongly recommend that public and private pool owners consult Colorado state, city, and county laws governing pool use in making decisions about pool signage and fencing.

Connecticut

Signage

In Connecticut, the State Board of Health publishes  state-level rules and regulations governing pool use in section 19-13-B33b of the Public Health Code. These regulations require that public pools prominently display the following signage in the pool area and public dressing rooms:

  1. Pool Rules
    • “All persons shall bathe with warm water and soap before entering the pool.”
    • Any persons known or suspected of having a communicable disease shall not use the pool.”
    • “Spitting or blowing the nose in the pool is prohibited.”
    • “Running, boisterous or rough play (except supervised water sports) is prohibited.”
  2. Warning – No Lifeguard on Duty” in 4 inch letters. This warning should be visible from all pool area entrances for pools without a lifeguard.
  3. Emergency information (posted at the pool area entrance) including:
    • Directions to the nearest telephone, first aid unit, and resuscitation equipment
    • Phone numbers (in ¼ inch letters) of the nearest police and fire departments, emergency medical service, hospital, and on-call physicians in the immediate area. (These phone numbers must also be displayed at the nearest telephone.)
  4. No diving is permitted off the deck into shallow areas of the pool.”

At present, it appears that Connecticut does not have specific standards for residential pool signs. However, pool owners should check state, county, and city statutes to be sure they are in compliance with all signage requirements.

    

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

State-level fencing rules in Connecticut are outlined in Section 31 of the Connecticut State Building Code and apply to both public and residential pools. According to the building code, pool fencing must be at least 4 feet high and have a maximum gap of 2 inches between the bottom of the barrier and the ground (for exceptions, see the building code in the link above). Solid barriers without openings should not have indentations or protrusions. For barriers with openings, if the space between horizontal members is less than 45 inches the horizontal members must be on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical or diagonal members cannot be greater than 1.75 inches in width and the maximum chain link mesh size is a 2.25 inch square. Openings in residential pool barriers must be smaller than 4 inches in diameter, while openings in public pool barriers must be smaller than 2 inches in diameter.

Local Regulations

Most Connecticut counties and cities appear to defer to the state regulations for pool signage and fencing. That said, pool owners and operators should carefully check municipal, county, and state laws to be certain that they comply with all applicable legal requirements.

Delaware

Signage

Section 4464 of the Delaware Administrative Code requires that any public pool with a maximum depth of 4 feet or deeper that does not have a lifeguard must conspicuously post a sign that states “WARNING: NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” in 4 inch letters at all pool entrances and at least one other location within the pool area. The pool must also display the words “CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF SIXTEEN (16) SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT OR GUARDIAN” in 1 inch lettering.

Although the state of Delaware does not appear to have sign requirements for private pools, individuals should consult the city, county, and state regulations pertaining to their location to be sure that they observe all signage laws.

 Delaware Pool Hours Sign    Delaware Black Pool Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

With regard to public pool fencing requirements, Delaware state law (see the link above) requires that

“All entrances to indoor pools shall be equipped with locks and each entrance shall be locked when the pool is closed. All outdoor pools shall be enclosed by a fence which provides a barrier that is at least four (4) feet high everywhere . . . measured from ground level outside the fence. All pool fences shall be equipped with a locking gate which shall be locked when the pool is closed.”

Currently, Delaware does not seem to have any statewide laws regulating residential pool fencing. Because cities and counties often adopt pool fencing laws and state statutes are subject to change, however, we recommend that pool owners carefully examine local and state laws governing pool fencing.

Florida

Signage

The state of Florida publishes requirements for pool signs in Section 64E-9.008 of the Florida Administrative Code. These rules seem to apply solely to public pools, but we recommend that private pool owners verify this information with appropriate authorities. According to state regulations, pools must post the following signs so that the notices can be read from the pool deck:

  • A sign with the following pool rules and regulations (printed in at least 1 inch letters):
    • No food or beverages in pool or on pool deck
    • No glass or animals in the pool area
    • Bathing load: ___ persons
    • Pool hours: __ a.m. to __ p.m.
    • Shower before entering
    • Do not swallow the pool water, it is recirculated
    • Do not use pool if you are ill with diarrhea
    • “NO DIVING”  in 4 inch letters (for pools larger than 200 square feet).
  • A sign with site-specific safety guidelines. These guidelines depend on the hazards unique to each pool. If any of these dangers exist, pool user must be appropriately notified.
    • NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY
    • Danger: Steep slope
    • Designated diving areas
    • Deep water
    • Underwater obstruction
    • Dangerous wildlife
  • Restroom Directions. If restrooms are not visible from the pool deck, directions must be posted in at least 1 inch letters and positioned so that they can be read from any point on pool deck.

Pools that are longer than 300 feet may also be required to obtain additional signage after consulting with the Florida Department of Health. We reiterate that pool owners should corroborate the accuracy of these guidelines by checking relevant state, county, and local statutes.

   

   Florida Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to Chapter 64E-9 of the Florida Administrative Code, public-use pools in Florida must be surrounded by a continuous fence that meets the following specifications:

  • The fence must be at least 4 feet high
  • Any gates must open away from the pool and be self-closing, self-latching, lockable, and at least 4 feet tall.
  • Gate latches must be located on the pool side of the gate, at least 54 inches above the bottom and 3 inches below the top of the gate.
  • If the gate is self-locking and uses an electronic, key, or combination lock, the device used to open the lock must be between 34 and 48 inches above  grade.
  • The fence must have at least one gate within 10 feet of the closest point between the pool and the equipment area for service access.
  • For screened pool enclosures, the bottom 3 feet must be hardened.

Some exceptions for natural or other man-made barriers may apply, but these must be approved by the Florida Department of Health.

In an attempt to reduce the number of child drownings related to private pools, the Florida State Legislature passed the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act in 2009. According to the law, residential pool barriers must:

  • Be at least 4 feet high on the outside.
  • Not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or other components that could allow a young child to penetrate the barrier.
  • Be situated around the perimeter of the pool and be separate from any enclosure used to surround the yard (unless the yard enclosure meets the pool barrier requirements described here).
  • Be located far enough away from the water’s edge (at least 20 inches) so that if a young child or elderly person penetrates the barrier they do not immediately fall into the water.
  • Not be located so that a permanent structure may be used to climb the barrier.
  • Use gates (if any) that open away from the pool, are self-closing, and have a self-latching lock whose release mechanism is located on the pool side of the gate and cannot be reached by a young child through an opening in the fence.

Section 424.2 of the Florida Building Code helps to quantify the broad rules in this statute, requiring that private pool fencing not have any gaps that are 4 inches or larger in diameter. The Building Code also designates that any horizontal members must either be spaced at least 45 inches apart or be located on the interior of the fence, while gaps between vertical or diagonal members must be 1.75 inches or smaller. The Code further clarifies that gate latches must be 54 inches from the ground and that there may be no gaps larger than .5 inches within 18 inches of the latch.

Both the Building Code and the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act discuss additional requirements for pool enclosures for which a dwelling or building forms part of the barrier. Pool owners should verify that the characteristics of the buildings that form part of pool enclosures conform to the guidelines in these regulations.

Local Regulations: Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties

Because of the recent changes to Florida’s state swimming pool regulations, most county-level pool regulations mimic those of the state. Miami-Dade County’s municipal code requirements for pool fencing, for example, are identical to the state-level requirements. Regulations for Palm Beach County, too, are highly similar to state rules. Because cities and counties often adopt more restrictive pool signage and fencing requirements, however, we recommend that both public and private pool owners consult city, county, and state regulations to verify that their pools satisfy applicable legal guidelines.

Georgia

Signage

With regard to pool signs, the Georgia Department of Public Health rules and regulations require public pools to post signs that contain the notices described below. As far as we can tell, state regulations do not require private pools to display signage, but pool owners should research state, county, and city ordinances to be sure that this is the case.

For public pools, Georgia state law requires:

  • A “No Diving” sign that is permanently visible at the edge of the deck for areas of the pool with water that is less than 5 feet deep.
  • A sign stating “WARNING – NO LIFE GUARD ON DUTY” in letters 4 inches high if a lifeguard is not on duty. This sign should be placed in clear view at or near the pool entrance.
  • A safety rules sign which lists the following rules in letters that are 2 inches high:
    • Unattended solo bathing is prohibited.
    • Children shall not use pool without an adult in attendance.
    • Children 3 years old and younger as well as any child not potty trained must wear snug fitting plastic pants or a water resistant swim diaper.
    • No glass articles allowed in or around pool
    • No food, drink or wrappers permitted within 10 feet of the swimming pool or spa
    • No running or rough play allowed
    • No spitting, spouting of water or blowing nose in pool
    • No “cut-offs” allowed
    • Only one bather at a time allowed on diving board
    • Diving area must be clear of other patrons before diving is permitted
    • No swimming allowed during heavy rain or when thunder and lightning can be seen or heard

For pools with water slides, the state of Georgia requires that a sign be posted at the entrance to the pool area that prohibits the following activities:

  • Running, standing, kneeling, rotating, tumbling or stopping in any slide or tunnel
  • Horseplay
  • Diving or flipping while exiting from a slide
  • Use of the slide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Use of the slide by more than one person at a time
  • Failure to obey the instructions of the pool attendant or lifeguard
  • Failure to keep hands inside the flume while using the slide
  • Failure to leave the falling-entry pool promptly after exiting from the slide
  • The possession of any glass, bottle or food in or near any pool
  • Entry into an area of grass or other vegetation
  • The possession of any toy or can
  • The use of any clothing on the slide other than the usual swimwear
  • Wearing any bracelet, watch or other jewelry
  • Failure to shower before using the slide

          

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to the Georgia Department of Health Regulations (see the above link), all public outdoor swimming pools must have a barrier, subject to the following requirements:

  • The enclosure must be at least 4 feet tall, with no more than 4 inches of clearance between the bottom of the barrier and the ground.
  • Any openings in the fencing must be smaller than 4 inches in diameter
  • Solid barriers must not contain indentations or protrusions (except normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • Horizontal members (if any) must either be spaced at least 45 inches apart or be located on the pool side of the fence
  • Gaps between vertical members must be 1.25 inches in width or smaller (or 4 inches if the distance between the top of the horizontal members is larger than 45 inches).
  • The maximum size for diagonal members or chain link mesh is 1.25 square inches.
  • All gates must be self-closing and self-latching with a latch that is either at least 54 inches above the bottom of the gate or located 3 inches below the top of the gate’s pool side, with no openings larger than .5 inches within 18 inches of the latch release.
  • There must not be direct access to the pool enclosure from any dwelling.
  • Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers.
  • Above-ground pools must have ladders or steps that can be secured to prevent access; or are surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements described above.

At the present time, fencing for private pools is governed by Appendix G of the 2012 International Residential Code, which we describe here. Effective January 2014, the state of Georgia amends the base requirements of the international codes in the following manner:

“Delete Item 6 of Section AG105.2 ‘Outdoor swimming pool’ and replace with the following:

The maximum opening formed by a chain link fence shall be not more than 1.75 inches (44 mm). Where the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top and bottom which reduces the openings, such opening shall be not more than 1.75 inches (44 mm).”

See the Department of Community Affairs for more information on Georgia building codes.

Because pool regulations in Georgia are subject to change and often vary significantly by locality, pool owners should carefully research state, city, and county regulations in order to be sure that they comply with relevant legal requirements. In that vein, we provide a description of signage and fencing specifications  in Fulton County in order to provide an idea of how county regulations differ from those at the state level. Other counties in Georgia also have unique pool regulations; the Georgia Department of Public Health provides a map delineating the counties that have adopted their own swimming pool standards.

Local Regulations: Fulton County

Signage

In addition to the signs required under Georgia state law, Fulton County Ordinances governing pools state that public pools must post the following signage:

  • A chlorine warning sign with the words “DANGER – CHLORINE” posted on the outside of the chlorine room door, in letters that are 4 inches or larger. This sign should also contain the phone numbers of the chlorine supplier and local fire department (or 911).
  • A sign stating “Only one user allowed on diving board, platform or ladder at any time” to be placed at the base of the diving board.
  • A sign that states the location of the first aid kit in minimum 1 inch letters.
  • A safety rules and regulations sign (in 1 inch letters) that is prominently posted in the pool area and contains the following notices:
    • No glass, sharp objects or hazardous materials in the pool area
    • No animals (other than service animals) allowed
    • Shower and rinse thoroughly before entering the pool
    • No food or drink within 5 feet of the pool
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Bathers with open wounds, skin conditions, or any communicable condition are not allowed
    • No solo bathing
    • Bathers must wear bathing attire
    • No spitting, spouting or blowing the nose in the pool
    • No running or rough play allowed
    • Maximum bather load: ___________
    • Hours of operation: _______ A.M. to _______ P.M.

Based on county rules, it appears that residential pools that serve 2 households or less are not required to display pool signage. Pool operators should verify this information with authorities at all relevant levels of government.

Pool Rules Sign - Fulton County, Georgia  Light Blue Pool Rules Sign  Chlorine Gas Danger Sign   Pool Hours Sign - Fulton County, Georgia

(Note: Make sure to add the numbers of the fire department and chlorine supplier to the chlorine danger sign. Click on the template to customize the sign).  

Fencing

According to Fulton County ordinances (see the link in the paragraph above), all public pools must be completely enclosed by an effective barrier that controls bather entry and prevents access of unauthorized patrons, unsupervised children, or animals to the pool area. In addition to state requirements, public pool fencing within the county must satisfy the following standards:

  • The enclosure must be at least 5 feet tall
  • There may be no climbable objects within 3 feet of the outside of  the barrier
  • Any horizontal elements must be separated by at least 48 inches of unclimbable space and be void of projections or recessions that might allow a foot or handhold.
  • Any openings must be smaller than 4 inches in diameter, including the space between grade and the bottom of the enclosure
  • Decorative elements are not allowed.
  • The maximum mesh size for chain link fences is 1.25 inches.
  • Entry gates should be self-closing, self-latching, and located at the shallowest end of the pool, with the latch placed at least above the ground below the gate.
  • When the pool is closed, all entry points must be closed and secured.

The county does not appear to have fencing requirements for residential pools (beyond those of the state of Georgia),  but private owners should consult municipal, county, and state ordinances to be sure that they observe applicable legal rules.

Hawaii

Signage

Under  §11-10-22 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules, public-use swimming pools must post the following notices either in the pool area or the dressing rooms:

  • All persons must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
  • Bathers who leave the pool to use the toilet must take another cleansing shower before returning to the pool.
  • Any person with an infectious or communicable disease may not use the pool.
  • Persons with open blisters and cuts are advised not to use the pool because these wounds are likely to become infected.
  • No spitting, spouting of water, and blowing the nose allowed in the pool.
  • Infants and toddlers must use swim diapers.
  • Pets are not allowed in the pool.
  • The pool will be immediately closed for cleaning in the event of a fecal or vomitus discharge. All bathers will be ordered to leave the pool until these substances are removed.

         Pool Hours Sign - Hawaii

Note: If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to section 3109.3 of the Hawaii state building code, public pools must be completely enclosed by a barrier that:

  • Is at least 4 feet tall.
  • Does not have any openings that are 4 inches or larger in diameter.
  • Uses gates that are self-closing and self-latching.

While there do not, at this time, appear to exist any state regulations mandating barriers for residential pools, pool owners should verify city, county, and state enclosure requirements.

Idaho

Signage

Section 16.02.14 of the Idaho State Administrative Rules stipulates that the following rules apply to signage at all public swimming pools:

  1. If a lifeguard is not required, a sign must display the following information in plain view and 4 inch letters:
    • “WARNING NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY”
    • “CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OLD SHALL NOT USE THE FACILITY WITHOUT AN ADULT IN ATTENDANCE”
    • “DO NOT SWIM ALONE.”
  2. Pools that have areas less than 8.5 feet deep must conspicuously post “NO DIVING” in 6 inch letters in those areas.
  3. All public pools must post the following safety and sanitation requirements:
    • All swimmers must take a cleansing shower before swimming.
    • Persons with an infectious or communicable disease that can be transmitted by water may not use the pool.
    • No running or rough play.
    • Contamination of water, walkways, or dressing room floors in any way is prohibited.
    • Glass containers are not allowed in the pool area.

The Idaho Administrative Rules state that these signage requirements do not apply to private pools at this time, but pool owners are responsible to make sure that their pools satisfy city, county, and state regulations.

Idaho Pool Rules Sign    Idaho No Diving Sign    Pool Rules Sign - Idaho

Note: Before ordering a “No Diving Sign,” make sure that the letters are at least 6 inches high. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to the Idaho Administrative Rules (see the link in the paragraph above), public pools with a surface area less than 1,800 square feet must have a barrier that is at least 4 feet high. For pools with a surface area larger than 1,800 square feet, a fence that is at least 8 feet high is required. With regard to residential pool fencing, Idaho’s adoption of the 2012 International Building Code likely subjects private pools to the standards set forth in section 3109 of that code, which we explain here.

Local Regulations

Local regulations for pools in Idaho are largely similar to state requirements. For example, Boise City pool regulations are nearly identical to those of the state. Ada and Caldwell Counties, the two largest in Idaho, do not appear to adopt county-specific statutes governing pool fencing and signage. Even so, pool owners are responsible verify the accuracy of this information by checking municipal, county, and state laws related to pools.

Illinois

Signage

In Illinois, statewide pool regulations are outlined in the Section 820 of the Illinois Administrative Code. These state regulations state that all public pools are required to post the following signs:

  • A sign enumerating the maximum bather load.
  • A “No Lifeguard” sign that also states that children under the age of 16 may not swim without adult supervision .
  • A sign with pool rules and regulations to be posted at the entrances to the facility and the dressing rooms. These rules and regulations (quoted directly from the Illinois Department of Public Health) include:
    • “Admission to the pool shall be refused to all persons having any contagious disease; any infectious conditions such as colds, fever, ringworm, foot infections, skin lesions, carbuncles, boils, diarrhea, vomiting, inflamed eyes, ear discharges; or any other condition that has the appearance of being infectious. Persons with excessive sunburn, abrasions that have not healed, corn plasters, bunion pads, adhesive tape, rubber bandages or other bandages of any kind also shall be refused admittance. A person under the influence of alcohol or exhibiting erratic behavior shall not be permitted in the pool area.
    • The pool water is not suitable for drinking. Avoid swallowing pool water.
    • Littering is prohibited. In addition, no food, drink, gum or tobacco is allowed in other than specially designated and controlled sections of the pool area. Glass containers are prohibited.
    • All persons are encouraged to take a shower before entering the pool area.
    • Personal conduct within the pool facility must be such that the safety of self and others is not jeopardized. No running or boisterous or rough play, except supervised water sports, is permitted.
    • Only clean footwear, baby strollers or wheelchairs are allowed in the pool area or bathhouse.
    • Spitting, spouting of water, blowing the nose or otherwise introducing contaminants into the pool is not permitted.
    • Glass, soap or other material that might create hazardous conditions or interfere with efficient operation of the swimming pool shall not be permitted in the swimming pool or on the pool deck.
    • All apparel worn in the pool shall be clean.
    • All children who are not toilet-trained shall wear tight fitting rubber or plastic pants.
    • Diving in water less than 5 feet deep is not permitted except when allowed for competitive swimming and training.
    • Caution shall be exercised in the use of diving facilities.
    • Swimming is prohibited at outdoor swimming pools when lightning is present, including a 15-minute period after the last lightning is observed.
    • If present, lifeguards are responsible for enforcing safety rules and responding to emergencies. Parents or guardians should supervise their children.
    • No one should swim alone.
    • The pool management has the authority to implement and enforce rules that are more stringent or that supplement those listed here.”

Although these sign regulations likely do not apply to residential pools, owners should consult relevant city, county, and state pool statutes to verify compliance.

    

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to section 820.200 of the Illinois Administrative Code, all public-use pool areas must be  completely enclosed by a protective enclosure that meets the following specifications:

  • Is at least 4 feet high and does not allow footing for climbing.
  • Does not have a vertical clearance beneath the bottom of the barrier greater than 4 inches.
  • Has no openings in the fencing larger than 4 inches in width and height.
  • Any entrances to the pool area have lockable, self-closing and self-latching doors or gates (unless a preparation facility serves as the entrance and there are lifeguards in the pool area).

Under the Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act (passed by the 90th General Assembly), residential pools must be entirely surrounded by a barrier that is at least 3.5 feet high. This rule does not apply to hot tubs or above-ground pools that are 3.5 feet or taller.  Pool owners should check local pool fencing guidelines to ensure that their pools satisfy legal requirements.

Local Regulations: Cook County

Since pool regulations vary significantly by county and municipality, we’ve provided an example of how standards  in Cook County, Illinois’ most populous county, differ from those at the state level.

Signage

As far as we can tell, Cook County’s requirements for pool signage are not notably different from those of the state. We urge pool owners and operators to verify the accuracy of this information with appropriate authorities.

