Posted in Premises Liability on December 2, 2020
When the weather starts to heat up in Georgia, pools become more popular. Nothing beats back the hot Georgia weather like a backyard swimming pool. While many Georgians have in-ground pools at their homes, above-ground pools are becoming more and more popular. Their popularity springs from the fact that they cost less than in-ground pools and can be installed in a fraction of the time. Above-ground pools are also incredibly convenient for smaller yards where a large in-ground pool just simply would not work. However, it is important to understand that there are laws and regulations surrounding above-ground pools in Georgia.
Most municipalities and counties in Georgia are going to require some sort of permit before you can install an above-ground swimming pool, similar to permits required for other types of construction. Typically, a county or city inspector will visit the site once during construction and then again upon completion to review the work. Permit fees for an above-ground swimming pool will not be terribly expensive.
Some of the most common building code requirements for above-ground pools include the following (these may not apply to every jurisdiction, so you need to check your local regulations):
Even if you live in a rural area where there are fewer regulations regarding above-ground pools, it is a good idea to follow these standard safety practices.
Fencing around any pool is incredibly important and typically required by law. Georgia used to govern pool fencing at the state level, but that changed in 2009 when control of pool fencing was handed over to local governments. Generally, most municipal and county governments require that all pools that are more than two feet deep be contained within a lockable fence that is at least 4 feet high. In these cases, split rail fences do not qualify as an acceptable fence type. Municipalities may also have other requirements, including equipping home doors with alarms if they lead directly onto a raised deck surrounding an above-ground pool area.
If your home has a boundary fence around the property that meets the qualifications, you do not need to buy additional fencing to put around the pool. However, if the fence going into the yard is not lockable, or if it does not meet the fence requirements, you will have to have a separate fence installed.
Pools present what are referred to as attractive nuisances for children. Without the proper fencing, there is a chance that a child could wander onto the property, fall into the pool, and get injured or drown. Homeowners are responsible for taking the steps necessary to keep this type of event from occurring.
Again, you need to check your local government ordinances regarding swimming pool fences, as these requirements are very specific, and failing to follow these rules could result in significant legal trouble.
You need to check to ensure that your homeowner’s insurance policy protects you in the event an unfortunate accident occurs involving your above-ground swimming pool. Do not assume that you are covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy, as there may be an exclusion for swimming pools. You may have to purchase additional coverage if you have an above-ground swimming pool on your property.
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