In France since January 1 2006, all private outdoor pools, whether buried or half-buried, must be equipped with a protective system around or on the pool. Let’s have a look at the several technical solutions available.
All private pools, except those above ground or in a building, must be equipped with an agreed safety system. Many technical solutions are allowed by the law.
- Barriers : whether made from wood, plastic, glass, textile or plastic latticing, they must be at least 1.10m. in height and be capable of withstanding shocks equalling 50kgs. in weight. They must be firmly attached to the ground to avoid them being displaced or uprooted. The barrier must have a special gate which prevents children from accessing the pool (the locking system must require at least two different actions in order to open it). Barriers must surround the pool entirely, or be used in conjunction with walls to complete the enclosure of the pool.
- Alarms : two different techniques are allowed. The first is based on dectecting movement around the pool by using detection beams. Once something crosses the beam, the alarm goes off. The second system detects a presence in the water. This system is situated underwater and can detect the presence of a young child weighing 6 kgs., of a step with a weight of 8 kgs. and the immersion of a child on a slope of 30% from 8 kgs. upwards. The detection of an immersion automatically sets off the alarm.
- Shelters : whether made of wood; metal, plastic or glass, pool shelters are installed to stop children from climbing or scaling their way into the pool. Like the barriers, these have a special locking system. There are 5 major types of shelter – veranda or high fixed shelters, telescopic shelters, low shelters which can be lifted up, mobile shelters and inflatable shelters.
- Shutters or covers : whether rigid or half-rigid, automatic ot manual, agreed pool shutters or covers must be able to withstand the weight of a 100 kgs. adult and must not allow a child to pass underneath them, nor to fall through them by walking over them.