Fencing

When it comes to pool enclosures, Cook County barrier requirements are more stringent than state-level rules. The Cook County Building and Zoning Department regulations for pools stipulate the following for in-ground pools:

“Pools must be enclosed on all four sides with minimum four foot high non-climbable fence. All gates in the fence must be self-closing and self-latching with latch at least four feet above grade.”

The same regulations apply for above-ground pools, with the additional requirement that any ladders or steps be at least 3 inches wide and be equipped with handrails.  These local regulations apply on top of the state fencing specifications, with the more stringent standards taking precedence in the event of overlap.

Indiana

Signage

As per the state of Indiana’s Swimming Pool Rule 410 IAC 6-2.1, public pools must post the following warning signs in at least 4 inch lettering:

  • DANGER–HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS” (posted on or next to the entrance to the pool chemical feed and chemical storage rooms).
  • Warning–No Lifeguard on Duty” (displayed inside and at the entrances of the pool area if no lifeguard is provided).
  • “No Swimming Alone. Children Under 14 Years of Age and Non-swimmers Shall Not Use the Pool Unless Accompanied by a Responsible Adult” (in 2 inch lettering).
  • POOL CLOSED” (to be displayed when the pool is not open for use).
  • No Diving” (posted near non-diving pool areas or where the water is 5 feet deep or less).
  • User sanitation and safety rules (posted within the pool enclosure in minimum 1 inch lettering), including:
    • Anyone who has or has had diarrhea in the past 2 weeks may not use the pool.
    • Anyone who has an area of exposed subepidermal tissue, open blisters, cuts, etc., is advised not to use the pool.
    • All persons shall take a cleansing shower before using the pool. A bather leaving the pool to use the toilet shall take another cleansing shower before returning to the pool enclosure.
    • Spitting, spouting of water, blowing the nose, and similar behavior in the pool is prohibited.
    • No running or rough play is permitted in the pool, runways, diving boards, floats, platforms, dressing rooms, or showers.
    • Street clothes are not allowed in the pool.
    • All diaper aged children must use plastic pants with tight fitting elastic at the legs and waist or swim diapers.
    • Do not change diapers at poolside.
    • The maximum bather load (posted within the pool enclosure in 1 inch letters).

Pools with water slides must display additional water slide rules, including:

  • Only 1 rider at a time. Wait until the landing area is clear before entering the slide.
  • Slide in a sitting position or on the back only.
  • Do not attempt to stop on the slide.
  • Leave the plunge area immediately.
  • Warning: Water depth is ____ feet.
  • Follow the instructions of the attendant and/or lifeguard.
  • No running, standing, kneeling, rotating, tumbling, or stopping in the flumes.
  • No diving from a flume.
  • Leave the plunge pool promptly after entering.

(Note: many of these rules and regulations are quoted directly from Indiana statute.)

           

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Fencing

Section 675 IAC 20-2-26 of the  Indiana Register mandates that public and semi-public pools be enclosed with a barrier that:

  • Is no less than 6 feet high.
  • Uses lockable gates that are self-closing and self-latching and have closure mechanisms that are located at least 45 inches above grade (If the latch is not at least 54 inches above the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism must be located at least 3 inches above the top of the gate on the pool side and the gate may not have openings larger than 1.5 inches within 18 inches of the latch).
  • Does not have any openings 4 inches in diameter or larger.

With regard to residential pools, 675 IAC 14-4.3-296 of the Indiana Register requires that access to residential pools be restricted by either:

  • Fencing that completely surrounds the pool area, is at least 4 feet high, and has lockable, self-closing and latching gates OR
  • A mechanically operated pool cover that prohibits access to the pool via a continuous connection between the cover and the deck, cannot be opened or shut without a key or digital touch pad, and has a tag indicating that the cover meets ASTM standards.

Pool owners should consult the Indiana Register (see here) for additional fencing requirements for pools with water slides or other water attractions.

Local Regulations: Marion County

As in other states, pool regulations in Indiana tend to vary  by city and county. In order to provide an example of how county and state regulations are different, we outline the additional mandates that apply to pools in Marion County.

Signage

Marion County ordinances do not seem to contain any pool signage requirements other than those stipulated in the Indiana Register (see above).

Fencing

According to Section 731‐219(b)(3) of the Marion County Municipal Code, all residential pools and spas must be surrounded by an enclosure that prevents people, children, and animals from danger and uses a self-closing, self-latching gate. The fence must be at least 5 feet high if located on the ground or 3 feet high if located on top of the wall of an above-ground pool or hot tub. For above-ground pools or spas, the combined height of fence and pool cannot be higher than 10 feet. Marion County’s public pool regulations do not seem diverge from state law, and in fact simply reference the state statute. Still, we advise pool owners to double-check local and state statutes to make sure that they observe all pool laws in their locations.

Iowa

Signage

In section 641 IAC Chapter 15 of the Iowa Administrative Code, the Iowa Department of Public Health mandates that all public swimming pools display the following signage:

  • A pool rules sign that is prominently posted in at least of two locations within the pool enclosure and includes the following stipulations:
    • No diving in the shallow end of the swimming pool and in other areas marked “No Diving”
    • No rough play in or around the pool
    • No running on the deck
  • No Lifeguard signs (posted at each entry to pools where no lifeguards are provided) that display the warnings, “No lifeguard on duty” and “Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.”
  • A chemical hazard warning sign (to be placed at the entrance of rooms where chemicals are used or stored).
  • A sign that states the location of the first aid kit (if the pool has no lifeguards and the kit is not conspicuously located near the pool).

Pools with water slides must post slide rules and restrictions near the entrance to the slide The rules must address any:

  • Use limits
  • Attire
  • Riding restrictions
  • Water depth at the slide exit
  • Rules about unique characteristics of the slide
  • Degree of difficulty warnings

By our reading, Iowa state law explicitly exempts private pools from the signage requirements listed above. Even so, pool owners are responsible to make themselves aware of the city, county, and state statutes that apply to their pools.

     Iowa Pool Hours Sign

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Fencing

According to the Iowa Administrative Code referenced in the link above, outdoor public swimming pools must be surrounded by an enclosure that is:

  • No less than 4 feet high.
  • Made of durable materials.
  • Void of openings that are 4 inches or larger in diameter
  • Not easily climbable by toddlers.
  • Constructed so that there is a distance of at least 45 inches between the the ground and the top of the lowest horizontal support (or between the two lowest horizontal supports) if the supports are located on the outside of the fence or the space between the vertical supports is more than 1.75 inches.
  • Equipped with at least one lockable gate or door that is self-closing and self-latching (unless lifeguard or supervising service is provided), has an opening at least 3 feet wide, and complies with the requirements for fences generally when closed.

If there are rooms, hallways, apartments, condos, or permanent recreation areas that open directly to the pool area and are used by children, indoor public swimming pools pools must be enclosed by a barrier that is at least 3 feet high and meets all other requirements for outdoor fencing.

As far as we can tell, the state of Iowa does not have laws that require fencing for residential pools. While the state of Iowa bases its building code on the 2009 International Building Code (explained here), which contains detailed standards for private pool enclosures, the state code is adopted on a county-by-county basis. Because of this and other variations in local pool regulations, we advise pool owners to verify compliance with the appropriate authorities.

Local Regulations: Polk County

To further illustrate this point, we look to pool-related ordinances in Polk County (the largest county in Iowa), which requires residential pools to erect  solid or chain link pool enclosure that meet the following characteristics:

  • Are at least 5 feet in height
  • Have self-latching gate to prevent unauthorized entry
  • Are located at least 3 feet from the pool

Although Polk County does not appear to have additional fencing or signage requirements for public pools, this example highlights the importance of checking pool regulations at all applicable levels of government.

Kansas

While the state of Kansas does not appear to have broadly applicable pool laws, several local governments in Kansas have adopted standards for the pools within their jurisdictions. We review pool regulations in Johnson County and the city of Wichita, the most populous county and city in Kansas, respectively.

Local Regulations: Johnson County

Signage

Chapter 3 of the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code states that public pools must display the following signage:

  • A sign stating pool rules and regulations (see section 16.2), including:
    • All bathers must take cleansing shower before entering the pool.
    • Bathers who leave the pool to use the toilet must take another cleansing shower before returning to the pool area.
    • Any person with an infectious or communicable disease may not use the pool.
    • Persons with exposed sub-epidermal tissue, open blisters, or cuts are warned that these are likely to become infected and advised not to use the pool.
    • No running, boisterous or rough play (except supervised water sports) in the pool or on pool decks, diving boards, floats, platforms, dressing rooms, or showers.
  • A sign that states “Warning—No Lifeguard On Duty” and “Children Should Not Use Pool Without An Adult In Attendance” in 4 inch letters (see section 14.5).

To our understanding, Johnson County does not require residential pools to display signage. Pool owners should verify this information by consulting local regulations.

              Pool Hours Sign - Johnson County, Kansas

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Fencing

Chapter 3 of the Johnson County Code (see the link above) also establishes the following mandates for pool enclosures for both public and private pools:

“All outdoor swimming and wading pool areas shall be enclosed by a protective wall, fence, or other effective barrier. The entire barrier shall be at least 5 feet in height. Each entrance shall be equipped with a door or gate that is self-closing and self-latching with hardware provided for padlocking” (see Article 3, Section 10).”

Pools that install a safety pool cover that meets certain requirements can be exempted from these pool fencing regulations. Additionally, private pools in Johnson County may also be subject to the barrier specifications in  Appendix G of the 2012 International Building Code (explained below), which has been officially adopted by the county (see here and here).

Local Regulations: Wichita City

Signage

The Wichita City Code specifies that public pools must display the following signage:

  • A pool rules sign that states the following:
    • All  bathers must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
    • Any person known to have any disease communicable through water may not use the pool.
    • Persons with exposed subepidermal tissue, open blisters, or cuts are warned that these are likely to become infected and advised not to use the pool.
    • No running, boisterous or rough play (except supervised water sports) in the pool or pool decks, runways, diving boards, floats, platforms, dressing rooms, or showers.
  • A sign that reads “Warning—No Lifeguard on Duty” and “Children Less Than 16 Years Old Shall Not Use Pool Without An Adult in Attendance” (in minimum 4 inch letters).

          Wichita Pool Hours Sign

Fencing

In terms of pool fencing, Section 7.72.110 of the Wichita City Municipal Code requires that outdoor public pools have either an impenetrable enclosure that is at least 5 feet high or a power safety cover that meets ASTM standards. If a fence is used, any gates must be latched when the pool is closed so as to prevent access by children. Indoor public pools should have lockable doors or other measures that prevent access.

Although residential pools in the city of Wichita do not appear to be subject to the above fencing rules, they are likely subject to enclosure standards in the 2006 International Building Code (outlined here), which are significantly more restrictive. (For information about the building codes in Wichita, see the Metro Area Building & Construction department.) We recommend that pool owners consult city, county, and state laws to ensure compliance with all pool regulations.

Kentucky

Signage

In Kentucky, section 902 KAR 10:120 of the state Administrative Register mandates that public pools display signs containing the following information:

  • Rules and regulations (to be posted at the entrance to dressing rooms), including:
    • Persons with any contagious disease, infectious condition (such as colds, fever, ringworm, foot infections, skin lesions, carbuncles, boils, inflamed eyes, ear discharges or other conditions that appear infectious), excessive sunburn, abrasions, corn plasters, bunion pads, adhesive tape, or bandages are not permitted.
    • Persons under the influence of alcohol or behaving erratically are not allowed in the pool area.
    • No food, drink, gum, or tobacco allowed.
    • No running or rough play (except supervised water sports).
    • No spectators or people in street clothes are allowed in the facility.
    • Spitting, spouting of water, blowing the nose, or otherwise introducing contaminants into the facility water is not permitted.
    • Glass, soap, or other material which might create hazardous conditions or interfere with efficient operation of the pool are prohibited.
    • All apparel must be clean.
    • No Diving in shallow water.
    • Exercise caution when using diving boards.
    • No animals in the pool area.
  • “No person may enter the facility area alone or swim alone” (if lifeguard service is not provided).
  • The phone numbers of the fire department or appropriate emergency personnel in case of a chlorine gas emergency (to be posted on the outside of the chlorine room door).

                  

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Fencing

The 2013 Kentucky Building Code (section 3109.9) stipulates that public and private swimming pools must be enclosed by a barrier that conforms to the following standards:

  • The fence must bet at least 4 feet high (measured on the exterior side).
  • The enclosure must use self-closing and self-latching gates, with latches placed at least 4 feet above the ground.
  • Any point of the barrier should be able to withstand a horizontal concentrated force of 200 pounds applied on a 1 square foot area.
  • The fence must not have a vertical clearance greater than 4 inches between grade and the bottom of the barrier (measured on the exterior side).
  • The barrier should not have any openings that are 4 inches in diameter or larger or contain indentations or protrusions (except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • If the space between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 24 inches the horizontal members must be located on the pool side of the fence. Spaces between vertical members may not be more than 1.75 inches wide (or 4 inches if the lowest horizontal members are at least 34 inches above grade).
  • If the space between the tops of the horizontal members is 24 inches or more gaps between vertical members may not be larger than 4 inches wide.
  • Chain link mesh must be 2.25 square inches or smaller.
  • If the barrier uses diagonal members, the maximum opening for these is 1.75 inches.

Local Regulations: Jefferson County and Louisville (City)

Signage

According to the Jefferson County Board of Health regulations, public pools must post a sign in the entrance to the pool area that contains the following pool rules and regulations (in ½ inch lettering):

    • Admission to the facility shall be refused to all  persons having any contagious disease, or to those with conditions that appear contagious.  Persons with excessive sunburn, abrasions which have not healed, corn plasters, bunion pads, adhesive tape, rubber bandages, or other bandages of any kind are not permitted.
    • A person under the influence of alcohol or exhibiting erratic behavior shall not be permitted in the facility area;
    • No glass within the pool area.
    • No food, no drink, or tobacco allowed outside designated areas.
    • No running or rough play allowed.
    • No street shoes allowed on deck.
    • All apparel worn into the facility shall be clean.
    • All persons must shower before entering the pool.
    • No diving in shallow water.
    • No animals in the pool area.

If there is no lifeguard on duty, the pool must display one of the following signs (using 2 inch letters):

  1. “POOL CLOSED, NO SWIMMING. NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY: PERSONS FOUND IN VIOLATION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A FINE OF UP TO $100.”
  2. “WARNING, NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY. NO ONE MAY BE ALONE AND NO MORE THAN 5 PERSONS MAY BE IN THE POOL AT ANY TIME.  PERSONS UNDER 16 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT. PERSONS FOUND IN VIOLATION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A FINE UP TO $100”

While it does not appear that private pools are required to post signage in Jefferson County, pool owners should make sure that they observe applicable regulations.

           

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Fencing

In terms of pool fencing, Jefferson County regulations (see the link above) state:

“The swimming pool area must be enclosed by a fence or other suitable barrier with a minimum height of 4 feet. Openings in the fence shall be no larger than 4 inches. All gates shall be self closing and self latching. The wading pool must not be located in close proximity to the diving area and must be separated from the main pool by a fence. Entrances shall be so located as to be locked when no water safety personnel are on duty.”

These fencing rules appear to be the minimum standards for public pools. According to the Jefferson County/City of Louisville Pool Enclosure Requirements, all in-ground outdoor swimming pools (presumably including both public and private pools) must abide by the following guidelines:

  • The fence should be at least 4 feet high, with a maximum vertical clearance of 4 inches between grade and the bottom of the barrier when measured on the outside.
  • The enclosure should not have any openings 4 inches in diameter or larger.
  • If made of solid material, the fence may not have indentations or protrusions (except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • Any horizontal members should be located on the pool side of the fence if the he distance between the tops of these members is less than 24 inches.
  • Vertical members should be spaced no more than 1.75 inches apart, or 4 inches apart of all horizontal members are located at least 34 inches above the ground.
  • Openings formed by diagonal members may not be greater than 1.75 inches, while the maximum mesh size is 2.25 inches.
  • Access gates should be lockable, self-closing, self-latching, and open away from the pool area. The release mechanism of the latch should be at least 4 feet above the ground or else be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top of the gate, with no openings larger than .5 inches located within 18 inches of the release.
  • For above-ground pools, the barrier may be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool itself. The maximum gap between the top of the pool and the bottom of the barrier is 4 inches.

The city of Louisville elaborates on  residential pool fencing rules for pools within city boundaries. These rules can be accessed here. Pool owners are responsible for ensuring that their pools comply with all applicable city, county, and state statutes.

Louisiana

Signage

Title 51 of the Louisiana Administrative Code, the statewide law governing pool use in Louisiana, only requires that public pools conspicuously post a sign to inform patrons of rules and and regulations. The statute does not explicitly list any specific rules or regulations that must be posted. Moreover, state law does not appear to require residential pools to display signage.  Due to significant variation in local pool signage laws, owners should consult relevant authorities to ascertain whether their pools comply with local regulations.

                           

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Fencing

With regard to pool fences, Title 51 §705 of the Louisiana Administrative Code (see the link above) requires that

“. . . public swimming pools . . . be protected by a fence, wall, building, enclosure, or solid wall of durable material of which the pool itself may be constructed, or any combination thereof. Natural or artificial barriers shall be provided so as to afford no external handholds or footholds, be at least 4 feet in height, and be equipped with a self-closing and positive self-latching closure mechanism at a height of at least 45 inches above the ground and provided with hardware for locking.”

Though Louisiana law does not seem to require residential pools to erect protective enclosures, individuals should consult local legal standards to ensure compliance.

Local Regulations: East Baton Rouge Parish

Signage

The Parish of East Baton Rouge does not appear to have any particular laws governing pool signage for either public or private pools. We recommend that pool operators verify the accuracy of this information by examining local statutes.

Fencing

Section 12:406 of the East Baton Rouge Parish Code of Ordinances states the following concerning pool enclosures:

“Every owner of a swimming pool, with a depth greater than eighteen (18) inches, shall keep the pool completely enclosed with fences or walls not less than five (5) feet in height with no openings greater than four (4) inches, and composed of rigid, sturdy material. Every pool owner shall equip gate or door openings to the pool with self-closing and self-latching devices capable of keeping such gate or door securely closed at all times. Every swimming pool owner shall keep said fences, gates, and doors in a state of repair. All gates and doors shall be securely closed at all times.”

Currently, it appears that these fencing standards apply to both public and residential pools. We again advise pool owners to make themselves aware of all legal requirements that pertain to their individual circumstances.

Maine

Signage

According to the regulations put forward by the Maine Department of Health in 10-144 CMR Chapter 202 as of 2010, public pools must post the following signage:

  • A sign that instructs pool users to shower before using the pool.
  • A sign that states the location of and dialing instructions for the nearest telephone (posted in the immediate vicinity of the pool). The phone itself must have a sign that displays the names and phone numbers of the closest police, fire, ambulance, or other emergency services.
  • A prominently posted sign that states “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” and that all children in the pool area must be supervised.
  • A notice that instructs bathers to use showers and toilets before using the pool.
  • A sign containing pool rules for safe pool use (posted in a conspicuous place). The Department of Health does not require that the sign contain specific rules, but suggests the following notices:
    • No unsupervised small children allowed in the pool area or pool
    • All infants and small children not toilet trained must wear rubber swim pants while in the pool
    • All pool users shall shower prior to entering the pool
    • All pool users shall avoid using the pool if they are experiencing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, or open wounds
    • Dive only at designated areas
    • No swimming in diving area if diving board is in use
    • Urinating, discharge of fecal matter, spitting, spouting water, and blowing one’s nose in the water are not allowed
    • No food, drink, or glass containers allowed
    • No animals in pool or on pool deck
    • Swimmers must wear appropriate swimming attire
    • No running or horseplay allowed
    • No flotation devices, toys, masks or snorkel equipment allowed
    • Only guests of this facility may use the pool

Although, to our knowledge, Maine does not require residential pools to post pool signage, pool owners should verify this information with appropriate authorities.

        

              

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Fencing

Title 22, §1632 of the Maine Revised Statutes holds that both public and private pools must be enclosed by a fence and have gates or doors that can be securely fastened when the pool is not being used. Buildings can serve as part of compliant enclosures. The statute states that above-ground pools that are 2 feet or taller are exempt from barrier requirements.

In addition to the standards listed above, private pools are likely subject to the standards in Section 3109 the 2009 International Building Code, which we explain below (see here for further information on building codes in Maine).

Finally, pool regulations in most major counties and cities in Maine do not differ dramatically from these state-level standards. Even so, we advise pool owners to make themselves aware of the legal requirements that apply to the jurisdictions in which they reside.

