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Texas Pool Fence Laws

Drowning is one of the top causes of accidental deaths in the US. Ten people – including two children 14 or younger – die from unintentional drowning every day (source: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Fatal drowning accidents often occur in privately owned swimming pools. Many states, including Texas, aim to prevent swimming pool accidents by implementing pool fence laws.

What Are Texas’ Pool Fence Requirements?

Swimming pools are attractive nuisances, meaning they are dangerous property elements that are especially enticing to children. If you own a swimming pool in Texas, you are responsible for following all of the state’s related laws to keep the pool safe for children in your neighborhood. One of the most important is Texas’ fence and barrier requirements, as they are in place to prevent drowning tragedies. If you fail to fulfill Texas’ pool fence requirements, you could be responsible for a related drowning accident. You could also face fines if caught failing to comply with state and local pool barrier rules.

  • All swimming pools in Texas must have fences surrounding them that are at least 48 inches tall. These fences cannot be made of chain link, which a child could climb.
  • No swimming pool fence may have a gap at the bottom or vertical fence slats that are big enough to allow a ball that is four inches in diameter to pass through.
  • If a pool fence has both horizontal and vertical slats, all slat attachments must be on the inside of the fence, not the outside.
  • Swimming pool gates must be at least 48 inches tall and meet the same requirements as fences. They must be self-closing and self-latching, with the latch located on the inside of the gate. Gates must swing inward, away from the pool.
  • Any doors that lead to swimming pools must be self-closing and self-latching. The door also needs a keyless bolting device that is 36 to 48 inches off the floor.
  • If the wall of the house serves as one wall of the pool barrier, the door leading to the pool must be equipped with an alarm that sounds when the door is opened.
  • All above-ground swimming pools must abide by the same fencing and gate rules as in-ground pools in Texas to prevent unauthorized access.

Different municipalities in Texas have the right to enforce other swimming pool laws. Check the laws in your city. As a swimming pool owner, properly maintain your pool for optimal safety. Replace broken or missing drain covers, use the proper balance of pool chemicals, and put up signs warning swimmers not to dive in shallow waters. These are a few basic responsibilities as a swimming pool owner in Texas. Ignoring your responsibilities could make you civilly liable for an accident in your pool.

Liability for a Pool Accident in Texas

Failing to abide by Texas’ pool fence requirements is a serious act of negligence that can lead to swimming pool accidents and drowning injuries. A child could wander onto a property and fall into a swimming pool that is not properly closed off. If a property owner breaks one of Texas’ pool fence laws, that owner could be legally responsible (liable). A property owner could face civil liability for negligently or knowingly breaking a pool fence law.

If your child was injured in a swimming pool accident that likely could have been avoided had the pool owner obeyed Texas’ pool fence laws, you may have grounds for a civil claim against that individual. Breaching one of Texas’ pool fence laws is an act of negligence that can place civil liability with the at-fault property owner. Liability means the owner will owe your family financial compensation for losses such as your child’s medical bills, physical pain and emotional suffering. Discuss your swimming pool accident case with a Houston personal injury lawyer for more information.