Pool Fence Heights

Determining Safety Pool Fence Heights


  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1988 established 4 foot high fencing as a minimum height for fences around pools.
  • The higher the fence the more difficult it is to get over it.
Fence Heights

Questions you should ask yourself for Determining Fence Height

Do you have children that are generally obedient and follow instructions or do you have children that are wild and rambunctious?

  • If you answered cautious children, grade yourself a 1.

Reason: If you know your children are calm well behaved and generally cautious consider yourself blessed. You probably are not going to have a problem with a 4 foot tall fence. If your children aren’t little angels and you are worried about them because they throw caution to the wind and can climb almost anything, then you know that regardless of anything else you should put up a fence higher than 4 feet.

Do you have twins or more than one child under age 4?

  • If you answered one child and you are not planning to have more children grade yourself a 1.
  • More than 1 child under 4, grade yourself a 2.

Reason: If you have two or more children under the age of 4 you should realize that these children will work together to achieve a goal. They don’t necessarily need patio furniture to get over the top of a 4 foot tall fence, because one child can help another get over this fence. Remember, the 4 foot tall fence is the MINIMUM height recommended by the USCPSC.

Do you have a large backyard for the children to play in or a small backyard?

  • If you have a large backyard, grade yourself a 1.
  • A small backyard, grade yourself a 2.

Reason: The smaller the backyard the higher the fence. I have told that to thousands of customers over the years. The reason is because the closer children play to a fence, the more opportunity they have to get over the top.

How far away from where the fence is going to be located is your patio furniture?

  • Under 20 feet away, grade yourself a 1.
  • Under 15 feet away grade yourself a 2.
  • Under 10 feet away, grade yourself a 3.

Reason: Patio furniture, toys etc… are the most common ways for a child to circumvent a pool fence. One of the smartest things parents can do is to remove or relocate these items out of the backyard. If that isn’t possible, tie furniture together so that individual pieces of furniture can’t be moved towards your fence. Relocate any objects that can be stacked or used to gain a height advantage. Never underestimate what a child is capable of. Don’t say, “my child will never do that.” Look at pool safety from the perspective that your child will do that and your pool area will be a much safer environment for your children when they are playing outside.

Evaluation from our (non scientific) QUESTIONNAIRE

  • If the sum total from these questions is 4, a 4 foot high fence is probably adequate.
  • If the sum total from these questions is 5 or 6, you should consider a pool fence higher than 4 feet tall.
  • If the sum total from these questions is 7 or greater, you should strongly consider our 5 foot tall pool fence.

This questionnaire is to be used as a guide to determining the pool fence height in your backyard ONLY and should not be used by itself in determining how tall your pool fence should be An onsite visit from one of our professionals is best!



  • Children have NO FEAR
  • Children are attracted to the water
  • Children don’t know right from wrong
  • You cannot trust their judgment!

We hope this information and some of our ways of thinking helped you with some of the issues in dealing with swimming pools and children.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.

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