Maryland

Signage

Section 10.17 of the Code of Maryland Regulations stipulates that public and semi-public pools must display the following signs:

  • A sign with the location of the emergency telephone. The actual phone must be accompanied by a sign with the names and phone numbers of the nearest police, fire, and ambulance or rescue units as well as the name, owner, and address of the pool facility).
  • A sign that states “Warning: No Diving—Shallow Water” and is placed on the deck where the water is less than 5 feet.
  • The maximum user load of the pool (posted in a conspicuous place).
  • A sign that reads “Caution! Chemical Storage Area” (placed on the door of the chemical storage area).
  • A sign that states “Danger—Chlorine Gas”  (posted at the entrance to chlorine rooms and storage areas).
  • A sign that displays the words “WARNING: NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY. SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK. DO NOT SWIM ALONE. CHILDREN UNDER 15 SHOULD NOT USE THE POOL WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION” (if applicable) and is posted at pool entrances.
  • Pool rules (to be displayed at the entrance to the facility).
  • A prominently posted, water-resistant data sheet that includes the following information:
    • Volume of water
    • Minimum turnover rate
    • Maximum filter capacity
    • Water surface area
    • Length of water perimeter
    • Maximum bather load
    • Operating instructions for valves and equipment
  • Other warning, health advisory, and safety signs needed to protect public safety (i.e.”Danger! No Diving In Shallow Water”, etc.).

As far as we are aware, Maryland does not have laws that require residential pools to post signage. Pool operators are advised to consult city, county, and state laws to be sure that their pools satisfy applicable legal requirements.

        

          

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Fencing

According to section 10.17.01.21 of the code referenced in the paragraph above, public pool enclosures must completely surround the pool in question and meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 6 feet tall when measured on the exterior side.
  • Not have a vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the fence that is larger than 4 inches (measured on the outside of the barrier).
  • Not have any openings that make the barrier easy to climb or are 4 inches in diameter or larger.
  • Fence pickets should have a maximum separation of 4 inches.
  • If the tops of a barrier’s horizontal members are less than 45 inches apart, these must be located on the inside of the barrier, while vertical openings may not be larger than 1.75 inches.
  • The barrier should not have lattice mesh or decorative cutouts greater than 1.75 inches, while chain link fence mesh should be a maximum of 2.25 inches.
  • The main gate must open away from the pool and be lockable, at least 4 feet wide, located at the shallow end of the pool, and use a latch release that is placed at least 54 inches above the ground.
  • Any other doors and windows that provide access to the pool area have locks or latches.

Barriers used to enclose semi-public pools must:

  • Be at least 5 feet high.
  • Use self-closing and self-latching gates.

Wading pools must be separated from other pools in the facility by an enclosure that:

  • Is at least 3 feet tall
  • Has a maximum 2-inch gap between the deck and the bottom of the barrier.
  • Does not have any openings 4 inches in diameter or larger.
  • Employs a latched entrance gate.

At present, residential pools are subject to the 2012 International Building Code standards for protective enclosures (section 3109), which we summarize here. Since building codes in Maryland are amended locally, pool operators should stay apprised of city, county, and state pool standards to ensure compliance.

Local Regulations: Montgomery County

Because local governments in Maryland often adopt their own pool regulations, we address the pool signage and fencing standards in Montgomery County to provide insight into the types of pool regulations that exist at the county-level.

Signage

Montgomery County does not appear to have any pool signage requirements beyond those present at the state level.

Fencing

The standards for pool fencing in Montgomery County are somewhat different than state-level restrictions and apply to both public and private pools.

Section 51-15 of the Montgomery County Code states that pools that are more than 1.5 feet deep must be completely and permanently surrounded by a well-maintained fence that is at least 5 feet high, securely anchored in the ground, and not easy to climb or penetrate.

Any gates or doors in private pool fences must use self-closing and self-latching locks or latches which are placed at least 4 feet above grade on the pool side of the gate. Any gate or door must be secured when the pool is not in use. Furthermore, residential pools must provide that each house door with access to the pool has an audible alarm OR that the pool is covered by an automatic pool cover that meets ASTM standards.

Massachusetts

Signage

105 CMR 435.22 in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations requires public pools to display a sign with the following notices at the entrance to the pool area or dressing rooms:

  • All persons must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
  • No one with a communicable disease may use the pool.

Public pools should also post telephone numbers of emergency medical services, local police, state police and fire department, as well as telephone operation instructions at or near the emergency telephone.

If no lifeguard service is provided, public and semi-public pools must post the following notices in 4 inch letters:

  • “WARNING-NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY”
  • “CHILDREN UNDER AGE 16 SHOULD NOT USE SWIMMING POOL WITHOUT AN ADULT IN ATTENDANCE”
  • “ADULTS SHOULD NOT SWIM ALONE”

If the pool has water slides, the top of the slide should feature a sign that cautions patrons not to enter the slide until the slider in front is at least 30 feet down the flume (as marked by a mandatory line).

To this point, Massachusetts has not adopted signage mandates for private pools. We advise pool owners to verify this information with local authorities.

             

Note: If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Protective enclosure laws for public pools in Massachusetts fall under 105 CMR 435.03 (see also M.G.L. c. 140, § 206). We discuss the requirements that this section imposes on both outdoor and indoor public pools in turn.

Outdoor swimming pools built before October 1975 must be enclosed by a secure fence that is at least 4 feet high and has self-latching gates, with the latch at least 4 feet above the ground (or otherwise inaccessible to children below the age of 8).

Outdoor pools built after October 1975 must be enclosed by a firmly secured fence that is 6 feet in height and uses self-latching gates, with the latch at least 4 feet above the ground (or otherwise inaccessible to children below the age of 8). If the barrier is a board or stockade fence, it must be at least 5 feet high, while the fence must be constructed of chain link if it is taller than 6 feet. The fence many not have any openings larger than 3 inches wide.

Indoor swimming pools must be surrounded by a barrier that is at least 4 feet above the ground, does not have any openings wider than 3 inches, and uses self-closing and self-latching gates with latches at least 4 feet above the ground.

Fences for residential pools in Massachusetts are subject to the requirements of Appendix G  of the 2009 International Residential Code, which we outline below. Massachusetts amends the barrier requirements in Appendix G by adding the following notes:

  1. “Public and semi-public outdoor in-ground swimming pool enclosures shall conform to the requirements of M.G.L. c. 140, § 206.
  2. Also see 521 CMR 19.00: Recreational Facilities.
  3. Also see 105 CMR 430.00: Minimum Standards for Recreational Camps for Children (State Sanitary Code, Chapter IV) and 435.00: Minimum Standards for Swimming Pools (State Sanitary Code: Chapter V) as such regulate swimming pool requirements.”

For more details, consult the Office of Public Safety and Security’s description of building code adoption in Massachusetts. Because the International Building Code can be amended locally, private pool owners should consult the standards adopted in their local jurisdictions.

Michigan

Signage

According to Act 368 of the Michigan Public Health Code, public pool signage in Michigan is required to meet the following standards:

  • If an emergency telephone is not located within the pool enclosure, the pool must post a sign that indicates the location of the telephone.
  • The emergency phone itself must feature a sign that lists the phone numbers for emergency response agencies and the name and address of the swimming pool.
  • If food and drink are allowed in the pool area, the pool must conspicuously post a sign with rules for sanitary disposal of food waste and banning consumption of food and drink within the pool.
  • Pools must display a sign that prohibits glass and other breakable or hazardous materials in the pool area.
  • Signage warning against entering the pool after the consumption of alcohol must be prominently posted in the pool area.
  • A caution sign that displays the maximum operating water temperature, a warning against the use of the pool by young children when the water is hotter than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and other relevant health warnings.
  • Pools without a lifeguard are required to post a sign warning that there is no lifeguard on duty using 4 inch lettering.
  • The bather capacity limit should be conspicuously posted within the pool enclosure.
  • For pools with water slides, a sign that warns against headfirst sliding, diving from the slide, and other incorrect uses of the slide must be permanently attached to the slide.

At present, we are not aware of any signage requirements for private pools in Michigan.

      Michigan Pool Rules Sign  Michigan pool hours sign Michigan Pool Hours Sign - community

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to regulation 325.2128 in Act 368 in the Michigan Public Health Code (referenced in the link above), public swimming pools must be completely surrounded by a fence that

  • Is at least 4 feet high when measured on the exterior side and does not allow footholds for climbing or passage through or under the barrier.
  • Features one or more entrances, all of which must open to the shallowest area of the pool, use self-closing gates or doors (that are not sliding-type) with latches and locks.
  • Provides a barrier between spectator areas and the pool as well as a barrier between any active recreation areas and the pool.

Additionally, the statute states that the barriers described above may enclose 2 or more swimming pools within a single enclosure (except wading pools, which require separate enclosures). The law further states that any balcony within 10 feet of or overhanging any part of the pool must be entirely enclosed or otherwise prevent diving.

Because the Michigan Building Code draws on the 2009 International Residential Code, residential pools are subject to the pool enclosure standards in Appendix G  of that code, which we explain in detail here.

Local Regulations

After looking for pool fence regulations in Wayne and Oakland counties, we were unable to find significant differences between the pool requirements in these counties and those at the state level. That said, pool owners and operators are advised to consult city, county, and state guidelines to verify the regulations that govern their pools.

Minnesota

Signage

As per chapter 4717 of the Minnesota Administrative Rules, the state of Minnesota requires public pools to display the following signs:

  • A sign placed in plain view that states “Warning – No lifeguard on duty” in 4 inch letters and “Children must not use the pool without an adult in attendance” in 1 inch letters (if lifeguard service is not provided).
  • A sign in plain view that shows the location of the nearest telephone and the emergency number (if the phone is not located within the pool enclosure)
  • Signage that displays the pool’s bather capacity, to be posted in the pool area.
  • A sign that lists safety and sanitation rules (posted in the pool area and dressing rooms in at least ¼ inch letters) including:
    • No person with or suspected of having a communicable disease may use the pool.
    • Persons with large areas of exposed subepidermal tissue, open blisters, or cuts are warned that these may become infected and advised not to use the pool.
    • Bathers must take a cleansing shower using warm water and soap and thoroughly rinse off all soap before entering the pool area.
    • Users who leave the pool to use the toilet must take another cleansing shower before returning to the pool area.
    • A person who exercises, applies lotion, or uses a sauna or steam room must shower before using the pool.
    • Spitting, spouting water, and blowing the nose in the pool are prohibited.
    • No running or boisterous or rough play (except supervised water sports) in the pool, dressing rooms, showers, runways, diving board, or platforms.
    • Glassware and materials that may shatter on impact area not allowed in the pool area.
    • Diving is not permitted except in designated areas.
    • No domestic animals (pets) in the pool enclosure, showers, or dressing rooms.

Our research suggests that Minnesota does not have laws that require private pool signage. Pool owners should verify this information with local authorities.

             

Note: When customizing the lifeguard sign, make sure the letters are the required height.  If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The Minnesota statute mentioned above also sets forth statewide laws for pool enclosures. The law requires that public pools control pool access by either locating the pool by in a separate room with self-latching doors that can be used to prevent access (if located indoors) or surrounding the pool with a fence that is at least 4 feet high and uses self-closing, self-latching doors or gates. In addition to these introductory standards, pool fences must meet the following stipulations:

  • The enclosure should be at least 5 feet high, use lockable, self-closing, self-latching gates, and have no openings greater than 4 inches. Latches must be at least 4 feet above grade.
  • The barrier should be designed to prevent climbing and should not have any opening greater than 2 inches between the fence and the ground.
  • New chain link fences that are less than 8 feet high may not use mesh larger than 1.5 inches, while fences that are higher than 8 feet may use up to 2 inch mesh.
  • Fences used to surround wading pools must be at least 3.5 feet high for existing fences, while new fences must be at least 4 feet high.

The following rules apply to fences constructed before January 4, 1995 that are less than 5 feet high:

  • The fence must be at least 4 feet high, use lockable, self-closing, self-latching gates, and not have any openings larger than 4 inches.
  • The barrier should be designed to prevent climbing

As we mentioned previously, the fencing laws described in this section apply to public pools. Although we are unable to find any statewide statutes requiring residential pools in Minnesota to erect protective fencing, pool owners are responsible for making themselves aware of any enclosure-related laws at the city, county, and state levels.

Local Regulations: Hennepin County

Signage

In order to provide an example of local regulations in Minnesota, we researched pool laws in Hennepin County, home to the city of Minneapolis. In addition to pool signage mandated by the state, Hennepin County regulations (available here) require public pools to display notices that state pool hours and mark lifesaving equipment using the words “For emergency use only.” The county does not require residential pools to post signs.

     

Fencing

Hennepin County  appears to rely on the pool barrier requirements outlined in the state statutes explained above. We advise pool owners to make sure that they comply with pool regulations established by the various levels of government where they live.

Mississippi

Signage

While the state of Mississippi does not require either public or residential pools to post pool signage, the Board of Health recommends that pools display a sign that states, “WARNING — To prevent serious injury, do not allow children in swimming pool if drain cover is broken or missing.” Pool operators may want to display additional signage to prevent potential liability and should consult city and county ordinances to verify compliance with the pool laws enforced in their localities.

        

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

In Mississippi, statewide pool fencing laws are outlined in Miss. Code Ann. § 45-43-7 and pertain to pools that serve multi-unit rental complexes, property owners associations, and private clubs that allow residents or members under the age of 12. Theses fencing regulations apply to pool enclosures built after July 1, 2012 and state that barriers used to enclose pool areas must meet the following mandatory guidelines:

  • The barrier should be at least 4 feet in height measured on the exterior side.
  • If the fence has horizontal members that are spaced at least 45 inches apart, it may not have any openings that are 4 inches in diameter or larger, while if horizontal members are spaced less than 45 inches apart, the maximum opening should be less than 1.75 inches in diameter.
  • The barrier  have a vertical clearance 4 inches or larger between the bottom of the fence and the ground.
  • Chain-link fence material may not be used for pool enclosures.
  • Any diagonal members must be at least 49 inches above the ground.
  • Decorative cutouts may not have openings larger than 1.75 inches.
  • Indentations or protrusions on the exterior side of a solid barrier may not be greater than normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
  • Permanent equipment or structures should not be near enough to the fence to facilitate climbing.

If a building wall serves as part of the pool enclosure, the following rules obtain:

  • For walls constructed before July 2012, each window in the wall must have a latch as well as screens that are affixed by a window screen latch, screws, or similar means.
  • For walls built after July 1, 2012,  each ground floor window in the wall must be closed and  incapable being opened.

We reiterate that the laws above do not appear to apply to most public or residential pools (though the accuracy of this information should be verified with appropriate authorities). Pool owners should note that Miss. Code Ann. § 45-43 contains additional requirements for the doors or gates that are part of a residence and open directly to the pool area.

Since cities and counties tend to adopt their own pool regulations, we advise pool owners to pay attention to the signage and fencing guidelines in their areas. To provide an idea of how local and state-level requirements can differ, we review the standards for pools in Hinds County. Pool owners in other counties can use this information as a starting point, but should still research the laws that exist in their own cities and counties.

Local Regulations: Hinds County

Like the state of Mississippi, Hinds County does not currently have laws that require either public or private pools to post signage. Hinds County Zoning Ordinances do, however, require all swimming pools (whether public or private) to have a fence that completely surrounds the pool area, is at least 4 feet high, and uses self -latching gates.

Missouri

Signage

Missouri state law (as outlined in 19 CSR 20-3 of the Code of State Regulations) requires public pools to display a sign that states “WARNING—NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” if no lifeguard service is provided.  We are not aware of any signage requirements for private pools, but advise homeowners to examine local pool ordinances in order to verify compliance.

No Lifeguard on Duty Sign - Missouri  Missouri Pool Rules Sign    Missouri Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The pool regulations put forward by the Missouri Department virof Health (see the link above) stipulate that pool fences for public pools must:

  • Be at least 4 feet tall.
  • Not provide  handholds or footholds on the exterior of the wall.
  • Have no openings 4 inches in diameter or larger.
  • Use self-closing and positive self-latching gates whose latches are as high as possible while still lower than 4 feet.

The Department of Health standards also state that indoor pools must have self-closing and positive self-latching doors whose latches are as high as possible and at least 4 feet above the ground.

As far as we can determine, Missouri does not have laws that require residential pools to be surrounded by pool enclosures. Pool owners bear the responsibility for making sure that their pools comply with all city, county, and state fencing regulations. On that note, we emphasize that standards for both pool fencing and signage are likely to vary substantially by municipality and county. We detail pool requirements in Kansas City in order to provide an example of the types of municipal regulations in Missouri.

Local Regulations: Kansas City, Missouri

Signage

According to the rules published by the Kansas City Health Department, the following signs are required for the operation of public pools:

  • ƒSignage with rules and regulations (to be placed at the entrance to dressing rooms and other appropriate areas), including:
    • Persons with any contagious disease, infectious condition (such as colds, fever, ringworm, foot infections, skin lesions, carbuncles, boils, inflamed eyes, ear discharges or other conditions that appear infectious), excessive sunburn, abrasions, corn plasters, bunion pads, adhesive tape, or bandages are not permitted.
    • Persons under the influence of alcohol or exhibiting erratic behavior are not allowed in the pool area.
    • No food, drink, gum or tobacco allowed in the pool area
    • All persons must  take a shower in the nude with soap and warm water before being allowed in the pool area.
    • Bathers who leave the pool area must shower before returning to the pool.
    • All persons with long hair are required to wear caps while in the pool.
    • No running, boisterous or rough play (except supervised water sports).
    • No spitting, spouting of water, blowing the nose or introducing contaminants into the pool.
    • No glass, soap, lotion or other hazardous material is allowed in the pool or pool deck.
    • Clothing worn in the pool must be clean and sanitary. Street attire or cutoffs are not allowed.
    • No diving in shallow water.
    • Exercise caution when using diving boards.
    • No animals or birds in the pool area
    • Children under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult
    • The pool lifeline may not be removed without permission from pool management.
  • A sign that states “Warning No Lifeguard on Duty” (if applicable).
  • A “ƒNo Diving” sign (displayed on wall and pool deck).
  • Signage that reads “ƒEmergency Use Only” (to be posted above safety equipment).
  • Directions to the emergency phone.
  • ƒ9-1-1 (to be posted above the emergency phone).
  • ƒSignage that displays the pool hours of operation.
  • A maximum ƒbather load sign.
  • A sign stating “CAUTION – CHLORINE GAS” (to be placed on the chlorine room door).

Residential pools in Kansas City do not seem to be subject to the pool sign requirements described above.  We advise owners to verify the accuracy of this information by consulting local statutes.

Kansas City Pool Rules and Regulations SignKansas City No Lifeguard SignKansas City No Diving Sign  Kansas City Emergency Phone Sign

Kansas City Pool Hours Sign   Kansas City Maximum Bather Load Sign   Kansas City Pool Hours and Occupancy Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Kansas City pool rules (accessible through the link above) mandate that swimming pools (both public and private) be enclosed by fencing that meets the following specifications:

  • The entire barrier must be at least 4 feet high on both sides and be designed so as to prevent passage and footing for climbing.
  • Any openings, including the space between the bottom of the fence and the ground may not be greater than 4 inches.
  • Entrances to the pool should be kept at a minimum, lead to the shallow area of the pool, and must use lockable, self-closing and self-latching gates with latches at least 4 feet above grade entrance.
  • Gates for maintenance personnel should be provided at a location separate from the entrance used by swimmers.
  • Balconies may not overhang over the pool.
  • Areas where food is eaten or served must be completely separated from the pool deck by a barrier with a single entrance accessible only to swimmers.
  • Spectator areas must be separated from the bathing area by a barrier that meets the above requirements.

Montana

Signage

According to the language in section 37.115.1402 of the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM), public pools must display the following signs:

  • A sign that states “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” in 4 inch letters and is void of any other wording.
  • A sign that reads “THE MAIN DRAINS MUST BE CLEARLY VISIBLE AND SHARPLY DEFINED FROM ANY POINT ON THE SIDE OF THE POOL. ANYTHING ELSE REQUIRES THE MANAGEMENT TO CLOSE THE POOL” in 2 inch lettering.
  • A sign with pool rules and regulations, including:
    • “Take a cleansing shower before using the pool”
    • “Do not use the pool if you have diarrhea or any other disease transmittable by water
    • “Do not bring food, drink, gum, or tobacco into the pool”
    • “Non-swimmers and children under age 14 may not use the pool without a responsible adult in attendance”
    • “Swimmers who are not toilet trained must wear a swim diaper with waterproof pants with elastic opening for legs and waist”
    • “Do not change diapers near the pool, or on the deck”
    • “No running or rough play”
    • “No glass or other breakable material allowed in the pool or deck area”
    • “No animals in the pool or deck area except as required under the Americans With Disabilities Act”
    • “Offensive or unsanitary behavior is prohibited”
    • “Capacity of the pool is ________”
  • A “NO DIVING” sign in any area where diving is prohibited.

Pools that feature water slides, spray pools, or splash pads are subject to additional requirements which can be located by following the link in the paragraph above. Residential pools, on the other hand, are not required to display pool signage by state law.

Montana No Lifeguard Sign Montana Pool Rules Sign   Montana No Diving Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Section 37.115.6 of the Administrative Rules of Montana mandates that public pools be surrounded by protective enclosures that are made of durable material and located outside of the pool deck. Barriers for outdoor pools (and splash decks) must meet the following mandatory guidelines:

  • The fence should be at least 5 feet high
  • Entrances to the pool area should use self-closing, and self-latching gates or doors that open away from the pool with locks that are at least 4.5 feet above grade or are 3 inches below the top of the gate on the pool side.
  • Gates must be closed and locked at all times when the pool is not supervised
  • With the exception of wading pools and splash decks (which must be enclosed separately), a single barrier may  be used to enclose multiple pools or other water features.

