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Arizona Pool Fence Law

Posted On 07/31/19

Knowing how to properly enclose your pool as a resident of Arizona could help you avoid fines, tickets and liability for serious accidents. You have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of your pool. If a small child finds your swimming pool and falls in, you could be liable for the child’s injuries or drowning death. Avoiding accidents and legal responsibility takes adhering to the state’s strict pool fence law.

What Are the Requirements?

Arizona Revised Statutes 36-1681 contains the state’s pool fence law or enclosure requirements. Arizona lawmakers passed this statute to increase the safety of swimming pools in the state. Every swimming pool owner in Arizona must fulfill certain requirements when putting up a fence or wall. Failure to do so is an act of negligence that could negatively impact pool safety and lead to accidents.

General Requirements

  • Any contained body of water at least 18 inches deep and 8 feet wide designed for swimming (indoor or outdoor) must have an enclosure that fully surrounds the pool area.

Pool Fence Requirements

  • The pool enclosure must be at least five feet tall as measured from its exterior. The enclosure could be a fence, wall or another type of barrier.
  • The pool enclosure must not have any holes or breaks large enough to accommodate a four-inch sphere.
  • The horizontal slats of a fence must be at least 45 inches apart measured vertically. Chain link fences must have a maximum hole size of 1.75 inches measured horizontally.
  • Enclosure gates must swing outward from the pool. They must self-close or self-latch. The latch must fall at least 54 inches above the ground or at least 5 inches below the top of the gate on the pool side of the fence.
  • The gate cannot have an opening wider than 0.5 inches within 2 feet of the latch’s release mechanism unless the latch has some type of lock that requires a key or code to open.
  • The fence must come at least 20 inches out from the edge of the swimming pool. It cannot contain any handholds or openings that someone could use to climb the fence.

If your swimming pool is part of a larger living area, you must install either a locking access door to the pool, four-foot-high exterior sides on the pool, a motorized safety pool cover, or a four-foot-high wall or fence separating the pool from the living space.

The statute goes on to clarify that Arizona’s pool fence law does not apply to public swimming pools, livestock ponds, irrigation canals or households where all members are at least six or older.

Penalties for Breaking the Pool Fence Law

If you breach any of the requirements for enclosing a swimming pool as a property owner in Arizona, you could be guilty of a petty offense. This crime could force you to pay a fine unless you can show evidence that you installed a fence in compliance with the law within 45 days of receiving the citation. You must also pass a swimming pool safety course to avoid paying the fine.

If a child in Arizona drowns or otherwise suffers an injury because of your improperly enclosed swimming pool, you could be civilly liable. Drowning is a significant cause of infant injury and death in the U.S. An average of 2 children ages 14 and younger die from unintentional drowning every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You must comply with Arizona’s pool fence law or else potentially face liability for related swimming pool accidents.

A victim’s family could file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against you for negligently failing to fulfill the pool fence requirements. You or your insurance company could be responsible for repaying the family’s medical costs, lost wages and other damages relating to the swimming pool accident. You may also owe the family for intangible losses such as pain and suffering. Protect yourself from liability – and children in your community from danger – by obeying Arizona’s pool fence laws.