Protecting Your Family: Are You Meeting Louisiana’s Swimming Pool Requirements?
Due to the rash of recent accidents with regards to children and swimming pools in our area, I decided to look up what Louisiana law requires homeowners with swimming pools to do to help keep neighborhood kids off their property, out of their pools and SAFE! This is of particular interest to me as an in ground pool came with our house and it's the first pool I've ever owned. I don't know the rules! I'm not going to lie, I live in fear that the neighborhood kids hop the fence and swim when we're not home. Whenever I find something in the back yard out of place, I freak. You might think I'm paranoid, but we live in a sue happy world... And we don't have privacy fencing around our entire yard. Frankly, we can't afford it. We've got a BIG yard. It may sound callous, but you have to protect yourself. So what DOES the state of Louisiana require? According to KSLA, the City of Bossier abides by the International Swimming Pool Code. That means, chain link fencing is okay as long as it's at least four feet tall and the maximum opening is no more than 1.75 inches. I also found some information regarding the State of Louisiana's rules at ehow.com. Here's what they had to say:
Louisiana Barrier Law
Louisiana State law specifically identifies the types of swimming pools that require barriers around them. Class A swimming pools (for competitions or diving) and Class B walls (exceeding 2.9 feet) have to be enclosed. The barrier can be a "fence, wall, building, enclosure, or solid wall of durable material, according to state code.
According to the Louisiana Administrative Code, all fences or barriers must not be climbable from the outside of the pool area. There can be no potential foot-holds on the fence exterior. The barrier needs to be built at least 4 feet tall. The gates to the pool area need to be self-closing and self-latching. The latches must not be accessible to children who can't reach more than 3 and 3/4 feet high.
I then went even further... Yep, I checked out The Louisiana Administrative Code Title 51 which details requirements for swimming pools in Louisiana. As you've guessed, it's scintillating reading, but here's what it has to say about swimming pool barriers... Believe it or not, the language is the clearest I've been able to find (shocking!)
1. Class A or Class B public swimming 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. 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.
So, in short, put up a fence if you don't have one and lock that bad boy up! Cameras and alarms, as well as signs regarding trespassing aren't a bad idea either. I don't know how much they'll help you if (God forbid) a kid climbs your fence and something happens, but at least you know you did what you could, short of filling in your swimming pool, to keep children safe. Swimming Pool