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Does Texas law regulate barriers for home swimming pools?

Nov 22, 2016 - Personal Injury by

Texas Law Regulates Barriers for Home Swimming Pools In some situations, Texas law requires owners of swimming pools to construct barriers around their pools to help prevent accidental drowning deaths. Keep in mind, however, that pools — and particularly private residential pools — are largely regulated by local ordinances or regulations. Some homeowners associations also impose regulations for pool fencing, so if your housing development has an HOA, be sure to check their rules for pools.

State Pool Laws Generally Do Not Apply to Private Residential Pools

As to state law, these laws and regulations only apply to multiunit rental complex or pools that are owned, maintained, or controlled by a property owners association. Under the law, swimming pool barriers:

  • Must be at least four feet high.
  • Cannot have any gaps, openings, indentations or protrusions that would allow a spherical object of four inches to pass under or between the barriers.
  • Cannot be made of chain link fence.
  • Must have self-close or self-lock gates that are lockable by padlock, combination lock or built-in key or card-operated lock.
  • Latches must be installed in the upper one-quarter of the pool side of the gate to prevent children from opening them easily.

Aboveground pools must also meet these same standards with the added proviso that ladders or steps must be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access to the pool. If the wall of the house serves as part of the pool’s barrier, all doors that permit access to the pool area from the home are required to have an alarm that sounds when the door is opened. Any alarm bypass must be set high enough on the wall that it cannot be reached by children.

Local Regulations and Ordinances May Regulate Your Private Residential Pool

Even if state law does not apply to your pool, your pool may still be subject to local regulations or ordinances. For example, many Texas cities heavily regulate pool barriers, safety devices, signage, among other details. Additionally, if you belong to an HOA, you may be subject to additional rules regarding pool safety and design.

Even if State and Local Rules Do Not Apply, You May Still Be Liable for Pool Injuries

So what if you do not appear to have any laws that apply to your private residential swimming pool? Don’t forget that you can still be liable for negligence if someone accidentally drowns. More specifically, as a pool owner, you should take reasonable, common-sense measures to keep swimmers safe. This is particularly true if you have children near the pool at any time.

Common-Sense Measures to Keep Swimmers Safe

Homeowners with pools should also institute safety rules for pool use, including:

  • Always lock the pool enclosure when no one is home.
  • Consider having a wood fence surrounding the swimming area, which can keep pools out of view, thereby removing temptation for children.
  • Have a pool alarm that sounds when someone enters the pool.

Roberts & Roberts focuses on helping people who have been injured in accidents or because of negligence. Contact us to schedule your free consultation with our experienced personal injury legal team for the compassionate representation you deserve.

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