All indoor pools must have lockable doors. Pools with direct access through room doors or common areas must have a see-through barrier or fence that is at least 4 feet high and has a lockable gate. Pools separated by an unsecured door or located in locker rooms must have a self-closing door with a latch OR a barrier that is at least 4 feet tall, has a gate with a latch that is  at least 3 inches below the top of the gate on the pool side, and does not have any openings larger than ½ inch within 1.5 feet of the latch.

As with pool signage laws in Montana, it appears that state law does not regulate fencing for private residential pools. Moreover, after searching for regulations in the city of Billings as well as Yellowstone and Missoula Counties, we were unable to find evidence of significant variation between local and state level pool regulations. Even so, we urge Montana pool owners to verify that their pools comply with city, county, and state laws governing pool use.

Nebraska

Signage

Title 178, Chapter 2 of the Nebraska Administrative Code instructs public pools to post the following signage:

  • A sign that states “WARNING – NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” (in 4 inch lettering) and “CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 16 MUST NOT USE POOL WITHOUT AN ADULT IN ATTENDANCE” (in 2 inch lettering).
  • A sign titled “Pool Regulations” (to be posted in the pool area or dressing rooms in 4 inch letters) which lists the following rules:
    • No person is permitted to use the pool without first having taken a warm water shower, using soap.
    • No person having an obvious communicable disease, skin eruption, cut, sore or lesion, eye, ear, nose, or throat infection, is permitted to use any public swimming pool.
    • Spitting or spouting of water, blowing the nose, or any other similar activities in the swimming pool is strictly prohibited.
    • No running, boisterous or rough play, except supervised water sports, is permitted in the pool, or on the runways, diving boards, floats, platforms, or in the dressing rooms.
    • Maximum patron load is ___ persons.
  • A warning sign that reads “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY,” to be placed on the chemical room door.

Although Nebraska does not direct residential pools to display pool signage, pool owners should make themselves aware of local and state statutes to ensure that they observe relevant laws.

Nebraska No Lifeguard Sign  Authorized Personnel Only Sign   Nebraska Black Pool Rules Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The Nebraska law referenced above states that public pools must be completely surrounded by a fence that does not have any openings 4 inches or larger in diameter. When the pool is in use, gates that form part of barriers that separate pools within the perimeter fence (which must be self-closing and self-latching) should remain unlocked.  When it comes to residential pools, it seems that Nebraska does not have any statewide laws over pool fencing. Notwithstanding, we strongly encourage pool owners to verify the accuracy of this information with appropriate authorities.

Local Regulations: Douglas County

Because pool statutes often differ by city and county, we look at the regulations in Douglas County, the largest county in Nebraska in terms of population.

Signage

In addition to the language required of “No Lifeguard” signs by the state of Nebraska, Douglas County regulations for public pools mandate the phrase “No person may swim alone.” The county further requires that emergency telephone numbers be prominently posted in the pool area. Public pools in Douglas County must also display a sign that lists the following rules:

  • No person having any skin eruptions or abrasions, sore or infected eyes, a cold, nasal or ear discharges may use the pool
  • Spitting, spouting water or blowing the nose in the pool is not allowed.

Private pools within the county are not required to post any of the above signage.

Douglas County Pool Rules Sign   Douglas County Pool Rules Sign - Black    Douglas County, Nebraska Pool Hours Sign   Douglas County Pool Hours Sign - Apartment/HOA

Fencing

According to the Douglas County regulations for public pools, newly constructed pools must be entirely enclosed by a fence that is at least 6 feet tall and has no openings larger than 3 inches in any direction.  Dwellings or other buildings may be used as part of the required enclosure.

County regulations for outdoor private pools state that pools built after November 1, 2006 in  Douglas County must be completely surrounded by a fence that is at least 5 feet, 7 inches high, does not have openings that are 4 inches in diameter or larger, and uses gates that are self-closing and self-latching, with the latch at least 45 inches above the ground. The County states that dwellings or other buildings may be used to form part of the enclosure. When this is the case, all doors that provide direct access to the pool must have be self-closing and self-latching with the latch 4.5 feet above the floor OR have an automatically resetting audible alarm. Alternatively, the pool must be covered with a power safety cover acceptable to the County Health Department

Fences for private above-ground pools need only be 4 feet high or higher; the pool itself is considered an acceptable barrier if it meets these height requirements and access to the ladder is enclosed by a barrier that is 4 feet in height and has a gate that meets the requirements for in-ground pools.

Nevada

Signage

Chapter 444 of the Nevada Administrative Code requires that public pools within the state display the following information via signage:

  • NO DIVING” (in 4 inch letters if the pool is not designed for diving).
  • Warning – No Lifeguard on Duty” (in 4 inch lettering). The sign must also state: “Children Under 14 Years Old Should Not Use Facility Without An Adult in Attendance” and “Solo Bathing is Prohibited.”
  • The pool-specific maximum number of bathers.
  • Diagrams of artificial respiration procedures (displayed so as to be visible from the deck and protected from the elements).
  • The address and phone number of the nearest ambulance, hospital, fire or police rescue service (or 911 if the service is available in the area), physician, and facility manager, along with instructions to immediately start and continue manual or mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration until a physician arrives or mechanical resuscitators are used.
  • CAUTION – CHLORINE GAS” (placed on the outside of the chlorine room door).
  • First-aid measures and the phone number for the chlorine gas supplier (posted outside the chlorine storage area).
  • Rules for bathers; while the state does not specify the rules to be posted per se, it requires that pools enforce the following regulations:
    • All swimmers must take a cleansing shower using warm water and soap and thoroughly rinse off all soap before entering or re-entering the pool area.
    • Persons not dressed for bathing must not be allowed in the pool.
    • Persons with colds, fever, coughs, sore or inflamed eyes, open sores, bandages, or any skin disease or other communicable disease may not enter the pool area.
    • Spitting, soiling, or contaminating the water, walkways, or dressing room floors is prohibited.
    • Eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited in the pool area.
    • Objects that may carry contamination, endanger safety of bathers or produce unsightliness is prohibited.
    • No boisterous or rough play in the water, walkways, diving boards, floors, platforms, dressing rooms or showers.
    • Persons under the influence of liquor are not permitted
    • No animals in the pool area

Although the state of Nevada does not appear to require residential pools to post signage, we recommend that pool users verify this information by consulting relevant authorities.

Nevada No Diving Sign    Nevada Pool Rules and Regulations Sign    Nevada Pool Rules Sign - Black    Nevada Maximum Pool Occupancy Sign   Emergency Numbers Pool Sign   Nevada Pool Hours and Maximum Occupancy Sign   Nevada Pool Hours Sign - Private Community

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Protective enclosure requirements for public pools are laid down by section 444 of the Nevada Administrative Code (referenced above). According to these regulations, the following fencing standards must be observed:

  • A pool must be completely surrounded by a structure that is at least 6 feet high and cannot be penetrated or climbed by small children.
  • Any gates must be lockable, self-closing, and positive self-latching. These latching mechanisms should be located at least 3.5 feet above grade and be able to close and latch from any open position.
  • Gates may not be obstructed or kept open and should be regularly inspected to ensure effective operation.
  • The enclosed area may not be used for common foot traffic.
  • For pools operated by hotels, trailer parks, apartments, or other multi-unit dwellings, fencing must be at least 5 feet high. However, dwelling doors may not open directly to the pool area.
  • For indoor pools, the gate or door must be either made of metal or have a metal frame.
  • Pools that are open 24 hours and are monitored continuously are not required to have barriers.

At present, it appears that the state of Nevada has not adopted pool fencing laws for residential pools. Since municipal and county governments have the authority to adopt barrier requirements, we advise pool operators to familiarize themselves with the pool construction standards enforced in their localities. We review the pool regulations in Clark County (home to the city of Las Vegas) in order to give Nevada residents an idea of how county regulations may differ from those of the state. Since Clark County recently adopted the Southern Nevada amendments to 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, regulations there are likely to be similar to other counties in southern Nevada. Of course, pool owners in other counties must consult the ordinances in their jurisdictions to ensure compliance.

Local Regulations: Clark County

Fencing

Effective July 7, 2014, Clark County has adopted the Southern Nevada Amendments to the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, which state that public and residential pools, both outdoor and indoor, must be surrounded by both primary and secondary barriers. The standards for primary barriers are as follows:

  • The fence should be non-climbable and least 6 feet high when measured on the outside of the wall or 8 feet when measured on the inside.
  • The vertical space between the the bottom of the barrier and the ground must be 4 inches or less.
  • Any diagonal members must be place at a 45 degree angle or less and may not form an opening greater than 1.25 inches.
  • Gates must open outward from the pool area and be lockable, self-closing and self-latching.
  • Gate latches must be unimpeded and meet one of the following standards:
    • Be ASTM F-1908-08 approved.
    • Be mounted on the pool side of the gate between 3 and 6 inches below the top, have no openings greater than ¼ inch within 20 inches of the latch in any direction (besides the top of the gate), and be inoperable from the exterior.
    • Require a key (may be placed at any height)
  • Gates that are wider than 8 feet must be self-latching and locked when not in use. Any double gates must be permanently locked, while electric gates must begin to shut at most 30 seconds after entry. Key-operated, self-latching locks must be permanently locked from the outside.
  • Exceptions to the primary barrier requirements:
      • These requirements do not apply to hot tubs or spas with lockable safety covers that meet ASTM standards.
      • Permanent pools in adjacent yards may have fences that are only 4 feet tall.
      • Pools that are less than 1.5 feet deep do not need barriers.

Additional guidelines apply, depending on the materials used to construct the barrier. These material-specific rules are as follows:

Wrought iron fence with open guardrails must use intermediate rails or other means to ensure that there are no openings that would allow the passage of a 4 inch sphere. Horizontal members must be at least 32 inches apart.

For fences that use masonry and wrought iron, the masonry or wrought iron part of the wall must be at least 32 inches tall. The wrought iron part of the wall must comply with the requirements above and have a maximum of two horizontal members, one within 4 inches of the masonry wall below, and the other at least 5 feet above grade.

Solid fences with no openings may not have indentations or protrusions that could serve as handholds or footholds, with the exception of tooled masonry joints and normal construction tolerances.

Chain link fences should not have openings  larger than 1.25 inches and must have horizontal supports on both the top and the bottom, be at least 5 feet tall, and use wire that is 11 gauge or greater.

Pools must also have a secondary barrier that isolates all openings in the dwelling unit from the pool area. The barrier must be at least 4 feet tall and not have any openings 4 inches in diameter or larger. Gates must be unobstructed and self-closing and latching at the top of the barrier. County regulations require pools owners to erect a barrier that matches one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Mesh fencing (other than chain link fences)
    • The barrier must be at least 4 feet tall measured on the outside, with the bottom no more than 1 inch above the ground and no openings that would allow the passage of a 4-inch sphere.
    • Barrier sections must be linked by an attachment device that is least 45  inches above the ground.
    • Any gates must conform to the gate standards for primary barriers.
    • Deck sleeves placed on the surface of the patio must be made of non-conductive material.
  • Option 2: Self-Closing and Latching Openings
    • Dwelling unit openings (doors, pet doors, and windows less than 4 feet above the ground) with direct access to the pool should be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Options 3: Window and Door Alarm
    • An alarm installed on all openings (doors, pet doors, and windows less than 4 feet above the ground)  in dwelling unit that provide direct access to the pool or spa. The alarm must meet the following specifications:
    • Comply with the UL Standard 2017 for Residential Water Hazard Entrance Alarms.
    • Sound continuously for at least 30 seconds within 7 seconds after the door is opened, and sound at 85 decibels when measured indoors at 10 feet.
    • Automatically reset under all conditions and have a temporary deactivation switch (for a single opening) located 54 inches above the door.
  • Option 4: Pool motion Alarm
    • Alarm systems that use pool motion devices, lasers, or light beams and surround the pool.
    • The alarm must sound at 85 decibel or more both inside and outside the house and reset automatically after going off. The alarm system must also be listed under ASTM F2208-08.
  • Option 5: Power safety covers
    • Covers must meet the standards in ASTM F1346-03.

Alternative barriers, including natural topography are subject to approval by Clark County. We remind pool owners that they bear the responsibility for ensuring that their pools meet the legal requirements imposed by city, county, and state governments.

New Hampshire

Signage

As of May 1, 2014, section Env-Wq 1100 of the New Hampshire Administrative Rules states that public pools must post the following signage:

  • A “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign (if applicable).
  • A sign informing patrons that no emergency rescue equipment is available (if applicable).
  • A sign that states the following pool safety rules (most of which are quoted directly from statute):
    • Patrons with any communicable disease may not enter the pool.
    • Do not discharge any bodily fluids into the pool.
    • Do not bring or throw into the pool any object that may carry contamination or otherwise endanger the safety of bathers.
    • Do not spit in or in any other way contaminate the water, floors, walkways, aisles, or dressing rooms associated with the pool.
    • All bathers must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
    • Do not run or engage in rough play in the pool or on the deck or walkways around the pool or in the bathhouse.
    • Do not bring food or drink into the pool or within 4 feet of its edge.
    • Do not take glass containers into the pool, pool deck, or showers.
    • The emergency telephone is located _________.

At present, we are not aware of any signage rules for private pools in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire No Lifeguard On Duty Sign  New Hampshire Pool Rules Sign    Swimming Pool Hours Sign - New Hampshire

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The statute referenced in the paragraph above states outdoor public pools must be entirely enclosed by a barrier that meets the following minimum standards:

  • The fence must be at least 4 feet tall, measured on both side and prevent unauthorized passage.
  • Any gates must open away from the pool area and be lockable, self-closing and self-latching, with the latch located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top.
  • The gate must have not have any openings greater than ½ inch within 18 inches of the latch.

Residential pools in New Hampshire must comply with the specifications found in Appendix G of the state building code. Besides the exceptions that we describe below, the New Hampshire requirements for residential barriers are identical to those in Appendix G of the International Residential Code, which we break down here. New Hampshire amends the building code standards for pool barriers in the following ways:

  1. The maximum size for chain link mesh in New Hampshire is 1.25 inches (compared to 2.25 inches in the International Building Code).
  2. The deactivation switch for a pool alarm must be at least 54 inches above the ground (versus 48 inches in the International Building Code).

Local Regulations: Manchester

While we were unable to find evidence of specific pool regulations in Hillsborough County, the city of Manchester specifies (via the city’s Code of Ordinances) that public pools must display a sign that states “WARNING – NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” in 4 inch letters. The city does not appear to have any signage requirements for residential pools, nor does it enforce rules (besides those of the state) related to public or private pool fencing.

Manchester County No Lifeguard on Duty Pool Sign   Manchester County Pool Rules Sign - Black    Manchester County Pool Hours Sign

New Jersey

Signage

The New Jersey Sanitary Code specifies that public pools within the state must post the following signage:

  • A 3 by 4 foot sign that states “No lifeguard on duty,” “Persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult,” and “No swimming alone” (if no lifeguard is on duty). For campgrounds, hotels, motels, mobile home parks, or retirement communities, this sign must also state “This swimming area shall be closed when the owner or manager is not on the premises.” This notice must also be placed on an 8 by 10 inch sign at the registration desk and each room at the facility in question.
  • The name and telephone number of the adult supervisor (conspicuously posted).
  • Diving rules (posted in the pool area in both words and symbols) that prohibit diving in water less than 5 feet deep and designate diving and non-diving areas of the pool.
  • A sign that reminds swimmers of the danger in using dives other than the “flat dive” in water that is less than 5 feet deep.
  • A sign that indicates the location (and directions to that location) of an individual trained and certified in infant, child, and adult CPR if such an individual is not stationed in the main pool area.
  • Emergency phone numbers of the nearest rescue service, ambulance, police department, hospital, physician, or clinic (to be posted next to the telephone in a weather resistant display).
  • A sign that states “CAUTION—Chlorine hazard area. Unauthorized persons keep out. Chlorine causes burns, severe eye hazard, and other injuries which may be fatal if inhaled” (posted on the entrance to areas where chlorine is present).
  • No Smoking” signs for areas where chemicals are stored.
  • A sign that lists the following pool rules (verbatim):
    • Any person showing evidence of any communicable skin disease, sore or inflamed eyes, cold, nasal or ear discharges, or any other communicable disease shall be denied admission.
    • Any person with excessive sunburn, open blisters, cuts, or bandages shall be denied admission.
    • Do not enter the water if you are experiencing or recovering from diarrhea or have had any signs or symptoms of a gastrointestinal (stomach) disease in the past seven days.
    • All children in diapers must wear plastic pants with snug fitting elastic waist and leg bands. Do not wash out soiled diapers in the bathing water.
    • Children should be encouraged to use the restroom before entering the water. Immediately report any “accidents’ you observe in the bathing waters to a lifeguard.
    • No animals, except for service animals, shall be allowed in the swimming pool, wading pool, hot tub, or spa area, dressing rooms, or other parts of the enclosure.
    • Glass containers shall be prohibited in food and drink areas.
    • All person shall shower before entering the water.
    • Conduct which endangers the safety and comfort of others shall be prohibited during an electrical storm.
    • Persons suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol shall be prohibited from entering the water.
  • For wading pools, a sign that indicates the location (and directions to that location) of an individual trained and certified in infant, child, and adult CPR if such an individual is not stationed in the wading pool area.
  • A sign that indicates that the pool is a salt water pool (if applicable).

Although we are unaware of any signage laws that pertain to private pools, we recommend that pool owners examine local statutes to make certain that they observe applicable regulations.

New Jersey No Diving Sign  New Jersey Emergency Numbers Pool Sign  New Jersey Pool Rules Sign  New Hampshire Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, an amended version of the 2009 International Building Code, contains fencing regulations for residential pools within the state. We outline the pool fencing standards required in section 3109 of the International Building Code here. The New Jersey amendments to the generalized international code include:

  1. Delete requirements related to pool barriers that use a dwelling wall as a barrier (Section 3109.4.1.8).
  2. Delete rules that allow above-ground pools to have a ladder that can be secured, locked, or removed instead of erecting a barrier around the access area (Section 3109.4.1.9).

As far as we can tell, Section 8:26-3.11 of the New Jersey Sanitary Code subject public pools to these same barrier requirements. We recommend, however, that pool operators verify the accuracy of this information by consulting local statutes.

Local Regulations

After scouring the web for pool regulations in the city of Newark and Bergen, Middlesex, and Essex Counties, we were unable to find substantial differences between state and local pool regulations in these municipalities. We advise pool owners to familiarize themselves with local and state regulations so as to ensure compliance with applicable pool laws.

New Mexico

Signage

According to part 7.18.4 of the New Mexico Administrative Code, all public pools are required to post the following signs in the pool area:

  • A sign that indicates the location of the emergency phone.
  • A sign at the phone that states emergency phone numbers and the pool facility address.
  • An American red cross resuscitation chart or its equivalent.
  • A sign that indicates the bathing load capacity of the pool.
  • A sign that states “Warning- No lifeguard service is provided. All children under the age of 14 shall be accompanied by an observer 18 years or older. In case of emergency, contact:_________” (if no lifeguard service is provided).

If the pool has a water slide it must post a sign that displays slide rules, including:

  • “Slide feet first only.”
  • “Slide sitting up or lying on your back.”
  • “Only one person at a time may be on the slide.”
  • “Always enter the pool feet first; do not somersault, twist, or dive from the end of the slide.”

At present, the state of New Mexico does not appear to mandate that private pools display signage. Pool owners should consult local statutes to verify the accuracy of this information.

Emergency Phone Sign - New Mexico  New Mexico Emergency Numbers Pool Sign  New Mexico Maximum Bather Load Sign  New Mexico Pool Rules Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Part 7.18.3 of the New Mexico Administrative Code contains standards for pool fencing. According to these standards, public pools must be completely enclosed by a durable, non-climbable barrier that controls access to the pool and conforms to the following specifications:

  • The fence must be at least 5 feet tall measured on the exterior side and be clear of other objects within a 5 foot radius of the top of the fence)
  • Pools built before July 30, 2008 (the effective date of the pool regulations) must have a barrier that is at least 4 feet tall.
  • The space between the bottom horizontal rail and the ground may not be more than 4 inches if the grade is solid (i.e. concrete), or 2 inches if the grade is not solid.
  • Gaps between vertical members must not be wider than 4 inches.
  • There should be at least 45 inches of spaces between the bottom horizontal member and the next closest horizontal member.
  • Barriers should not have decorative features that might allow hand or footholds.
  • Any exterior projections or recessions must be 45 inches from the bottom of the fence.
  • Openings in chain link mesh may not be greater than 1.25 square inches unless slats attached to the top and bottom of the fence so reduce the size of the mesh that a 1.75 inch diameter sphere may not pass.
  • Chain link fencing must be at least 11 gauge.
  • Gates must open away from the pool, be self-closing, self-latching, and lockable from the outside of the fence.
  • Gates should not be blocked or kept permanently open.
  • The latch should be located at least 3.5 feet above grade on the exterior side of the fence and the gate within a 1.5 foot radius of the latch should not have openings greater than .5 inches.
  • If the gate is equipped with a kick plate, said gate must have solid facing at least 3.5 feet from the bottom of the gate.
  • Gates, doors or fire exits for living units, hotels, motels, or other public buildings may not open directly into the pool enclosure.

