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Pool Barriers

All swimming pools, spas and hot tubs are required to have barriers installed and maintained that enclose and separate them from any dwelling. A swimming pool, spa or hot tub is defined as any structure intended for swimming, diving or recreational bathing that contains water 24 inches or more in depth.  All pools, spas and hot tubs within the city of Phoenix are required to be fenced with exterior fencing and most pools also require an interior barrier. It depends on when the pool was built.

Exterior fencing requirements
The following are required for all homeowners within the city of Phoenix.

  • A non-climbable fence or wall at least five feet high with self-closing, self-latching gates “completely around the pool or property.”
  • All latches must be four and one-half  feet above the ground or be inaccessible from the outside by small children.
  • Any opening in the barrier shall be less than four inches wide. Special rules apply to chain link fences.

Interior Barriers
A 1990 law requires interior barriers. There are three options:

Option A: Fences & gates

  • Pools shall be enclosed by a permanent non-climbable fence that is at least five feet in height.
  • All gates must be self-closing and self-latching and must open outward and away from the pool.
  • All latches must be four and one-half feet above the ground or be inaccessible from the outside by small children.
  • Any opening in a fence or wall must be less than four inches wide. Small children are able to maneuver through small openings.

Option B: Self-closing doors to the house

  • If the wall of the dwelling is used as part of the enclosure, doors leading from the home directly into the pool area must be self-closing and self-latching with the same requirements as gates.
  • Window within the enclosure must also meet code requirements.

Option C: Safety covers

Approved safety covers for spas and hot tubs not more than eight feet wide may be used as long as there is approved perimeter fencing.

Interior barrier exceptions
Single family homes with pools existing prior to May 4, 1990 are exempt from the interior barriers only, and then only if all occupants of the house are over six  years old.

Apartments and multifamily dwellings are required to have inner barriers, regardless of whether children are living there or not.

Above ground pools with non-climbable 48-inch high sides are also exempt. The steps or ladder must be easily removable or be made inaccessible to small children.

There is no exception for the exterior fencing requirement.

For more specific information about pool barriers click HERE, or call the Planning & Development  Department at 602-262-7884.




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