You have your dream outdoor living space, complete with an inground pool. Congratulations! But are you keeping everyone safe and complying with Maryland pool fence laws? Pool fences keep out unwanted visitors and help prevent accidental drownings.
Maryland pool fence laws set the minimum standards for constructing an adequate barrier around residential swimming pools in the State of Maryland. The law defines a swimming pool as any structure intended for swimming, recreational bathing, or other use that holds water that is is deeper than 24 inches and is located at a single- or two-family dwelling.
While state law does not regulate pool fences for residential pools, the individual counties and some cities do. Because most counties have adopted the 2012 International Residential Code, these pool fence laws are very similar.
- The pool fence must be at least 48 inches (4 feet) tall.
- There should be a maximum of 2 inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence.
- Space pickets no more than 4 inches apart.
- Maximum mesh size for chain link fence is 2.25 inch squares.
- All pool access gates must be self-closing, self-latching, and equipped with a locking device.
- Above ground pools taller than 48 inches are not required to have an additional pool fence as long as the ladder is detachable.
- If your above ground pool is less than 48 inches tall, you should install a barrier — either around the pool or a barrier attached to the pool.
- If your house is essentially the fourth side of a fence, you should have an alarm on the door that accesses the pool area to notify you that it has been opened.
Install Your Pool Fence at the Time of Pool Installation
Protect your family and the neighbors by installing your pool fence after the pool is installed and the heavy equipment is out of the way, but before the pool is filled with water. Ideally, the pool fence goes in the same day the pool installation is completed.
There are all types of pool fence styles in a variety of materials. As long as the fence meets the above requirements, you can choose a fence that suits your style, whether that’s a tall white privacy fence or an ornamental iron fence.
When you hire your swimming pool contractor, you may want to ask if they put in fencing as well. Either that, or hire a fence company separately. That’s your call.
The Bottom Line on Maryland Pool Fence Laws
The bottom line is, you need a pool fence. Be sure to check with your local municipality to ensure you are in compliance with all of the local regulations. If you are part of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) you will also want to read the bylaws to see what they say about the type of pool fence allowed.