When it comes to fencing for residential pools, the applicable law appears to be the 2009 New Mexico Residential Building Code, which adopts and amends the 2009 International Residential Code. We provide a detailed explanation of the pool fencing standards required by Appendix G of this code below. Pool owners should refer to the building code as well as any city and county regulations to ensure compliance. To provide readers with an example of how local pool laws might differ from those established by the state, we review pool requirements in Bernalillo County, which contains the city of Albuquerque.

Local Regulations: Bernalillo County

Signage

In addition to the signage required by the state of New Mexico (see above), section  42-591 of the Bernalillo County Natural Resource Ordinances indicate that public pools must post notices (via approved signage) that:

  1. Instruct all swimmers to use the toilet before entering the pool enclosure.
  2. Ban the introduction of body wastes into the pool area by urinating, spitting, or blowing the nose.

Bernalillo County Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Bernalillo County Pool Rules Sign - Black  Bernalillo County Pool Hours Sign Bernalillo County Pool Hours Sign

Fencing

Section 22.D.2.c of the County Zoning Ordinance states that pool fencing for uncovered pools must be at least 6 feet in height. Otherwise, pools must be covered by a safety pool cover. Pool owners bear the responsibility for verifying these fencing laws with city, state, and county authorities.

New York

Signage

As per sub-part 10-1-6-1 of the Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, public pools must conspicuously post signs in the pool enclosure, dressing rooms, and offices, including:

  • A sign that states the maximum bathing load, pool hours of operations, and a prohibition of pool use outside of the normal hours of operation.
  • A warning sign (at least 3 feet by 2 feet in size) that states:
    • Two or more adults, 18 years of age or older, must be present at the pool when the bathing facility is in use, with at least one adult on the pool deck.
    • Children less than 16 years of age must at all times be accompanied by an adult responsible for their safety and behavior.
    • Shallow Water – No Diving” (for pools with water less than 8 feet deep).
    • Method of summoning on-premise CPR staff (if CPR staff required)
    • Location of free telephone and emergency numbers to contact.
  • A clearly lit sign that indicates the pool water depth and states “NO DIVING” in relevant areas for pools with moveable bottoms.

In addition to the general requirements described above, pools with white water slides must display a sign with the following prohibitions:

  • No chain-riding or stopping in the slide
  • No standing or kneeling in the water slide
  • Swimmers may only slide in a feet forward position.

Public pools must also provide patrons with a written statement or brochure before these may use the pool. This brochure must state (quoted directly from 6-1.23.10.vii of the the statute referenced above):

  • NEVER SWIM ALONE. A minimum of two adults, 18 years of age or older, must be present whenever this swimming facility is in use, with at least one adult remaining on the pool deck.
  • THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR ADEQUATE SUPERVISION. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied to the bathing facility by a parent or guardian, (an adult who is responsible for the children and their behavior.)
  • IN AN EMERGENCY, NOTIFY THE FACILITY OPERATOR AND CONTACT HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. A free telephone is provided at this facility (describe location). Telephone numbers for the nearest emergency medical service are posted.
  • Only use this facility during posted hours of operation.
  • Don’t drink alcohol and swim.

Pool Hours and Maximum Occupancy Sign     New York Pool Rules Sign     New York Pool Rules Sign - Black

Note: Make sure your signs contain all the information required by New York law.  If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

With regard to pool fencing, the statute referenced above requires that pools built before March 30, 1988 not have any opening greater than 4 inches, while pools constructed after that date must meet the requirements of the Uniform Code. Under that code, public pools must be completely surrounded by a fence or screen enclosure that is at least 4 feet in height and has no opening that would allow the passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere.

These standards work in unison with 10 NYCRR Chapter 1, part 6-1, which states that the barrier must ensure that the facility can only be accessed through self-closing and positive self-latching doors or gates whose knobs are at least 40 inches above grade. The law also requires the gate to be locked when the pool is unsupervised.

The Uniform Code further mandates that private pools be entirely surrounded by fencing that  meets somewhat more restrictive requirements, including the following:

  • The barrier must be at least 4 feet high.
  • The space between the bottom of the fence and the ground must be less than 2 inches.
  • Any openings must not allow a 4-inch-diameter sphere to pass through the barrier.
  • Barriers without openings may not contain indentations or protrusions (except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • If the space between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, horizontal members must be located on the interior of the fence and gaps between vertical members and within decorative cutouts must be 1.75 inches or smaller. On the other hand, if the space between the tops of the horizontal members is more  than 45 inches, spacing between vertical members should not be greater than 4 inches, while spaces created by decorative cutouts must not exceed 1.75 inches.
  • Chain link fences may not use mesh that is larger than 2.25 square inches unless slats attached to the top or bottom of the fence decrease the size of the openings to 1.75 inches or less.
  • Any openings formed by diagonal members must be 1.75 inches or smaller.
  • Barriers must be located so that permanent structures or objects may not be used to climb the barrier.
  • Access gates should be self-closing and self-latching, with the latch handle located at least 40 inches above grade on the pool side of the fence. If the handle is less than 54 inches above  the bottom of the gate, it must be at least 3 inches below the top. The gate and surround barrier must not have openings greater than than 0.5 inch within 18 inches of the handle.
  • All gates must  be securely locked (when the pool is not in use or supervised) with a key, combination or other child proof lock.
  • Gates used as pedestrian entrances must open away from the pool.

If a building wall serves as part of the barrier, either the pool must have a power safety cover that complies with ASTM F1346, or all doors with direct access to the pool must have an alarm that produces an audible warning when the door and screen are opened, sounds continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds immediately after the door is opened, and can be heard throughout  the house during normal activities. The alarm should  automatically reset under all conditions, and have a temporary deactivation switch that is at least 4.5 feet above the floor and deactivates for a single opening (not longer than 15 seconds).

For above-ground pools, the structure of the pool can be counted toward the barrier height if the pool is rigid enough to restrict access. If a ladder or steps are used to enter the pool, these must be able to be secured, locked or removed and not allow the passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter. Alternatively, the ladder may be surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements above. If the barrier is located on top of the pool, the space between the pool and the bottom of the barrier must be 4 inches or less.

Local Regulations: New York City

Now that we have outlined both pool signage and fencing laws at the state level, we briefly visit the importance of local regulations. Many cities and counties in New York  adopt their own regulations for pool oversight. In an attempt to provide a flavor of the types of ordinances that exist at the city level in New York we describe standards for pools in New York City.

Signage

To our knowledge, New York City pool regulations do not impose any signage requirements beyond those present at the state level on either public or private pools.

New York City Pool Rules Sign - Black   New York City Pool Rules Sign - Blue   New York City Emergency Phone Numbers Pool Sign  New York Pool Hours sign

Fencing

Public pools must be completely enclosed by a structure that is at least 6 feet tall, has no openings that would allow the passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere, and uses self-closing and self-latching gates. (Pools with a power safety cover that complies with ASTM F are exempt from fencing requirements.)

Private pools are subject to the requirements of section 3109.5 of the 2008 New York City Building Code, which adopts language from the 2006 International Building Code. These requirements are identical to the provisions that we outline here.

North Carolina

Signage

In section 15A NCAC 18A .2500 of the state Administrative Code, North Carolina requires public pools to permanently mount the following pool signage in the pool area:

  • A sign (at the entrance to the pool enclosure) that directs bathers to shower before entering the pool.
  • A sign that states “WARNING-NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” in 4 inch letters (if applicable).
  • A sign that displays the words “CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE THE SWIMMING POOL WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION,“and “ADULTS SHOULD NOT SWIM ALONE” in 1 inch letters at all pool entrances (if there is no lifeguard on duty).
  • A sign that prohibits pets and glass containers in the pool area.
  • Pool closed” signs for times when the pool is closed for water quality or safety violations.
  • A sign that indicates the location of the emergency telephone (if the phone is not located in the pool enclosure).
  • A sign (to be posted at the telephone) that provides dialing instructions as well as the address and telephone number of the pool facility.

Public wading pools are subject to additional requirements, including:

  • Wading pools that use a single main drain for water circulation must post signs at the entrance to the wading pool enclosure  that state “WARNING: To prevent serious injury do not allow children in wading pool if drain cover is broken or missing” (in ½ inch letters).
  • Wading pools without a lifeguard inside the wading pool enclosure must post a sign that reads “WARNING NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY”.

Although we are unaware of any pool sign requirements for private pools, we advise pool owners to make themselves aware of city, county, and state laws so that they can be sure that they comply with relevant regulations.

North Carolina No Lifeguard on Duty Pool Sign North Carolina Shower Pool Sign  North Carolina Emergency Phone Sign  North Carolina Pool Rules Sign  North Carolina Emergency Numbers Pool Sign     North Carolina Pool Hours and Maximum Occupancy Sign - Blue

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to 15A NCAC 18A .2500, North Carolina public swimming pools built after May 1, 2010 must be completely enclosed by a barrier that conforms to the following specifications:

  • The fence should be at least 4 feet tall and not have any vertical space larger than 2 inches between the bottom of the barrier and grade (both measured on the exterior side).
  • Any openings should not allow a sphere 4-inches in diameter to pass and should not allow handholds or footholds.
  • Solid barriers without openings must not have any indentations or protrusions (except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints)
  • If the gaps between the tops of the horizontal members are 45 inches or greater, spaces between vertical members should not be greater than 4 inches, while openings created by decorative cutouts should not be more than 1.75 inches wide.
  • If the tops of the horizontal members are less than 45 inches apart, horizontal members must be located on the swimming pool side of the fence.
  • Neither vertical members nor decorative cutouts may have openings that are larger than 1.75 inches in width.
  • Chain link fences must use mesh that is 2.25 inches square or smaller (unless slats attached to the top or bottom of the fence reduce the openings to 1.75 inches or less), while openings formed by diagonal members may not be larger than 1.75 inches.
  • Access gates must open away from the pool and be lockable, self-closing, and self-latching (unless a gate attendant and lifeguard are on duty).
  • Gates other than pedestrian access gates must be self-latching.
  • If the latch release is less than 54 inches above the bottom of the gate, it must require a key, combination or card reader to open or be located at least 3 inches below the top of the pool side of the gate, with no openings greater than ½  inch within 18 inches of the  latch release.
  • Ground level doors and windows that open directly from occupied buildings to the pool enclosure must be self-closing or child protected with a barrier or audible alarm.

Public pool fences built before May 1, 2010 may vary from the standards above in the following ways:

  • The vertical space between the bottom of the fence and grade may be 4 inches (rather than only 2 inches).
  • If the space between vertical members is greater than 1.75 inches, the distance between the the lowest and second lowest horizontal member may be less than 45 inches (but not less than 30 inches).
  • Gates not used for pedestrian access are not required to be self-latching if kept locked.
  • If natural topography, landscaping, or emergency exit requirements prevent a gate from swinging away from the pool, the gate may swing toward the pool.

Fencing for residential pools is subject to the requirements of the North Carolina Residential Code (Appendix G), a modified version of the International Residential Code. We provide an in-depth explanation of Appendix G here. Pool owners should consult ordinances in their local jurisdictions to ensure compliance.

Local Regulations: Mecklenburg County

Because pool fencing and signage laws often vary locally, we describe the pool regulations in Mecklenburg County (home to the city of Charlotte) in order to give North Carolina pool owners an idea of how pool regulations might differ between state and county levels. Of course, individuals should always familiarize themselves with the pool rules specific to their localities.

Signage

While Mecklenburg County does not require residential pools to display pool signage, the county Public Pool Ordinance mandates that public pools post a sign (near the emergency telephone) that contains the words “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY DIAL 911” as well as the name and address of the pool facility. Public pools within the county must also observe the state signage requirements listed above.

Mecklenburg County Emergency Phone Sign      Mecklenburg County Swimming Pool Hours Sign     Mecklenburg County Swimming Pool Rules Sign     Black Pool Rules Sign

Fencing

Residential pools must be completely enclosed by a structure that meets Mecklenburg County residential pool standards, including:

  • The barrier must be at least 44 inches tall (measured from any point on the outside of the fence).
  • Vertical members must not be more than 4 inches apart.
  • Any opening under the bottom of the fence must be 4 inches or less.
  • Any openings within the fence must not allow the passage of a 4 inch diameter sphere.
  • Gates and doors used by pedestrians to access the pool must be lockable, self-closing, and positive self-latching (besides service gates that are kept locked).
  • The wall of an above-ground swimming pool may be considered a barrier if it is at least 44 inches tall. If this is the case, stairs used to access to the pool must be removed when the pool is not in use or surrounded by a fence that complies with the standards described above.

Our research suggests that Mecklenburg County does not have additional fencing guidelines (beyond those of the state) for public pools. We remind pool operators that public pools are still subject to state fencing standards and may also need to comply with municipal pool rules.

North Dakota

To our knowledge, North Dakota does not have any signage or fencing laws for either public or residential pools. While the state adopted the 2012 International Residential Code, it did not adopt Appendix G, the section that contains guidelines for residential pools. Due to this lack of state regulations, we examine pool standards in Fargo and Bismark, the two largest cities in North Dakota.

Local Regulations: Fargo

Signage

Article 13-10 of the Fargo Municipal Code states that public and semi-public swimming pools must display a sign that contains the following sanitation rules:

  • No person with skin eruptions or abrasions, sore or infected eyes, a cold, nasal or ear discharge, or any communicable disease may use the pool.
  • Spitting, spouting water, or blowing the nose in the pool is prohibited.

Also, the pool design standards published by the Fargo Department of Public Health stipulate that a sign containing additional pool rules (unique to each facility) must be conspicuously posted and use at least ¼ inch lettering.

North Dakota Pool Rules Sign - Blue      Fargo Pool Rules Sign - Black     Fargo Swimming Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to the Fargo Municipal Code (see Article 13-10, referenced above) public, semi-public, and permanent outdoor residential pools must be completely enclosed by a barrier that is at least 5 feet tall and uses gates that can be latched from the inside.

Local Regulations: Bismark

Signage

Chapter 4-10 of the Bismark City Ordinances requires public pools to post a sign that clearly states pool rules (the ordinance does not, however, specify the rules that must be posted).

Bismark Pool Rules Sign - Blue     Bismark Pool Hours Sign   Bismark Pool Hours Sign

Fencing

The ordinance referenced above states that the pool area for public and semi-public pools must be entirely enclosed by a barrier or fence that is at least least 6 feet tall. (City ordinances do not seem to impose fencing requirements on residential pools.) Indoor pools must be locked when the pool is not in use or else be under direct supervision at all times. Whirlpools or treatment pools do not need barriers if they are located in locker rooms used only by adults and there is a railing around the pool.

Ohio

Signage

Chapter 3701-31 of the Ohio Administrative Code dictates that public pools must observe the following signage requirements:

  • If lifeguard service is not provided, pools must post signs that convey the following notices:
    • Warning, No Lifeguard
    • Swimming alone is not recommended
    • Children must be supervised
  • No diving” signs must be placed every 25 feet along the perimeter of shallow areas (except for wading pools, spas, and spray grounds).
  • When the emergency telephone (or other approved device) is not visible in the pool area, a sign that indicates the location of the nearest emergency telephone must be posted. This sign must also contain the name and phone number of the nearest police station, fire station, and rescue unit as well as any other names and phone numbers likely to be needed in an emergency.
  • When the pool is closed, a sign that states “DANGER – POOL CLOSED” or “WARNING – POOL CLOSED” must be posted.

Pools with water slides must post the following safety recommendations

    • Only one user on the slide or platform at a time. Forming “chains” is prohibited.
    • Check if the landing area is clear before entering the slide.
    • Follow the directions of the slide attendant.
    • Exit the landing area of the slide immediately.
    • Ride feet first at all times; stopping or changing positions is not allowed.
    • The minimum user height is ________ (manufacturer’s recommendation).
    • Speed slides must display additional notices that:
    • Direct users to remain flat while sliding.
    • Prohibit life jackets or other flotation devices (unless they are designed for the slide).
  • The statute also designates that spray grounds must post signs with the following instructions:
    • “DO NOT USE POOL WHEN YOU HAVE DIARRHEA
    • WATER IS NOT MEANT FOR DRINKING
    • WASH HANDS AFTER USING THE REST ROOM OR CHANGING DIAPERS
    • TAKE REGULAR REST ROOM BREAKS, CHANGE DIAPERS ONLY IN A REST ROOM”

Ohio No Diving Sign  Ohio Emergency Phone Location Sign  Emergency Numbers Pool Sign - Ohio  Ohio Pool Rules Sign - Blue

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

With regard to pool fencing, Ohio law (Chapter 3701-31 of the Administrative Code) requires public pools to be completely enclosed by a perimeter barrier that is in good repair, prevents unauthorized entry, and meets the following standards:

  • The fence must be at least 4 feet tall.
  • All gates or doors must be lockable.
  • Gates or doors used by pool patrons must be self-closing and self-latching, with the latching mechanism placed at least 38 inches above the ground.
  • The fence may not have horizontal members on the exterior side that would make climbing easy.
  • Horizontal “stringers” (or other members used to strengthen the barrier) must be at least 3.5 feet above the ground.
  • The barrier must not have any openings 4 inches or larger (including the opening between the bottom of the barrier and the ground).
  • Electronic monitoring devices may not be used instead of the required fencing.
  • Any additions, substantial alterations or replacement of the barrier must conform to the specifications described above.

Wading pools must be completely enclosed by a barrier that is at least 3 feet tall and has self-closing and self-latching gates. This barrier must separate the wading pool from any other pool in the pool area and be constructed without horizontal members that would allow climbing.

Local Regulations

After researching pool regulations for Franklin and Cuyahoga Counties (which contain the cities of Columbus and Cleveland, respectively), we were unable to find significant differences between county and state pool laws. The pool guidelines in both counties rely almost exclusively on the Ohio statute. That said, pool owners should make themselves aware of city, county, and state requirements that concern pools

Oklahoma

Signage

Chapter 310:315 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code states that public pools must display the following signs:

  • NO LIFEGUARD OR ATTENDANT ON DUTY” (for pools not open to the general public, if applicable).
  • POOL CLOSED” (posted at all entrances to the pool when not open for use).
  • A sign that lists pool rules (to be posted at the pool entrance or dressing rooms), including:
    • A cleansing shower, using warm water and soap, must be taken before entering the pool.
    • Persons with open wounds, bandages, or any symptom of communicable disease may not enter the pool.
    • Swimming alone is prohibited.
    • Children under age 12  must be accompanied by a responsible adult  at pool side (if no lifeguard is on duty)
    • Running and rough play are prohibited in and around the pool.
    • “Cut-offs” should be hemmed.
    • Excess body lotions should be removed prior to entering the water.
    • Bathing load limit of _____ swimmers enforced.
    • “NO LIFEGUARD OR ATTENDANT ON DUTY” (if applicable)
  • Signage that states the pool volume and turnover rate (placed in the equipment area)
  • A sign (next to the emergency phone) with a list of current phone numbers for doctors, ambulance services, hospitals, and police or fire department rescue squads.
  • Signs for rooms or areas used to store pool chemicals (placed on the outside of the door) that read “POOL CHEMICALS.”
  • Wading pools must display a sign entitled “Wading Pool” that states:
    • Supervisor Required for Use
    • Children over 12 Years of Age Prohibited.

Oklahoma Warning No Lifeguard on Duty Sign Oklahoma Emergency Numbers Pool Sign   Oklahoma Pool Rules Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to the requirements of OAC 310:315, public pools in Oklahoma must be surrounded by a barrier that excludes unauthorized persons and is equal to a 6 foot high woven wire fence (a semi-barrier within the pool enclosure may separate swimmers from spectators). Indoor pools must be in a room with doors that can be locked when the pool is not being used.

Outdoor pools not open to the general public must be enclosed with a barrier that prevents unauthorized entry, allows visual observation of the pool, and:

  • Is at least 4 feet tall.
  • Uses self-closing, self-latching gates.
  • Does not have any openings greater than 4 inches.

Additional requirements contingent on barrier building material are as follows:

Wood posts must be pressure treated wood, at least 4 inches in diameter (or 4  x 4 inches square), spaced no more than 10 feet apart, and embedded 1.5 feet or more into the ground. The fence should have at least 2 railings which do not provide horizontal projections or recessions (if placed lower than 4 feet above the ground) or form a ladder. Wood railings (if used) must be 2 x 4 inches in nominal dimension.

Wire posts must be galvanized pipe that is at least 2 inches in diameter, spaced 10 feet apart or less, and embedded 12 inches in a concrete jacket that is at least 18 inches deep and 6 inches in diameter. Chain link must use 11 gauge galvanized metal, while wire supports must be made of galvanized metal  that is 1.25 inches thick (or larger) and does not allow footholds.

