Hillsborough County Safety Team

Supervision is the key to preventing child drownings. However, because many of the victims were last seen inside the home in an area that was considered to be safe, we recommend the following additional "layers of protection":
  1. Install and maintain an isolation fence that completely separates the swimming pool/spa from the house and play yard. The fence should be a minimum of 4 feet in height. Vertical spacing should not exceed 4 inches. Horizontal supports should be a minimum of 48 inches apart.
  2. Gate Latches should be a minimum of 54 inches in height. Spacing should be the same as for the fence. Gates should be self-closing, self-latching and lockable, and open away from the pool. NEVER leave gates propped open. Equip doors from the house with self-closing, self-latching mechanisms. Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert the caregiver if opened.
  3. Door, Window, and Motion detector type alarms are an additional "layer of protection".
  4. A poolside telephone is an essential part of a safe pool environment. Many drownings occur when a caretaker leaves a child alone in a pool to answer a telephone call.
  5. Post CPR, safety instructions, and 9-1-1 emergency phone numbers.
  6. Rescue equipment should be in good repair and easily accessible.
  7. A lifeline should be stretched across the pool to separate the shallow and the deep ends.

Hillsborough County Swimming Pool Ordinance:

Swimming pool fencing and barrier requirements shall apply to all swimming pools without regard to when such pools were constructed or erected.

  1. All swimming pools shall be required to be enclosed with approved chain metal fencing or an approved barrier equipped with self-closing and self-latching gate(s) and shall be designed so as to make the swimming pool inaccessible to young children.
  2. All private residential and nonresidential swimming pools shall be required to have such a barrier not less than (4) feet in height.
  3. Public swimming pools shall be required to have such a barrier not less than six (6) feet in height.
  4. Above ground swimming pools may not be fenced if they are four (4) or more feet above ground, if stairs into the pool are retractable, and any pool operational apparatus such as pumps, filters, or heaters cannot be used as makeshift stairs into the pool.
  5. All swimming pools shall be equipped with securely attached suction drain covers or grating.