NOTE: This page is not the complete swimming pool code requirements, it is only to point out the main safety requirements. The full code section can be accessed through the Florida Building Code. Website for Florida Building Code is www.floridabuilding.org/bc
Section 424.2 of the Florida Building Code requires all new private swimming pools to be constructed with specific safety features to help prevent drowning.
Section 4188.8.131.52 requires all private swimming pools to be equipped with an anti-entrapment device to prevent accidental entrapment at any of the pools suction inlets.
Section 424.2.17 requires all new private swimming pools to provide a barrier around the pool, with one exception. If a pool is equipped with an approved safety cover complying with ANSI F 1346-91. The barrier must be designed so as to prevent anyone from having direct access from the home to the pool, as well as access from the yard to the pool. This can be accomplished in different ways. One of the ways is to install a four foot fence (commonly referred to as a baby barrier) around the perimeter of the pool. This barrier must be a minimum of 20” away from the water edge.
If one of the walls of the dwelling is to act as part of the barrier, all doors and windows with direct access to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm complying with UL 2017 with a sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet. These alarms must be hard wired of a plug-in type. The alarm must produce an audible warning immediately after the door, window or screen is opened. This alarm shall be continuous. There shall be a manual means to deactivate the alarm at one opening with the deactivation not lasting more than 15 seconds. Also the deactivation switch must be a minimum of 54” above the threshold of the door.
There are however three exceptions, they are:
- Screen or protected windows with the bottom sill height of 48” above the interior finished floor.
- Windows facing the pool on a floor above the first floor.
- Screened or protected pass-through kitchen windows 42” or higher above a counter.
Section 424.3 requires that prior to the start of construction on public or private swimming pools, the permanent fence or wall meeting all applicable requirements of Section 4184.108.40.206 through 4220.127.116.11, or a temporary fence at least four (4) feet in height above the grade outside the fence shall be installed. This fence or wall shall be closed, latched and locked at all times, except when work is in progress and workmen are on the site. The temporary fence shall not be removed except when the permanent fence, wall or enclosure is being immediately constructed. At no time shall the pool be left by workmen unless secured by either the permanent or temporary enclosure. Swimming pool barrier protection shall allow bodies of water such as lakes, canals and streams to serve as one side of the required barrier when the water frontage is at least six feet wide beyond the shoreline, and the side yard fence barrier proceeds at least one foot into the water body or the fence continues to the top of a canal or stream bulkhead wall.