Wrought iron posts and fence sections should use ½  inch thick steel bars that are 4 inches apart or less. Any horizontal rails may not form a ladder.

Brick, concrete, or stone walls must be built so that there are no projections or recessions within 4 feet of the ground. These walls must not prevent visual observation of the pool area or form a ladder. The space between the bottom of the barrier and the ground may not be greater than 4 inches.

Indoor swimming pools not open to the general public (such as those servicing hotels, schools or clubs) must be enclosed so that swimmers can only access the pool through self-closing, self-latching gates or doors. Enclosures must not have openings of more than 4 inches or form a ladder.

Pool owners seeking an exception to any of the above standards must contact the Oklahoma Department of Health.

Local Regulations: Tulsa County

In order to give pool owners insight into the types of regulations that exist at the county level in Oklahoma, we briefly review pool standards in Tulsa County. Individuals in other counties should check the rules that apply to their locations.

Signage

Tulsa County does not appear to have its own pool signage laws at this time; the county website directly references the state statute.

Fencing

According to the Tulsa County Inspections Division, Tulsa County has adopted the 2009 International Residential Code, which contains specifications for residential pool enclosures in Appendix G.  We provide an in-depth summary of Appendix G here. We are not aware of any county guidelines that address public pool fencing.

Oregon

Signage

According to Division 333-60 of the Oregon Administrative Rules, public pools must post a sign that is at least 18  by 24 inches, is located near the pool area entrance and the dressing room, and uses lettering at least ½ inch high. The sign must contain the following rules (quoted directly from the statute):

  • “PROTECT OUR WATER – Please do not use the pool if you have had diarrhea in the past two weeks, or a disease communicable by water.”
  • “SHOWER YOUR CHILD AND YOURSELF. Take a cleansing shower before entering the pool or after using the toilet.”
  • “Swimmers who are not toilet trained must wear a swim diaper.”
  • “Immuno-compromised individuals should use caution when using a public pool.”
  • “WATER AND ALCOHOL DON’T MIX. No person under the influence of alcohol may use the pool.”
  • “NO RUNNING or ROUGH PLAY.”
  • “NO GLASS OR PLASTIC THAT WILL SHATTER.”
  • “NO FOOD or DRINK in the pool.”
  • “NO DIVING ALLOWED”, or “NO DIVING, except in designated diving  areas.”
  • “NO ANIMALS in the pool area.”

For pools without lifeguards, the rules sign must contain the following additional notices:

  • “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” (In letters at least 4 inches high.)
  • “BRING A FRIEND – Do not swim alone.”
  • “CHILDREN UNDER 14 – BRING AN ADULT. Non-swimmers and children under 14 years of age need responsible adult supervision.”

The following additional signs must be posted within the pool area:

  • Signage that indicates the location of the AED
  • A sign stating the policy (in accordance with state law) for the use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), to be placed next to the AED.
  • A sign that lists the address of the pool facility.

Oregon Pool Rules Sign - Blue    Oregon Emergency Numbers and Pool Address Sign    Swimming Pool Hours Sign - blue

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Oregon law also contains signage regulations for different types of pools, including pools with water slides, water parks, wading pools, and spray grounds. We summarize the signs required of each pool in the paragraphs that follow.

Pools with water slides must post signage at the slide that states:

  • “CAUTION – One rider at a time. Wait until the landing area is clear before entering the slide.”
  • “Slide feet first in the sitting position or on the back only.”
  • “Do not attempt to stop in the slide.”
  • “Leave the plunge area immediately.”
  • “WARNING: Water depth is “__” feet.”
  • “Non-swimmers not permitted.” (If the water is over 5 feet deep)
  • “WATER AND ALCOHOL DON’T MIX. No person under the influence of alcohol may use the pool.”

Water parks must also post a sign with several instructions on every water slide, including:

  • “Slide feet first only!”
  • “Slide sitting up or lying on your back! “
  • “Slide one at a time only!”
  • “Always enter the pool feet first! Do not somersault, twist, or dive from the end of the slide.”

Wading pools must display the following information via signage posted near the entrance to the wading pool:

  • The maximum pool depth (in both feet and inches)
  • WARNING: NO LIFEGUARD” (in 4 inch letters), and: “PARENTS – Do not leave your children unsupervised” (2 inch letters). This sign must also be posted within the wading pool area, if there is not direct supervision of the wading pool.
  • Wading Pool Rules (prominently posted using at least 1 inch lettering):
    • “Do not use the pool if you have had diarrhea in the last two weeks.”
    • “All persons, who are not toilet trained, must wear swim diapers.”
    • “Drinking and spitting of the pool water is discouraged.”

If the wading pool is not directly supervised, the sign should also state:

  • “For emergency assistance please contact (insert 911, or other emergency assistance site staffed during all hours the wading pool is open).”
  • “Please contact (insert contact person or agency and phone number) with any concerns about this pool.”

Spray pools or water playgrounds without enclosures should place the “No Lifeguard” warning sign required of wading pools on 4 sides of the pool or less 50 feet apart (whichever is less).

Pools with existing pool rule signs may wait to comply with the requirements of this rule until the signs are replaced, repaired or moved. As a reminder, these signage requirements apply only to public pools. Although we were unable to find statewide laws directing private pools to post signs, we advise pool owners to consult city, state, and county ordinances to ensure compliance.

Fencing

The Oregon statute referenced above dictates that public swimming pools must be protected by an enclosure that does not have private entrances to the pool area, prevents entry by children or pets, and meets the following requirements:

  • The fence should be at least 4 feet tall, measured at any point 1 foot away from the barrier on the outside.
  • The space between the bottom of the enclosure and the grade should be 4 inches or less.
  • Space between vertical rails should be no greater than 4 inches, while horizontal rails must be at least 42 inches apart.
  • Any projections or recessions on the outside of the fence must be 42 inches from either the top or bottom of the fence.
  • Gates and doors must swing away from the pool and  be self-closing and self-latching, with the latching mechanism mounted at least 42 inches above the ground on the outside of the gate.Self-closing and self-locking entrances that require a key, key card, or combination may have controls between 36 and 54 inches above the ground.
  • Gates or doors may not require a key, key card or combination to exit the pool area.
  • When the pool is closed, all entrances and exits must be secured  to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • If the pool area is is not constantly supervised, access through controlled entry points may be allowed according to these conditions:
    • When only adults are allowed to enter the pool area and all pool users must pass through a controlled-access point (such as a registration or check-in desk), adults may access the pool directly without passing through closed doors or gates. The pool entrance must be locked and secured when the pool is closed. On the other hand, if children under the age of 18 can access  the pool area,  there must be a lockable, self-closing, and self-latching door or gate  whose latching mechanism is between 42 and 54 inches above the ground.
  • Pool barriers built before March 1, 1979 must be 4 feet tall and may have spaces up to 5 inches between the bottom of the fence and the ground and between vertical rails. Horizontal rails must be spaced more than 38 inches apart.
  • Additional requirements obtain for buildings that serve as part of the pool barrier (see the Oregon Building Code for more details).

The 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (Appendix G) requires residential pools to erect fences that meet the specifications for pool enclosures in Appendix G of the 2009 International Residential Code, which we detail at the end of this post.

Local Regulations: Portland

Since pool regulations are often different for each municipality, we outline the standards for pools in the city of Portland. We remind readers that local laws take precedence over state standards if the local regulations are more stringent. Moreover, pool owners should confirm that they are in compliance with local laws by contacting relevant authorities.

Although Portland does not appear to have any laws requiring pool signage (for either public or private pools), the city website lists the following rules for pool fencing (for all pools):

“Any swimming pool not totally enclosed by a structure must be enclosed by a substantial barrier or fence at least four (4) feet in height. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier is two (2) inches. Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere. The barrier must be equipped with a self-closing and latching gate except where bordered by a wall of an adjacent structure at least four (4) feet in height. Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. No swimming pool can be nearer than three (3) feet from any lot line, and no enclosing fence or wall shall be constructed nearer than three (3) feet to the outer walls of the swimming pool.”

Pennsylvania

Signage

Based on our research, it appears that Pennsylvania does not currently have any statewide laws that require pool signage for either public or private pools. That said, pool owners and operators should familiarize themselves with pool laws in the jurisdictions in which they reside. Laws governing other aspects of pool use in Pennsylvania can be found in Chapter 18 of the state Administrative Code.

Pennsylvania Pool Rules Sign    Pennsylvania Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Pennsylvania Pool Hours Sign  Pennsylvania Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s discussion of the state Uniform Construction Codes, Pennsylvania adopts Appendix G of the 2009 International Residential Code. This appendix (which we describe here) contains pool fencing requirements for residential pools. Since building codes are often enforced locally, pool owners should check barrier requirements in their municipalities.

On that note, pool regulations also tend to vary locally. To provide a glimpse of local-level pool regulations in Pennsylvania, we review ordinances in Allegheny County, which contains the city of Pittsburgh.

Local Regulations: Allegheny County

Signage

Per the Rules and Regulations established by the county Health Department, public pools in Allegheny County must post the following notices using appropriate signage:

  • “The following information is available for the information of the public upon request:
    • A copy of the most recent electrical inspection.
    • A copy of the most recent bacteriological monitoring results.
    • A copy of the lifeguard certification, first aid certification and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification for each lifeguard employed at the facility.
    • A copy of all applicable Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
    • A copy of the bathing place manager or operator certification.
    • A copy of the County Pool Rules and Regulations.”
  • “Report all incidents involving vomitus, fecal contamination or unsafe conditions to management immediately.”

We are currently unaware of any county signage rules for residential pools in Allegheny County.

Allegheny County Pool Hours Sign   Allegheny County Pool Rules Sign   Allegheny County Pool Rules Signage  Pool Hours Allegheny County -- Private Community

Fencing

The Allegheny County pool regulations expand on state fencing laws by requiring that public wading and spray pools be separated from swimming pools or bathing beaches by a barrier (or fence) with self-latching, self-closing gates. This barrier should restrict children from the main pool area without posing the risk of injury. If the wading or spray pool is located next to the shallowest end of the swimming pool and is at least 15 feet away  from the main pool, a barrier is not required. For pools built before June 1989, adult supervision (not necessarily a lifeguard) of the wading or spray pool may be substituted for the fencing requirement.

Residential pools in Allegheny County do not appear to be subject to any additional county-level fencing rules, but are still subject to the state specifications described above.

Rhode Island

Signage

Rhode Island law (R23-22-SWI/H&S) requires that public pools post a sign containing rules and regulations, including:

  • Anyone with an infectious or communicable disease, open lesions, blisters, cuts or rashes may not use  the swimming and wading pool, hot tub and spa.
  • No spitting, spouting water, or blowing the nose in the pool.
  • No running, boisterous, or rough play in the swimming or wading pool or pool area.
  • Pets and other animals are not allowed in the swimming or area (besides seeing-eyed dogs accompanied by a blind person).
  • Swimmers must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the pool enclosure except in designated area.

The sign above must also:

  • Establish safety provisions for the use of any water slides and diving boards.
  • List other precautions necessary for the protection and safety of swimmers.

At this time, Rhode Island does not appear to have any signage laws for private pools. We urge pool owners to check relevant laws at all levels of government to be sure that they follow regulations for pool operation.

Rhode Island Pool Rules Sign  Rhode Island Pool Rules Sign - Black  Rhode Island Pool Hours Sign Rhode Island Swimming Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to Appendix A in section R23-22 of Rhode Island Administrative Code, public swimming pools are required to have a protective pool fence that meets state standards. The Rhode Island pool enclosure standards are largely identical to the specifications set forth in Appendix G of the International Residential Code (which we describe at length later in this post). However,  the requirements in section 1-9 of Appendix A of the Rhode Island statute (see the link above) differ from the International Residential Code requirements for buildings that form part of pool barriers (AG105.2.9). The Rhode Island law states that direct access to the pool area must be limited to doors and windows that comply with the following:

  1. Windows must have a latching device at least 4.5 feet above the floor.
  2. Hinged doors must be self-closing and have a self-latching device whose release mechanism must be at least 54 inches above the floor.
  3. Sliding or sliding screen doors must be self-closing and self-latching or else use other precaution approved locally. Again, the latch release mechanism must be 4.5 above the floor.
  4. The Rhode Island regulations do not appear to adopt any requirements for above-ground pools (AG105.2.10).

When it comes to residential pools, the Rhode Island state building code for 1 and 2 family dwellings adopts the 2012 International Residential Code, including Appendix G. Because the building code contains no amendments to the pool enclosure standards in Appendix G, residential pools are likely subject to the full breadth of these requirements. A detailed summary of the barrier specifications in Appendix G can be found here.

Local Regulations

After researching pool regulations in both the city and county of Providence, Rhode Island, we were unable to find local pool requirements for fencing or signage. We advise pool owners to verify the pool laws that apply to them by consulting local authorities.

South Carolina

Signage

Section R.61-51 of the South Carolina State Register stipulates that all public and semi-public pools must display at least the following signage:

  • At least one “Pool Rules” sign (visible from all pool entrances) that contains the following notices (quoted directly from state law):
    • There should be no solo swimming.
    • There should be no running, boisterous or rough play.
    • No person under the influence of alcohol or drugs should use the pool.
    • There should be no spitting or blowing nose in pool.
    • Persons with diarrheal illness or nausea should not enter the pool.
    • Persons with skin, eye, ear or respiratory infections should not enter the pool.
    • Persons with open lesions or wounds should not enter the pool.
    • No animals or pets allowed in the pool enclosure.
    • No glass allowed in the pool or on the deck.
    • No children should be in the pool without supervision.
    • You should take a shower before entering the pool.
    • This pool is open from ______ a.m. to ______p.m.
    • The maximum number of swimmers allowed in the pool is _____.
    • A first aid kit is located ______ .
    • An emergency phone (or other notification device) is located _______.
    • Life saving equipment is located at _______.
  • At least two  permanent, separate signs that state “SHALLOW WATER – NO DIVING ALLOWED” in all capitalized letters (posted so as to be visible from all entrances for pools with a surface area greater than 200 square feet that have areas that are not suitable for diving). Lettering for the words “NO DIVING ALLOWED” must be at least 6 inches high, while the lettering for “SHALLOW WATER” should be at least 4 inches high.
  • At least two permanent, separate signs that state “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY – SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK”  in all capitalized letters. These signs (required for pools with no lifeguards) must be visible from all pool entrances and use at least 6 inch letters for “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” and 4 inch letters for “SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK.”
  • A sign that reads “The Pool Operator of Record at this facility is __________ certification number __________.” (This notice can also be added to the “Pool Rules” sign.)
  • A sign that labels the emergency disconnect (shunt trip breaker) switch by displaying the words “Pool Emergency Cut-Off Switch” in 4 inch red letters on a white background.

We are not aware of any signage requirements for private pools in South Carolina. Pool owners should make sure that their pools comply with local laws.

South Carolina Pool Rules Sign - Blue    South Carolina Pool Rules Sign - Light Blue    South Carolina No Lifeguard on Duty Sign    No Lifeguard Sign - South Carolina

Note: Make sure your signs use the wording and text size required by South Carolina law. Use our free design services to create a custom, compliant sign. 

Fencing

South Carolina pool fence laws (Section R.61-51(C)) state that all outdoor pool areas that are open to the general public or have non-stowable water slides must be enclosed by a chain link fence (or equivalent barrier) that:

  • Is at least 6 feet high.
  • Uses gates or doors with lockable latches that close automatically.
  • Does not have openings that are 4 inches in diameter or larger.

(Note: Pools with water slides must also secure the entry and exit points of the slide using a fence that is 6 feet tall.)

All outdoor public pools for hotels, clubs, schools, apartments, condominiums, campgrounds, etc. (see the statute for the entire listing) must be enclosed by a fence that meets the following requirements:

  • The fence must be at least 4 feet tall (measured from the outside of the fence).
  • Any gates or doors must use lockable latches that close automatically.
  • The barrier may not have openings that would allow a 4 inch sphere to pass through.
  • Courtyard fencing may not be adequate.

Residential pools in South Carolina, on the other hand, are currently not subject to any statewide fencing regulations. While the South Carolina Building Code Council has adopted the 2012 International Residential Code, the section of the code that relates to pool enclosures (Appendix G) has not been adopted for statewide use, and must therefore be adopted locally and approved by the state Uniform Code Council (see the Code Council’s explanation of codes adopted in South Carolina for more details).

Local Regulations: Greenville County

Because local jurisdictions in South Carolina are permitted to adopt their own pool regulations, pool owners and operators must make themselves aware of all city, county, state, and other relevant statutes to ensure compliance. To provide an example of local regulations, we review the pool standards in Greenville County, South Carolina.

According to county pool ordinances, Greenville County adopts by reference the regulations of the 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC). While the county makes several amendments to the code, we do not undertake a discussion of these changes here, since none of these relate to pool signage or fencing.

Signage

The 2012 ISPSC (adopted by Greenville County) requires public  pools to post signs that:

  1. Indicate the location of the emergency shutoff switch (for the pool pump).
  2. Warn, “Do not start the system after maintenance without first opening the air release and properly re-assembling the filter and separation tank and opening the air release valve” (posted near the air release).

Although private pools in Greenville County do not appear to be required to display pool signage, pool owners would do well to verify this information with relevant authorities.

Greenville County Pool Rules Sign - Black   Greenville County Swimming Pool Hours Sign   Greenville County No Lifeguard on Duty Pool Sign - Red   Pool Hours and Occupancy Sign

Fencing

In general, all outdoor pools in Greenville County (whether public or private) must comply with the following pool fence specifications:

  • The barrier must be at least 4 feet high (measured from any point 3 feet away from the exterior side).
  • There should be no space between the bottom of the barrier larger than 2 inches for non-solid surfaces or 4 inches for solid surfaces (measured from the outside of the barrier).
  • The fence must not have any openings 4 inches in diameter or larger.
  • Solid barriers with no openings should not have indentations or protrusions that form handholds and footholds (except normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • If the space between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, these must be placed on the pool side of the fence and spacing between vertical members and within decorative cutouts may not be greater than 1.75 inches wide.
  • If the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is greater than 45 inches, spacing between vertical members must be 4 inches or less, while space within decorative cutouts must be 1.75 inches wide or less.
  • Openings in  chain link fences must be 1.75 inches or less (or use slats attached to the top and bottom of the fence that decrease the opening to 1.75 inches).
  • Openings formed by diagonal members must be less than 1.75 inches.
  • There should be no permanent structures or equipment that could be used for climbing within 3 feet of the outside of the barrier.
  • The barrier must be at least 20 inches away from water’s edge.
  • Gates used by pedestrians must open away from the pool and be lockable, self-closing, and self-latching.
  • Gates of any kind must not have any space larger than ½ inch within 18 inches of the latch release. If the latch is less than 54 inches above grade, the latch release must be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top.
  • Gates not used by pedestrians (i.e. service gates) must be locked when not in use.
  • Double gates or multiple gates must have at least 1 panel secured in place, while the adjacent panel must be self-latching.

Mesh fences (besides chain link fences) must meet the following standards:

  • The bottom of the fence must not be more than 1 inch above grade.
  • The space between the bottom of the fence and grade must not allow the fence to be lifted more than 4 inches from grade.
  • The fence must not allow passage of a 4-inch sphere.
  • Barrier sections must be linked by an attachment device that is least 45  inches above the ground.
  • Any gates must comply with standards for barrier gates in general
  • Mesh fences must not be used on top of above-ground pools.

If a building forms part of the barrier, doors and windows that are less than 4 feet above the ground and provide direct access to the pool area must have an alarm (compliant with UL 2017)  that produces an audible warning when the door or window is opened. The deactivation switch for the alarm must be at least 4.5 feet above the floor (or between 4 and 4.5 feet for Accessible buildings) Additionally, at least one of the following must also be in place:

  • A power safety cover listed in ASTM F1346 and labeled accordingly.
  • An underwater alarm listed in ASTM F2208 and labeled accordingly.
  • A laser or infrared alarm listed in ASTM F2208 and labeled accordingly.
  • Other approved means of protection, such as self-closing and self-latching doors.

Above-ground pools that are at least 4 feet tall may be considered an effective pool barrier, so long as the ladder or steps used to access the pool can be secured, locked or removed (and have no openings larger than 4 inches in diameter) or are surrounded by a fence that meets the standards above.

Natural barriers must be approved by relevant Greensville County authorities. We remind pool owners to verify all signage and fencing requirements by checking local statutes.

South Dakota

According to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, public swimming pools are not regulated by state law. The Department recommends that pools observe the guidelines found here.

Local Regulations: Minnehaha County

Given the absence of statewide pool laws, we review those of South Dakota’s most populous political subdivision, Minnehaha County, which contains the city of Sioux Falls.

Signage

At present, we are unaware of any pool signage required by Minnehaha County for either public or private pools. Those responsible for pool compliance should verify local signage regulations.

