Pool 15 inches or deeper? A fence is required

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - After the recent drowning of an infant and of a 74-year-old man, Region 8 News is investigating the rules and laws in place for pools in Jonesboro to keep you and your family safe.

Rules and ordinances exists for any type of swimming pool available whether the pool be a portable blow up, in ground, above ground or wading pool.

Jonesboro Code Enforcement Officer Ronnie Shaver says any pool over 15 inches deep has to have a 4-foot, non-climbable fence. Shaver said, "Under city ordinance you have to have a 4 foot fence with a self closing, self latching gate of non climbable material."

The Glovers just installed an above ground pool. They do have a fence around the yard but Samantha Glover said they did make some changes. "We put in a bigger door and are installing a lock." Currently both gates are self latching but not self-closing.

The Glover's pool is pretty good size around but it's depth that makes a difference in pool security.

Shaver, "Anything that holds water over 15 inches deep is required to have a four foot fence around it."

And that includes those inflatable or portable pools sold at retail stores. Including those with metal frameworks. Shaver says retail stores don't tell pool buyers that they have to have a fence around their pool.

Shaver, "They'll go and spend three or 4 hundred dollars for a pool then realize they have to put in a seven or 8 hundred dollar fence. "

Fencing material and style can vary, Shaver says but it has to be non-scaleable. A phone call can save you a lot of trouble.

Shaver, "You need to call the code enforcement office of the city to find out the ordinances that cover the security around pools such as fencing and gates."

And of course take precautions when your kids are in the pool.

Samantha Glover, "We have 2 moms right here today and we always keep flotation devices, life jackets and floaties for those who cannot swim on their own." Even a shallow kiddie pool can take a life if the child is not supervised in this pool.

In ground, above ground, hard shell, soft shell anything over 15 inches deep you have to have a fence and a self latching gate.

Shaver, "Kids if they find a cool spot they are going to want to jump in. "

I asked Glover, "Are you in compliance right now?" Glover, "Well we thought we were but it looks like we have a couple of things we need to work on."

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.