Are your kids safe around the pool? Roughly 30 children a year are lost to drownings in Arizona. The risk is even higher in children ages one to four. As a result, the State of Arizona and most of its counties and cities have passed swimming pool barrier laws.
Homeowners are required by law to completely enclose their pools with a fence to restrict access from neighboring properties. Barriers are also generally required to prevent easy access from the house to the pool. Specific requirements regarding height, type of fences, gates, and windows and doors from the home that lead to pool area are often included in the law.
I’m making an offer on a house with a pool. What information should I expect to receive? The seller is required to include a “Notice to Buyer of Swimming Pool Barrier Regulations” in most purchase contracts. Both the seller and the buyer acknowledge the existence of the state and county laws. The buyer also agrees to investigate and comply with these laws. Additionally, the buyer will receive a “Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement,” which outlines the current code violations on the property.
What do I do if I buy a house with a pool and it does not meet code? The Arizona Realtors® Purchase Contract states: “During the Inspection Period, Buyer agrees to investigate all applicable state, county, and municipal swimming pool barrier regulations and agrees to comply with and pay all costs of compliance with said regulations prior to occupying the Premises, unless otherwise agreed in writing.” You can check your city’s and county’s ordinances for their specific requirements.
Are there different rules for above-ground pools? The above-ground pools have the same requirements as in-ground pools. However, the walls must be at least 4-ft high and the pool must not be climbable. The ladders must be removed or locked.
Since pool barrier laws vary from city to city, be sure to contact your local government agency for current laws and regulations. Fountain Hills residents can call Building Safety at (480) 816-5177.
Arizona Department of Health Services Pool Safety Recommendations:
- Never leave a child unattended in the pool or pool area.
- Because flotation devices and swimming lessons are not a substitution for supervision, a child should always be watched when in or around the pool area.
- CPR/CCR instructions and the 911 emergency number (or local emergency number) should be posted in the pool area.
- A phone should be located in the pool area or easily accessible in case of an emergency.
- All residential pool owners should attend water rescue and CPR/CCR classes. Lifesaving equipment should be easily accessible and stored in the pool area.
- All gate locks and latches should be checked regularly to insure they are working properly.
- A gate should never be left propped open.
- All items that could be used to climb a pool barrier should be removed from around the barrier.
- In an emergency:
- Shout for help;
- Pull the child from the water;
- Call 911 (or local emergency number) for help; and
- After checking the child’s airway and breathing, immediately begin CPR/CCR if necessary.
for more information from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
for more information about Arizona’s pool barrier laws.