Minnehaha County Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Minnehaha County Pool Hours Sign   Minnehaha County Pool Rules Sign - black

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

In terms of fencing, the Minnehaha County Building Code adopts and amends the 2012 International Residential Code, including Appendix G, which contains standards for residential pools. We provide a detailed summary of the regulations Appendix G at the bottom of this post. Minnehaha County amends the code in the following ways:

  • Barriers are only required to be 42 inches high (rather than 48 inches)
  • It appears that Minnehaha County does not adopt all Appendix G regulations regarding solid barriers (AG105.2.3), horizontal and vertical member spacing (AG105.2.4-5), chain link mesh (AG105.2., diagonal members (AG105.2.7),  access gates (AG105.2.8), and buildings that form part of the pool enclosure (AG105.2.9). See the County Building Code (referenced above) for specific language.
  • Minnehaha County does not adopt the sections related to indoor pools (AG105.3) or prohibited locations (AG105.4).
  • Outdoor swimming pools that meet all of  the following stipulations are not required to have a pool barrier:
    • The pool is not located in a residential zoning district.
    • The pool is not located in a platted subdivision  with 5 or more lots.
    • The pool is more than 500 feet from any dwelling besides the dwelling to which it pertains

These regulations do not appear to apply to public pools within the county. That said, pool operators should consult county officials to be sure that the requirements for residential pool fencing do not apply to their pools.

Tennessee

Signage

According to the Chapter 1200-23-05 of the Administrative Register, Tennessee requires public and semi-public pools (including hotels, clubs, schools, etc.) to post the following signage:

  • WARNING: NO LIFEGUARD” (posted in 4 inch letters if no lifeguard service is provided).
  • NO DIVING” (displayed in 4 inch letters at pools that do not meet the requirements for diving).
  • A list of emergency phone numbers, including the nearest emergency and medical services (posted next to the emergency telephone).

Currently, the state does not appear to set standards for private pool signage. Liability-conscious pool owners would do well to consult local authorities to ensure compliance with relevant laws.

Tennessee No Lifeguard on Duty Sign Tennessee Emergency Phone Numbers Pool Sign  Tennessee Pool Rules SignTennessee No Diving Sign    Tennessee Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

According to the state law referenced above, all outdoor public pools in Tennessee must be surrounded by a fence that meets the following specifications:

  • The barrier should be at least 4 feet tall and kept in good repair.
  • Any entrances must use lockable, self-closing and self-latching doors or gates.
  • If picket fencing is used, pickets may not be more than 4 inches apart.
  • The top of the bottom rail must be less than 4 inches above grade and the top rail should be at least 43 inches above grade.

Unless more stringent regulations are adopted locally, the state of Tennessee enforces the pool barrier requirements set forth in Appendix G of the 2009 International Residential Code, which contains minimum pool enclosure specifications for private pools.  We provide a concise explanation of these mandatory fencing guidelines below.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-14-804 (Katie Beth’s law) further requires residential pools (both in and above-ground) to install a pool alarm that produce a sound of at least 50 decibels when a person or object 15 pounds or heavier enters the water.

Local Regulations: Shelby County and Memphis

Because cities and counties often adopt their own pool regulations, we review signage and fencing standards in Shelby County. Since the County’s building code is adopted jointly with the city of Memphis, fencing standards will apply to Memphis as well as unincorporated Shelby County.

Signage

The Shelby County Municipal Code (Section 8-515) stipulates that public pools must post signs with the following health warnings:

  • No person with any skin eruptions, abrasions, sore or infected eyes, cold, nasal or ear discharge, or communicable disease may use the pool.
  • No spitting, spouting of water, or blowing the nose in the pool.

The County does not appear to require residential pools to post signage at this time.

Memphis and Shelby County Pool Rules Sign - Black    Memphis Pool Rules Sign - Blue  Memphis and Shelby County Pool Hours Sign - Blue Memphis Pool Hours - Standard

Fencing

Per the Shelby County and Memphis Building Code, the city of Memphis and Shelby County adopt the 2009 Residential Code. While the local amendments do not explicitly say that the state does or does not Appendix G (the section that contains standards for swimming pools), we assume that the Code was adopted in its entirety. If so, residential pools in Memphis and Shelby County would be required to comply with the barrier standards in that Appendix, which we describe at length later in this post.

Texas

Signage

In Texas, pool signage requirements for public pools are outlined in part 25 TAC §265.199(f) of the state Administrative Code. According to this law, the following pool signs must be conspicuously posted:

  • A sign that states “NO DIVING” (in contrasting colors and letters at least 4 inches high) and displays the international no diving symbol (placed every 25 feet around the pool where the water is 6 feet deep or less). If there is a permanent structure likely to be used for diving above or on the pool deck within 5 feet of the water, this sign must be permanently attached to that structure. For additional “No Diving” marker requirements, see the statute referenced above.
  • A sign that informs patrons of the maximum user load limit.

The chlorine room door should also display the following via signage:

  • DANGER CHLORINE” (4 inch letters)
  • The phone number of the chlorine supplier and agency trained to handle chlorine spills.

Pools that do not provide lifeguards must display additional signs, including:

  • A sign with the words “NO DIVING” and the international warning symbol for no diving (both the letters and the symbol must be at least 4 inches high).
  • A sign that states “WARNING-NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” 4 inch letters and “CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE POOL WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION” in 2 inch letters.
  • A sign with directions to the emergency telephone (if the phone is not visible from the pool area).
  • A sign in the pool area that states “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL 911.”

Water parks with interactive water features (such as water slides) and fountains must post signs with the following notices in 2 inch letters:

  • Non-Service Animals Prohibited.
  • Changing Diapers Within 6 Feet of the Water Feature is Prohibited.
  • Use of the Water Feature If Ill with a Contagious Disease is Prohibited.
  • Do Not Drink Water From the Water Feature.
  • Use of the Water Feature When Ill With Diarrhea is Prohibited.

If the pool is located in an area where most residents speak a language other than English, Texas law states that pool signs may be posted in both English and the predominant language.

Although we are not aware of any statewide laws that require signage of private pools in Texas, we advise pool owners to consult local ordinances to make sure that they observe applicable standards.

No Diving Sign - Texas   Texas Danger Chlorine Gas Pool Sign   Texas Call 911 Sign  Texas Maximum Bather Load Pool Sign  Texas Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Texas Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design servicesMake sure that your signs use the wording and text size required by Texas law. 

Fencing

When it comes to pool fences, Texas law (Rule §265.200) mandates that public pools be completely enclosed by a barrier that conforms to the following requirements:

  • The fence must be at least 6 feet high (measured from the outside of the fence), not be easily climbable, and have no openings that would allow the passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere.
  • Doors, gates, or windows in the enclosure must be directly and continuously supervised when the pool is open, or locked to restrict entry.
  • Pool enclosures constructed after October 1, 1999 must be built in such a way that patrons must use a door or gate in the fence to access the pool. These gates and doors should open into a public area or walkway that can be accessed by all pool users.
  • Gates should not be propped open.
  • If a building serves as part of the enclosure, building doors or gates that open into the pool yard must open into a storage, shower, dressing, restroom, or mechanical room that has no openings to the outside of the pool enclosure and does not house chlorine gas containers.

Pools for hotels, motels, RV Parks, clubs, schools, etc. must have fences that meet the above requirements with the following differences:

  • The fence must be at least 4 feet high (measured on the exterior side) and not allow a 4-inch diameter sphere to pass through.
  • There may not be any planters or other structures that might allow small children to climb over the enclosure within 3 feet of the outside of the fence
  • Chain link fencing may not be used for pools built after October 1, 1999, but may be used for pools built after that date if the fence was constructed before September 1, 2004.
  • Any gates or doors in the barrier must open away from the pool (unless built before October 1, 1999) be self-closing and self-latching and latched when the pool is not in use.
  • The opening mechanism for the latch must be lockable and placed at least 3.5 feet above grade.

Wading pools that are within 15 feet of shallow water areas or 35 feet of deep water areas must be separated from other pools by a pool enclosure that meets the requirements above. If the barrier is used, the pool must be visible through the fence.

As far as we can tell, the state leaves regulation of residential pool fencing to local (city and county) governments. Pool owners should examine city, county, and state laws to make sure that they comply with the standards applicable

Local Regulations: Dallas

Signage

Section 43a-19 of the Dallas City Code states that public pools must post signage that informs swimmers of pool regulations (we don’t know of any requirements for private pools). The pool regulations required by the city include:

  • Persons with skin abrasions, open sores, cuts, skin disease, eye disease, nasal or ear discharge, or communicable disease may not enter the pool.
  • Glass is not allowed in the pool area or enclosure.
  • Dogs are not allowed within the pool enclosure.

Dallas Pool Rules Sign - Blue  Dallas Swimming Pool Rules Sign - Black  Dallas Blue Pool Hours Sign Dallas Pool Hours Sign

Fencing

The City of Dallas Residential Code adopts by reference the 2012 International Building Code, including the residential pool fence standards locating in Appendix G. We provide a detailed breakdown of these regulations herePublic pools must comply with sections 3109.3.1 through 3109.3.3 of the Dallas Building Code, an amended version of the section 3109 of the 2012 International Building Code (which we summarize below). Public and private pool operators alike should consult Dallas city code (and regulations from other levels of government) to ensure compliance with local pool standards.

Utah

Signage 

According to Rule R392-302 of the Utah Administrative Code, public pools (any pool that is not a private residential pool) must post the following signage:

  • A sign with the words, “WARNING – NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” and “BATHERS SHOULD NOT SWIM ALONE” in 4 inch letters, as well as the phrase “CHILDREN 14 AND UNDER SHOULD NOT USE POOL WITHOUT RESPONSIBLE ADULT SUPERVISION.”
  • A sign (in the immediate pool area) that indicates the location of the emergency telephone and emergency telephone numbers, including the names and numbers of the nearest hospital, ambulance service, and police, fire and rescue units.
  • A sign with pool rules (posted conspicuously in the pool enclosure, dressing rooms and offices), including:
    • Swimmers must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool enclosure. Bathers who leave the pool to use the toilet must take another cleansing shower before returning to the pool enclosure.
    • No one with a communicable disease transmissible by water, exposed sub-epidermal tissue (including open blisters, cuts, or other lesions) may use the pool.
    • Persons who have had diarrhea in the past 2 weeks may not use the pool.
    • Any child under 3 years old or not toilet trained, or anyone who lacks control of defecation must l wear a water resistant swim diaper and waterproof swimwear. Swim diapers and waterproof swimwear must have waist and leg openings fitted such that they are in contact with the waist or leg around the entire circumference.
    • Running and boisterous or rough play (except supervised water sports) are prohibited.
  • A “NO DIVING” sign (in letters that are at least 4 inches high and ½ inch wide)  that is clearly visible within the pool enclosure. (This sign is required only if required poolside markers use the no diving symbol without any accompanying text.)
  • A sign that states “DO NOT USE THE POOL IF THIS ALARM IS ACTIVATED” as well as the phone number of the pool operator (posted next to the alarm).
  • Signage that states, “DANGER: CHLORINE GAS” in 4 inch lettering (to be posted on chlorine room doors).
  • Pools where a cryptosporidiosis watch or warning have been issued must post a sign that is 17 inches wide by 11 inches high and entitled “CRYPTO DISEASE PREVENTION.” (The title should be centered immediately below the blue panel and use capital letters, while the text in the body should use black letters that is at least 1 centimeter high; see this sign, made available by the Utah Department of Health for an example.) The sign must state (quoted from the statute referenced above):
    • All with diarrhea in the past 2 weeks shall not use the pool.
    • All users must shower with soap to remove all fecal material prior to pool entry and after using the toilet or a diaper change.
    • All less than 3 years or who wear diapers must wear a swim diaper and waterproof swimwear. Diapers may only be changed in restrooms or changing stations.
    • Keep pool water out of your mouth

Pools with water slides must post a sign at the entrance to the  water slide that contains the following warnings (quoted directly from the statute):

  • CAUTION (in large bold letters at least 2 inches tall).
  • No running, standing, kneeling, tumbling, or stopping on flumes or in tunnels.
  • No head first sliding at any time.
  • The use of a slide while under the influence of alcohol or impairing drugs is prohibited.
  • Only one person at a time may travel the slide.
  • Obey instructions of lifeguards and other staff at all times.
  • Keep all parts of the body within the flume.
  • Leave the splash pool promptly after exiting from the slide.
  • A sign shall be posted in the immediate vicinity of interactive water feature stating that pets are prohibited.

Although state laws in Utah do not require private residential pools to post pool signs, we advise pool owners to verify this information with appropriate local authorities.

Utah Pool Rules Sign - Blue    Utah Dial 911 Sign    Utah Emergency Phone Numbers Pool Sign  Utah Chlorine Gas Sign  Pool Hours Sign - Apartment and HOA Utah Pool Hours Sign - Blue

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The Utah Administrative Code (Rule R392-302) also contains requirements for pool fencing. The Code states that public pools must be completely surrounded by a barrier that complies with the following minimum specifications:

  • The fence must at least 6 feet high and not have openings that would allow the passage of a sphere larger than 4 inches.
  • Horizontal members should be at least 45 inches apart from one another.
  • Any gates must open away from the pool and be self-closing and self-latching. The latching mechanism must have locking hardware and be at least 54 inches above the ground (unless the latch is also self-locking). The gate should not have any openings greater than ½ inch within 18 inches of the latch release.
  • A separate lock should also be installed, with the keyhole, sensor, or combination between 34 and 48 inches above grade.
  • Bathing areas that are not at least 5 feet away from non-bathing areas must be closed off by a barrier that is at least 4 feet tall.
  • Indoor pools may be exempt from these requirements, subject to approval from the local Department of Health.

To our knowledge, Utah does not have any statewide laws that require residential pool fencing. Many cities and counties do, however, adopt private fencing standards. Pool owners should check local barrier requirements to ensure compliance.

Local Regulations: Salt Lake and Davis Counties

An examination of Salt Lake County’s “Board of Health Regulations # 2,” suggests that the County’s signage and fencing laws for public pools are highly similar to those at the state level. Salt Lake County’s rules for private pools are as follows:

“Private swimming pools must have a four foot high fence surrounding the pool area with a self-closing, self-latching gate” (see the Salt Lake County Board of Health’s  Pool FAQ’s for more details).

Davis County pool regulations, on the other hand, stipulate that both public and private pools must be entirely enclosed by pool fences that are at least 6 feet tall and do not have openings larger than 4 inches in diameter.  With the exception of a “Pool Closed” sign required when the pool is not in use due to a health hazard, Davis County does not appear to mandate any other signage beyond that required by the state of Utah.

Vermont

Signage

At present, Vermont does not have any statewide laws that require either public or private pools to post signs for pools. Vermont does, however, have signage laws for hot tubs and spas, which can be accessed here. Responsible parties should verify local pool signage laws to reduce the potential for liability.

Pool Rules Sign - Vermont    Vermont Black Pool Rules Sign   Vermont Pool Hours and Occupancy Sign Pool Hours Sign - Vermont - Private Community

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Vermont law (including state building codes) does not require either public or private pools to erect pool fences. Since cities and counties often adopt their own pool regulations, pool owners and operators should carefully consult local laws to be sure that they comply with relevant fencing standards.

Local Regulations

After researching pool regulations in Chittenden County and the City of Burlington, we were unable to locate any substantive regulations regarding pool signage or fencing. Pool owners and operators should verify the local standards that pertain to their pools.

Virginia

Signage

At the current time, Virginia pool regulations do not require public or private pools to post signage other than water quality standards and daily test results (see the link above for details).

Virginia Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Virginia Pool Hours Sign - Blue   Virginia Black Pool Sign   Emergency Phone Number Pool Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Section 12 VAC 5-460-90  of the Virginia Administrative Code states that outdoor public pools (including pools at hotels and other tourist establishments) must be enclosed by a substantial fence that is at least 3 feet tall and has a gate that is also at least 3 feet high and made of material that is as substantial as the barrier.

Pool fencing for private pools in Virginia is governed by section R325.1 U of the Virginia Construction Code, which adopts by reference Appendix G of the 2009 International Residential Code (and the pool barrier rules contained therein).  We break down the pool enclosure standards in Appendix G below.

Local Regulations: Fairfax County

In order to provide an example of county-level pool regulations, we describe relevant laws in Fairfax County. Pool owners should still check ordinances at other levels of government to be sure that their pools comply with those standards.

Signage

The county  requires public pools to meet the pool sign standards in Chapter 69.1 of the Fairfax County Municipal Code (Water Recreation Facilities Ordinance).  This ordinance states that pools must post the following signage:

  • Safety signs warning against diving into water that is less than 5 feet deep without specific supervision (prominently displayed in 5 inch lettering).
  • A sign, posted by the emergency phone, with emergency telephone numbers and the name and address of the pool facility.
  • A sign with the following sanitation rules (posted at the pool entrance):
    • If you have or have had diarrhea in the past two weeks, please do not use the pool.
    • Shower your child and yourself before entering the pool or after using the toilet.
    • Bathers who are not toilet trained or are incontinent  must wear a swim diaper.
    • Do not drink pool water.
  • A durable, waterproof sign that displays:
    • Daily water test results (including the date and time of the test).
    • Water quality parameters (the minimum and maximum standards).
    • Water temperature (for heated pools).
  • A permanent sign that designates areas restricted to operating personnel with the words “Authorized Personnel Only” (posted on outside of the doors to the filter and chemical storage rooms and any other restricted areas).
  • A permanent placard that lists pool facility health and safety rules and regulations (posted in plain view).
  • A permanent, engraved plastic or laminated paper sign posted in the filter room that states the:
    • Name and address of the facility
    • Volume in gallons
    • Water surface area in square feet
    • Minimum turnover time in hours
    • Minimum rate of flow in gallons per minute to provide the required turnover time
    • Maximum facility load, and maximum pool load(s)
  • Separate signage within all filter rooms that contains instructions for:
    • Operating pumps and filters (including the valve line-ups for filtration).
    • Correct backwashing (cleaning) procedures and related valve positions.
  • A separate sign that displays the maximum facility load and individual swimming pool loads (prominently posted at the pool entrance in 2 inch letters).
  • A sign stating that swimmers must shower prior to entering the pool.
  • Permanent signs that indicate the most direct route to an indoor or elevated pool.

Fairfax County has additional signage requirement for wave pools, hot tubs, and waterparks. For more details about these required signs, see the sections of the County Code referenced above. Also, we are currently unaware of residential pool sign requirements in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County Emergency Phone Number Sign  Fairfax County Pool Rules Sign - Black  Fairfax County Authorize Personnel Sign  Fairfax County Maximum Bather Load Pool Sign   Please Shower Pool Sign   Fairfax County Pool Hours Sign

Fencing

Outdoor public pools in Fairfax County must be completely enclosed by a non-climbable (no handholds, footholds, etc.)  fence that conforms to the following specifications:

  • The barrier should be at least 6 feet high (measured from the highest point within 3 feet of the fence).
  • If the space between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, these must be placed on the pool side of the fence and spacing between vertical members and within decorative cutouts may not be greater than 1.75 inches wide.
  • If the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is greater than 45 inches, spacing between vertical members must be 4 inches or less, while space within decorative cutouts must be 1.75 inches wide or less.
  • There may not be any objects within a 6 foot arc of the top or within 3 feet of any part of the fence.
  • Gates used to access the pool should have latches and locks that are at 4 feet above grade.
  • The barrier must have an emergency gate with at least an 8 foot horizontal opening.
  • Any areas with grass within the pool enclosure must be separated from the pool deck by a fence that is 3 feet tall and has waist-high showers at each entrance to the pool.

Residential pools in Fairfax County must also meet county fencing standards. The County Website provides a clear, easy to understand explanation of these regulations here.

Washington

Signage

Chapter 246-260 of the Washington Administrative Code specifies that public pools in Washington state must display the following pool-related signs:

  • Signage that states pools rules and safety information (posted conspicuously in the pool area using letters at least ⅜ inch high), including:
    • No running or horseplay.
    • Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs may not use the pool.
    • No one who has a communicable disease or been ill with vomiting or diarrhea within the last 2 weeks may enter the pool.
    • No food or drink in the pool water.
    • All swimmers must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
    • Persons in diapers must wear a protective covering to prevent contamination.
    • Diapers must be changed at designated diaper change areas.
    • The nearest emergency telephone and first-aid kit are located ______________.
    • Anyone with seizure, heart, or circulatory problems should not swim alone.
    • Anyone who refuses to obey pool rules may be removed from the premises.
  • Signs that demonstrate the proper use of diving boards (where applicable). The Washington Department of Health recommends the following:
    • “You must must pass a swim test before being allowed to dive.
    • No running dives.
    • One person at a time allowed on the diving board.
    • No cartwheels, handstands, or hanging off the diving board.
    • Divers must swim directly to the nearest ladder and leave the diving area.
    • No swimming or playing in diving area when diving boards are being used.
    • Only one bounce on the board is allowed before diving (unless you are in a diving class with your instructor).
    • Wait until the previous diver has cleared the landing area before you dive.
    • Adjustments of the diving board fulcrum may only be made at the discretion of aquatic staff.
    • The pool manager may restrict certain dives based on safety concerns.”
  • A sign on the outside of the chlorine room door that states “DANGER: CHLORINE” (in letters that can be read 25 feet away).
  • An emergency shutoff sign that marks the emergency shutoff for pools with single main drains.
  • A “pool closed” sign that can be posted when the pool is not open for use.

