Safer pool fencing laws
Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death to Canadian children. Swimming pools are the site of nearly half of all drowning and near-drowning incidents for children 14 years of age and under.
Problem: Current legislative status
Pools without proper fencing are a particular hazard for children under five years of age. In most places in Canada, safer pool fencing is not yet required.
For more information, please see our Pool Fencing Legislation Chart.
Researchers estimate that safer pool fencing could prevent seven out of 10 drowning incidents in home swimming pools for children under five years of age.
Solution: Safer pool fencing
Safer pool fencing consists of a minimum 1.2-metre (four-foot) high, four-sided pool fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate that regulates all access points. Municipalities have the ability to enact safer pool fencing bylaws for homes with pools. Provincial and territorial jurisdictions can support municipal efforts by establishing province-wide safer pool fencing laws.
Government can help create safer environments within their communities by proper enforcement measures and by providing education about safer pool fencing.
Key features of safer pool fencing
Safer fencing should:
- completely enclose the pool on all four sides
- be of minimum height of 1.2 metres (four feet)
- cover all types of pools (inflatable, above-ground, etc.)
- have a self-closing and self-latching gate
- be designed to deter young children from climbing
Provincial governments have the ability to support municipalities in their efforts at safer pool fencing. For example, provincial legislation will not only establish minimum pool safety standards, it will also harmonize safer pool fencing legislation across the province.
- Bill 18 - The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (French only)
Drowning prevention resources
- Backyard Pool Safety - Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Four-sided fencing around home pools - matte story
- Pool fencing: Template position statement
- Pool fencing: Frequently asked questions
- Pool fencing : Model resolution
- Model pool fencing by-law
- Pool fencing diagrams
- Pamphlet - Does your fence comply?