Making pools safe for children -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Making pools safe for children

August 26, 2002

Lee County-- There are laws designed to safeguard pools to make sure it's difficult for children to get into a swimming area. Unfortunately, many pool owners don't follow, or don't even know all the rules.

Diane L'Herault installed a pool this summer, and she made sure a child proof latch was put on the fence gate. "For safety reasons. I wanted something where little ones couldn't easily open it."

You have to push down on the latch to open the gate. There is also a closing device to shut the gate. These are some of the top products available to safeguard pools.

Ray Hinman has been building swimming pools in South Georgia for 27 years. He says pool owners have to take steps to keep other people's children safe.  "Most of the drownings, even in residential pools, are not the people that own the swimming pool, or their children. It's somebody that's come from outside."

The Georgia zoning and building code says swimming pools must be completed surrounded by a fence. City of Albany Planning Manager Elizabeth Dean said "A four foot tall fence. The gate must be self-closing and have a self-latching mechanism on it. There are also regulations about the openings in the fence, and how much opening you can have at the bottom to prevent anyone from being able to crawl under."

Regulations also say if your house has a door opening directly into the pool area, it must have an audible alarm to let you know when the door is opened.

Swimming pools and water are very attractive to young children, and a drowning can happen in seconds. That's why the L'Heraults want the child-proof locks on their pool fence gate. 

Atlas Fence Company can install a child proof latch and closing device on fence gates for around $75.00.


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