Rhode Island Pool Fence Regulations

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Swimming pool flotation device
Swimming pool flotation device (Image: colorful pool toy floating in a summer pool image by Jorge Moro from Fotolia.com)

Swimming pools can provide hours of summer entertainment, but an unguarded pool can be dangerous if a young child or pet falls in. The state of Rhode Island has an official list of rules and regulations for swimming pool fences. It was developed in 1975 by the Rhode Island Department of Health and has been amended nine times since then.

Height

The fence around a pool has to be at least four feet (48 inches) high. The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground can be two inches maximum. If the fence or barrier is a solid structure or a wall, it can’t have any indentations or protrusions in it that would allow someone to climb over the fence. In addition, there can’t be an adjacent structure that could be used to climb or jump over the fence.

Gates

The fence can have a gate, but it must follow the same requirements as the fence. The gate has to open to the outside and come with a self-closing and latching device. It must also be locked. If the latching device is situated lower than 54 inches higher than the bottom of the gate, it has to be located on the pool side of the gate, and it must be located at least three inches below the top of the gate.

Construction

The fence can be made out of several acceptable materials such as chain link, wood, cement and metal. It can also come in any design as long as there are no openings in it that are large enough to push a four-inch sphere through. If the style of the fence is vertical/horizontal, the horizontal sections need to be located on the inside of the fence if the distance between the tops of the fence’s horizontal sections is less than 45 inches.

Indoor Pools

The laws for indoor pools are the same as outdoor pools, which means the gates to the pool need to be self-closing and latching with the release mechanism situated at least 54 inches higher than the bottom of the gate.

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