The State of Florida has no law that mandates homeowners erect a fence – unless they have a
swimming pool. However, under Homeland Security’s anti-terrorism laws, some types of
businesses are required to install perimeter fencing around their facilities ranging from
chemical plants to food processing sites.
Homeowners are advised to speak with their neighbors before erecting a fence, as they may
have a financial stake in maintaining it.
Any outdoor pool is required to have a fence or barrier at least 4 ft. high around the perimeter
of the aquatic feature. It must be sufficiently far enough away from the pool edge to prevent a
child that breaches the fence from immediately falling into the pool.
There can be no gaps in the fencing. A self-closing and self-locking gate that opens outward
must be installed. The closing and locking mechanism must be high enough to be out of the
reach of children. The fencing must extend low enough to the ground to prevent a child from
climbing under it.
Indoor pools and those in screened in areas aren’t required to be fenced. However, doors and
window that provide access to the pool are required to have a wired safety alarm or a self-
closing and self-locking gate that’s at least 54 inches high.
The shallow pools known as kiddie pools don’t have to be fenced. Private pools at condos,
apartment complexes, and similar facilities, along with public pools, are exempt from the
fencing requirement. Public pools must be in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker
Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA). The Act went into effect on Dec. 19, 2008 and sets
standards for drain covers to prevent entrapment.
The statutes governing pools were put in place to prevent child drowning. Swimming pools
were the leading cause of child deaths prior to the state’s laws being enacted.
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