Note: The following is an update to this blog posted on March 6, 2013: http://dcspoolbarriers.com/2013/03/06/dcs-pool-barriers-pool-safety-requirements-for-foster-homes/
Foster homes fulfill a crucial role in society by providing a safe space for children whose birth parents are unable to care for them. To support the goal of keeping foster kids safe, the State of Arizona imposes certain requirements on foster parents who have pools at their homes. In order to pass a life-safety inspection—the state’s comprehensive examination of a foster or group home—a care provider must abide by the following pool safety guidelines:
- If there is a pool on the property deeper than 4 feet, the care provider must keep within the pool area a shepherd’s crook attached to a pole and a ring buoy attached to a sturdy rope.
- Pool enclosures must:
- Be at least 5 feet high on the exterior side of the fence
- Not have any openings greater than 4 inches wide
- Be free of handholds or footholds that a child could use to climb the fence and enter the pool area without supervision
- Have gates that are self-closing, self-latching, open outwards from the pool, and are equipped with a gate latch located at least 54 inches above the ground and secured by a key or combination lock. The gate to the pool area must remain locked, except when there is a responsible adult within the pool area to supervise children.
More information on these requirements is available at https://dcs.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/LCR-1036AHBPNA.pdf.
While complying with these guidelines is essential in order to be certified as a foster parent, anyone who has children live in or visit their home should also adhere to them. As demonstrated by the frequent, heartbreaking news reports of kids drowning in backyard swimming pools, it can take only seconds for a small child to find themselves in a dangerous situation around water. While there is never a substitute for nonstop adult supervision, having a sturdy, well-maintained, legally compliant pool fence and gate will help prevent kids from wandering into the pool area on their own. Installing these barriers is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have done what is necessary to ensure that your home is a safe space for children.
Need a new fence or gate for your pool area? Wrought iron provides maximum safety because it is more durable than other materials, making it difficult for children to breach the pool fence or gate and enter the pool area unsupervised. At DCS Pool Barriers, we can design, manufacture, and install wrought iron pool fences and gates that meet your needs and complement the style of your property. Our technicians are knowledgeable about all state and local regulations governing foster homes and other homes with pools. Call DCS Pool Barriers today at 623-825-7700 to request a free estimate!