Pool Fencing Guidelines

After delaying the vote on a new isolated pool fence bylaw in Hamilton this past April, city councillors reconvened and voted against changing the rules that would have affected new residential pool installations in 2017.


A backyard swimming pool is a great way to relax with family and friends, have fun and enjoy the outdoors. You'll be even more relaxed knowing that the kids can't get in to that area without adult supervision. Below are the Municipal guidelines for fencing around your pool, whether it be inground, above-ground or inflatable:

  •     There be a four-sided barrier completely enclosing the swimming pool area. It should block access from neighbouring children as well as kids living in or visiting a home with a pool.
  •     The fence should have a minimum height of 1.2 m (4 ft). Some municipalities require the fence height to be 1.5 m (5 ft), so check the bylaws in your area.
  •     The spaces between your fence and the ground must be less than 5 cm (2 in.).
  •     If you have a chain link fence, link openings should be no more than 3.8 cm (1.5 in.) wide and should be designed to prevent climbing by young children.
  •     For wood or iron fences, make sure horizontal fence rails are at least 1140 mm (45 in.) apart, and all vertical rails are no more than 100 mm (4 in.) apart.
  •     Check your fence often and repair any holes or defects immediately.
  •     Gates should be as high as your fence (at least 1.2 m (4 ft) high. Some municipalities require 1.5-m (5-ft) fencing. Check the bylaws in your area.
  •     A self-closing, self-latching gate should control each entry point to the pool area. When properly installed, they automatically close and latch every time the gate is opened to prevent unsupervised access by young children. Latch hardware should be installed on the inside of the pool area to prevent children from reaching it.
  •     All latches should be locked when the pool is not being used.

These guidelines cover all pools (inground, above-ground, portable, inflatable and hydro-massage pools, hot tubs and decorative ponds) with a depth over 0.6 m (2 ft).
—courtesy Safe Kids Canada

For more information, visit www.safekidscanada.com.