Swimming pools without lifeguards or other attendants must also post the following notices via signage:

  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (18 years or older) at all times.
  • If anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 is using the pool, at least 1 other person must be at the pool facility.

Wading pools that do not have lifeguards or attendants must post a sign that gives notice of the following rules:

  1. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (18 years or older) at all times.
  2. If the pool is used by people age 17 and under, at least 2 people must be at the pool facility at all times that the pool is being used.

Spray pools must post the pool rules sign required of other pools.

We are currently unaware of any statewide pool sign regulations pertaining to private pools. Pool owners should check applicable local ordinances to ensure compliance at all levels of Washington government.

Washington Pool Rules Sign    Washington Danger Chlorine Gas Sign    Pool Hours Sign - Washington

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

When it comes to pool fencing in Washington, part 246-260-031 of the code referenced above contains regulations for pool barriers. Per this section of law, public pools must be completely enclosed by a fence that meets these standards:

  • The fence must be at least 6 feet tall for general use pools or 5 feet tall for limited use pools (measured on the exterior side of the barrier; the effective height must not be reduced by landscaping or other structures).
  • The fence (including any windows) must not have any openings that would allow a 4 inch diameter sphere to pass through.
  • Spaces between vertical members must be less than 1.75 inches if horizontal members are less than 45 inches apart. If the horizontal members are more than 45 inches apart, vertical members must be 4 inches apart or less.
  • The bottom of the barrier must not be more than 4 inches above grade (measured vertically).
  • Solid barriers may not have indentations or protrusions, other than normal construction tolerances and masonry joints.
  • Chain link fence mesh (if used) must be 1.25 inches square or less, unless slats reduce the openings to 1.75 inches.
  • Any gates must be self-closing and self-latching, use a continuously locked latch, coded lock that always requires a key or code, or have a latch that is at least 5 feet above the ground. If the latch is less than 5 feet above grade, the 18 inch radius around the latch must be made of solid material.

Exceptions to the fencing standards above include:

  • Spray pool facilities that do not have standing water are not required to have an enclosure.
  • Service entrances not available for general use are exempt from the gate standards detailed above.
  • Pools with lifeguards are exempt from the self-closing, self-latching gate requirement so long as all gates are closed and locked when the pool is not in use.

As required under the Washington Residential Code (which adopts Appendix G of the 2012 International Residential Code in its entirety), residential pools must be enclosed by a fence that meets the standards in Appendix G. This Appendix (which we explain in detail here) contains pool enclosure standards that apply to pools for all 1 and 2-family dwellings within the state of Washington.

Local Regulations: King County

Because pool regulations vary substantially within states, we review the pool regulations in effect in King County and the City of Seattle. These local regulations apply on top of those in place at the state level in Washington.

Signage

Chapter R14.04 of the King County Code states that public pools must prominently post the following signage:

  • A sign that states the maximum bathing load (posted at the pool entrance in 4 inch letters).
  • A prominent sign displayed next to the telephone with a list of phone numbers, including the nearest available doctor, ambulance service, hospital or police or fire department rescue unit.
  • A sign that states pool health and safety rules (posted in the pool area, dressing rooms, and offices), including:
    • “All persons must take a cleansing bath in the nude using warm water and soap and rinse off all soapsuds before entering the pool. (For semi-public pools, this notice should be posted either within each living unit or on a prominent sign next to the pool.)
    • No person with skin lesions, sore or inflamed eyes, mouth, nose or ear discharges, or any communicable disease may use the pool.
    • No urinating, spitting, blowing the nose or depositing harmful substances in the pool.
    • No glass or other breakable objects in the pool enclosure.
    • Spectators are prohibited next to the pool. Persons not dressed for swimming may not be on the walks next to the pool.
    • Common towels, bathing suits, caps, combs, brushes and drinking cups are prohibited.
    • Bathing suits, towels and bathing caps given to patrons must be washed with soap and hot water and thoroughly rinsed and dried before reuse.”
  • A sign that states “No Diving Allowed” (to be posted at pools with a maximum depth less than 6 feet).
  • A sign that states “Warning — No Lifeguard on Duty” (if applicable).

King County Maximum Bather Load Pool Sign  King County Emergency Phone Numbers Sign  King County Pool Rules Sign  King County No Lifeguard Pool Sign  King County Pool Hours Sign   Pool Rules Sign - Black

Fencing

Public pools in King County are required (see the statute referenced in the paragraph above) to be entirely enclosed by a barrier that is at least 5 feet tall and uses self-closing, self-latching gates, with the latch at least 3.5 feet above the ground. The fence should not have any openings larger than 6 inches (unless protected by gates or doors). Spray and wading pools must also be fenced.

Residential pools, on the other hand, must be completely surrounded by a fence that complies with the following standards (as outlined in Ordinance 14914, K.C.C. 16.05.110):

  • The fence must be at least 5 feet high (measured on the outside of the barrier).
  • The bottom of the barrier must not be more than 2 inches above the ground (measured on the exterior side) or 4 inches if mounted on top of the pool structure (i.e. for above-ground pools).
  • Openings in the barrier must not allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter sphere.
  • Solid barriers must not have any indentations or protrusions (except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • If the space between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, these must be placed on the pool side of the fence and spacing between vertical members and within decorative cutouts may not be greater than 1.75 inches wide.
  • If the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is greater than 45 inches, spacing between vertical members must be 4 inches or less, while space within decorative cutouts must be 1.75 inches wide or less.
  • Chain link mesh (if used) must be 2.25 inches square (unless slats fastened to the top or bottom of the fence reduce openings to 1.75 inches or less).
  • Openings formed by diagonal members must not be larger than 1.75 inches.
  • Gates must comply with the fencing requirements above and should use a lock. Gates used to access the pool must open away from the pool and be self-closing and self-latching; any other gates must also be self-latching.
  • If the self-latching device is less than 4.5 feet from the bottom of the gate, the latch release should be 3 inches below the top of the gate on the pool side, while the gate itself should not have any openings ½ inch or larger within 18 inches of the latch release.

If a house or other dwelling unit serves as part of the barrier, one of the following safety precautions must be taken:

  • Doors that provide direct access to the pool  must have an alarm (listed in UL 2017) which produces an audible warning within 7 seconds of the door and screen being opened and continues to sound for at least 30 seconds. The alarm must be able to be heard throughout the house during normal household activities, automatically reset under all conditions, and have a touchpad or switch located 4.5 feet above the floor that will temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening (not more than 15 seconds).
  • The pool must be covered by a powered safety cover (that complies with ASTM F1346).
  • Other protection such as self-closing and self-latching doors that are approved by the building official.

Above-ground pools that are over 2 feet deep must either have a ladder or steps that can be secured, locked or removed to prevent access to the pool; otherwise, the ladder must be surrounded by a fence that meets that standards described above.  If the ladder is secured, locked or removed, any resulting openings must be less than 4 inches in diameter.

West Virginia

Signage

The regulations laid down in §64-16 of the West Virginia Code of State Rules require public pools to post various signs, including:

  • A sign that states, “Warning: No lifeguard on duty – All persons under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult” (prominently posted in the pool area).
  • A placard in the filter room that lists the water volume and gallons/minute of water needed for the pool’s turnover rate.
  • A pool rules sign that notifies patrons of the following rules:
    • Swimmers must not urinate, defecate, spit, spout water, or blow noses in the water.
    • Persons with open sores or an infectious disease transmissible by water may not use the pool.
    • Patrons and the clothing they wear in the water must be visibly clean.
    • Children who are not toilet trained must wear tight fitting plastic underwear that will prevent leakage.
    • Persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol or whose behavior is disruptive  may not use the pool.
    • Animals are prohibited in the pool facility (except service animals).
    • Food, drink, gum, and tobacco may not be used except in designated areas.
    • Glass containers or other materials that might undermine the safety or efficiency of the pool facility are not allowed.
    • No diving except in designated areas where the water is at least 5 feet deep.
  • A sign with emergency phone numbers for rescue agencies (posted next to the emergency telephone).

Although we are not currently aware of any signage regulations for private pools in West Virginia, pool owners should check local laws to be sure that they follow the pool standards that apply in their jurisdictions.

West Virginia No Lifeguard on Duty Sign West Virginia Pool Rules Sign   West Virginia Emergency Phone Numbers Pool Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

As far as we can tell, West Virginia does not have any statewide fencing requirements for either public or private pools. Although the state has adopted the 2009 International Residential Code which contains pool barrier rules in Appendix G (detailed here), local jurisdictions ultimately decide whether to adopt and enforce the code and its subsections. Thus, West Virginia pool owners must take care to familiarize themselves with the pool laws that are enforced in their localities.

Local Regulations: Charleston, West Virginia

While we were unable to locate any pool signage laws in either the City of Charleston or Kanawha County, Chapter 14 of the Charleston Municipal Code adopts the West Virginia Building Code, including the 2009 International Residential Code. This likely subjects private pools in Charleston to the pool fencing requirements in Appendix G of that Code, which we explain above.

Wisconsin

Signage

Wisconsin state law (Chapter DHS 172 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code) requires that all public pools (including hotels, schools, RV Parks, clubs, etc.) post signage, including:

  • A sign that states “Warning: No Lifeguard on Duty” (in 4 inch letters, where applicable).
  • A pool rules sign (posted conspicuously in the pool area) that displays the following regulations in 1 inch lettering:
    • Do not enter the pool if you have a communicable disease or an open cut.
    • Do not bring food, drink, gum or tobacco into the pool.
    • Shower before entering the pool and after use of toilet facilities.
    • Do not run or engage in rough play in the pool area.
    • Do not bring animals into the pool area.
    • Diaper changing on the pool deck is prohibited.
    • Glass and shatterable items are prohibited in the pool area.
    • Non−toilet−trained children must wear swim diapers.
  • NO DIVING” signs (posted in 4 inch letters at pools that are 200 feet or larger and are not approved for diving).
  • A sign that states the maximum patron load (displayed conspicuously in each pool area).
  • A sign that states that the pool and any other water attractions are closed (to be posted during times when the pool is closed).
  • Pools with water slides must post the pool rules outlined above as well as the following additional rules at the entrance to the slide tower:
    • Do not use the slide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Follow the instructions of the attendant.
    • No standing, kneeling, rotating or stopping in the flume.
    • Keep your hands inside the flume.
    • Leave the plunge area immediately.
    • WARNING: Water depth is ____ feet.

Vortex and current pools must post the above rules in the vortex/current pool area, with the added warning, “Artificial Current; Strong Swimmers Only” (in 4 inch letters). Similarly, cold soak pools must display all pool rules as well as the water temperature in Fahrenheit (in 4 inch letters). Furthermore, interactive water attractions (such as those featured at splash pads) must state the following regulations in 1 inch letters:

  • Do not enter the interactive play attraction if you have a communicable disease or an open cut.
  • Do not bring food, drink, gum, tobacco, glass, or street shoes into the interactive play attraction.
  • Do not bring animals into the interactive play attraction area.
  • Recreational wheel−based methods of transportation are prohibited.
  • Diaper changing is permitted in designated areas only, and not allowed on splash area.

Wisconsin No Lifeguard on Duty Sign Wisconsin Pool Rules Sign   Wisconsin Maximum Bather Load Sign  Wisconsin No Diving Sign  Wisconsin Pool Rules Sign - Light Blue   Wisconsin Pool Hours Sign

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

Per Chapter DHS 172.34 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, all outdoor public pools should be enclosed by a fence that is at least 5 feet high and uses lockable, self-closing, and self-latching gates. These gates must open into the pool area and should be locked when the pool is not in use and and should be maintained and routinely checked for proper operation. The Wisconsin Uniform Building Code (SPS 390.18(4)) further specifies that the barrier around public pools must not allow any handholds or footholds on the exterior side and should be no more than 4 inches above grade. The fence may not have any openings larger than 4 inches in diameter and should have a lockable closure mechanism that is at least 4.5 feet from the bottom of the gate. Interactive water play attractions are subject to additional state pool fencing rules, which can be accessed here.

From what we can find, Wisconsin does not appear to have rules that require residential pool fencing. Pool owners should check all relevant city, state, and county laws in Wisconsin to ensure compliance with both signage and fencing regulations.

Local Regulations: Milwaukee (City)

Because pool regulations tend to vary by municipality, we describe the pool standards in the city of Milwaukee. Pools in other jurisdictions should look up the regulations that apply in their localities.The Milwaukee pool rules apply on top of the Wisconsin state regulations.

Signage

Chapter 75 of the Milwaukee City Charter and Code of Ordinances requires public pools to post a sign that indicates the person to contact if the recirculation system emergency warning light is on (posted immediately below the warning light if no attendant is present). Public pools within the city must also post all signs required by the state of Wisconsin.  At present, the city of Milwaukee does not appear to require private pool signage, though pool owners should verify this information by checking local laws.

Milwaukee Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Milwaukee Pool Rules Sign - black  Milwaukee Pool Hours Sign - Apartment and HOA  Milwaukee Swimming Pool Hours - Blue

Fencing

While not subject to municipal pool signage laws, private pools in the city of Milwaukee must be permanently enclosed by a pool fence that meets the following specifications:

  • The fence must be located at least 4 feet from the pool, be non-climbable and at least 4 feet high, with no openings that would allow the passage of a 4 inch-diameter sphere.
  • Any gates must open away from the pool area, be self-closing and self-latching, and meet all other barrier requirements.
  • The gate latch release should be at least 3 inches below the top of the gate on the pool and should be inaccessible to children attempting to reach through the gate to open the latch.
  • Natural barriers must be approved by the City Commissioner.

The wall of an above-ground pool may function as an approved barrier if it is durable, solid, non-climbable, and at least 3 feet high (above the ground on all sides of the pool). The wall of the pool must not be within 6 feet of any other wall, tree, deck, fence, or other climbable object. Ladders, stairs, and other means of accessing the pool must be removed or secured so that children cannot access the pool when it is not in use.

To our knowledge, the city of Milwaukee does not outline additional standards for public pool fencing. That said, pool operators within the city must still observe state-level pool regulations and should consult appropriate authorities to be certain that their pools comply with local statutes.

Wyoming

Signage

Chapter 6 of the Wyoming Regulations for Swimming Pools requires that all public pools (including limited-use pools) post signage, including:

  • A sign that states “No Lifeguard on Duty” (if applicable).
  • A pool rules sign (posted at the pool enclosure entrance) that contains the following notices:
    • No person with a communicable disease that can be transmitted by water or who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may use the pool.
    • All non-swimmers and children under 8 years of age shall be accompanied by a responsible adult observer.
    • No running or horseplay in or around the pool.
    • The emergency rescue number is ____________.
  • A sign with emergency rescue phone numbers (posted in view of the emergency telephone).
  • A warning sign with the words, “DANGER—CHLORINE” (posted on the outside of the door to the chlorine gas room in 4 inch lettering).

If the pool has a spa (hot tub), the pool rules sign above should also read:

  • Elderly persons and those suffering from heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure should consult their physician before using the spa pool.
  • Persons using prescription medications should consult their physician before using the pool.
  • Pregnant women should not use the spa pool without consulting their physician.
  • Persons should spend no more than 15 minutes in the spa pool at any one time.

The above signs must be 18 by 24 inches and use at least ½ inch letters (unless otherwise specified). Wyoming does not appear to require private pools to post pool signage. Responsible pool owners should check local statutes to ensure compliance at all levels of government.

Wyoming No Lifeguard on Duty Sign Wyoming Pool Rules Sign - Blue   Wyoming Danger Chlorine Gas Sign  Wyoming Emergency Phone Numbers Sign  Wyoming Pool Hours Sign   Wyoming Pool Hours - Private Community

Note: Click on a template to customize your sign. If don’t see the sign you need, search our pool templates gallery or design your own custom pool sign. While you’re at it, be sure to use our free professional design services

Fencing

The Wyoming state pool regulations (Chapter 3) also mandate that public pools be surrounded by an enclosure that discourages access by animals and unsupervised children and meets the following construction standards:

  • The fence should be at least 4 feet tall (measured 1 foot from the exterior side).
  • The space between grade and the bottom of the fence should be 4 inches or less.
  • Any gates should be lockable, self-closing, and self-latching, with the latch located 4 feet above the ground on the inside of the gate.
  • Wading pools must be isolated from other pools by a separate fence that meets the requirements above and is located at the shallow end of the main pool .
  • Buildings that enclose swimming pools must be ventilated to prevent odors and condensation.

At the current time, Wyoming law does not appear to regulate pool fencing for private pools. We advise pool owners to verify this information with local authorities.

Local Regulations: Evanston

As in other states, pool standards in Wyoming tend to vary by city and county. Thus, we review the pool-related ordinance in Evanston, the state’s most populous city.

According to the Evanston Municipal Code (§ 24-28B), all outdoor swimming pools (whether public or private) must be completely surrounded by a fence (or wall) that:

  • Is at least 6 feet high.
  • Has no openings that would allow a child to pass through.
  • Uses self-closing and self-latching doors or gates that can be fastened to prevent access to the pool.

(Note: A house or other building may be used as part of a compliant barrier).

Additional Fencing Resources

Many of the state pool fence law that we discuss above draw on the requirements of Appendix G and Section 3109 of the  the International Residential and International Building Codes, respectively. Interestingly, it appears that the provisions within the two different sections are largely the same. Consequently, we provide a single  description for both sections of code. Those who are constructing pool fences should verify our summary by consulting the actual language of Appendix G and Section 3109.

Appendix G (IRC) and Section 3109 (IBC)

Applicability

The standards below apply to residential swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.

Barrier Specifications

Outdoor swimming pools (including in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pools, and hot tubs/spas) must be completely surrounded by a barrier or fence that meets that following standards:

  • The barrier must be at least 4 feet high (measured on the exterior side), with the bottom of the fence no more than 2 inches above the ground as measured from the outside. (If an above-ground pool has a barrier placed on top of the pool structure, the maximum space between the top of the pool and the bottom of the fence is 4 inches.)
  • The barrier should not have any openings that allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter sphere.
  • Solid barriers without openings (i.e. masonry or stone walls) must not have any indentations or protrusions (except normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints).
  • If the fence is made of horizontal and vertical members, the following apply:
    • If the tops of horizontal members are less than 45 inches apart:
      • Horizontal members must be located on the pool side of the fence.
      • Spacing between vertical members or within decorative cutouts must be 1.75 inches or less (in width).
    • If the tops of horizontal members are more than 45 inches apart:
      • Spacing between vertical members must be 4 inches or less.
      • Spacing within decorative cutouts must be 1.75 inches or less.
  • Chain link mesh (if used) must be a 2.25 inch square (unless slats fastened at the top or the bottom of the fence reduce the openings to 1.75 inches or less).
  • Any diagonal members (such as lattice fence) may not form openings greater than 1.75 inches.

Gate Requirements

  • Any gates or doors must have a lock and comply with the general barrier requirements above.
  • Gates used to access the pool must open outward (away from the pool) and be self-closing and self-latching. Other gates (such as service entrances) should be self-latching.
  • If the latch release is less than 4.5 feet above the bottom of the gate, it must be located at least 3 inches below the top of the gate on the pool side, while the gate and barrier within 18 inches of the latch release should not have any openings larger than ½ inch.

Dwelling Walls

If a dwelling wall serves as part of the pool barrier, one of the following safety measures must be taken:

  • The pool must be covered by a powered safety cover that complies to ASTM F 1346
  • Doors that provide direct access to the pool must have an alarm (listed and labeled according to UL 2017 standards) that produces an audible warning when the door or its screen are opened. The alarm deactivation switch must be at least 4.5 feet above the door threshold.
  • Other protections that are approved by the local governing body (self-closing and self-latching doors, for example) must provide protection equal to an alarm or power pool cover.

Above-Ground Pools

When a barrier mounted on top of an above-ground pool or the pool itself are used as barriers, the ladder or steps used to access the pool must be secured, locked, or removed to prevent access when the pool is not in use; the removal of the ladder/steps should not create any opening that would allow the passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter. Alternatively, the ladder/steps must be surround by a barrier that meets the requirements outlined above.

Indoor Pools

Walls that surround indoor pools should comply with the standards for pool enclosures that incorporate a dwelling wall as part of the barrier.

Barrier Locations

Pool barriers should be located so that permanent structures, equipment, or similar objects cannot be used to climb the fence.

Exceptions

Spas or hot tubs with a safety cover that complies with ASTM F1346 are exempt from the barrier requirements described above.

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Dustin Heap

Before Signs.com, Dustin had several jobs after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. These included positions in two different SEO agencies and Everyday Health, a leading online health brand. He’s worked with both big and small businesses and lived in New York City, Toronto, and Salt Lake City. He currently does the marketing for Signs.com and has experience in a variety of areas under the digital marketing umbrella. Outside of work he loves spending time with his family, sports, books, wood fired-pizza, grilling and smoking meat, and the geopolitics of the Middle East.