You look out the window at your yard, observing the first few signs of summer… The focal point is -or could be -a pool, shimmering gently in the breeze. The gathering grounds for friends and family, a place where you envision your children first learning how to swim, playing games and splashing one another. They say swimming is the best exercise, after all, and the kids get to experience the outdoors in a way they enjoy.
And yet, something is missing…
If there’s no fence around your pool and you have children, you should worry. Tragic pool drownings in Quebec have been on the rise in the past few years, and Quebec has enacted the strictest Canadian law for regulating access to residential pools.
It is mandatory to install a fence around a swimming pool or around any artificial outdoor swimming basin whose sides are less than 1.2 m in height (1.4 m for collapsible swimming pools). This fence must:
- Be at least 1 m away from the basin’s edge
- Be no less than 1.2 m high and no more than 2 m high
- Be built-in such a way as to prevent it from being easily scaled and to prevent a round object more than 10 cm in diameter from passing through it
- Have, at each access point, a gate equipped with a passive security lock (installed on the inside of the fence in the upper part of the door) so that the door shuts and locks itself automatically.
How to avoid the more-fence-than-yard look
For home owners who are as concerned about the safety of their children as they are about the look of the garden, a bulky, sturdy fence can look awkward as well as refrain you from keeping an eye on their children.
But no need to fret; there are many aesthetically pleasing solutions that are also better for the safety of your children!
Glass pool fencing
This almost-exotic look is an excellent way to keep your children in sight at all times, and keep potentially harmful debris from being blown into the pool. In addition to the air of sophisticated elegance it lends to your yard, smooth glass fences are very hard to climb (unlike chain-link fences).
Worried about fragility? No need; tempered glass and Plexiglass are designed specifically for heavy-duty resistance, and can be secured directly to your deck to assure maximum resistance!
To cut down the amount of upkeep required by glass fencing, you may want to apply a protective product to the glass, though you will still have to clean it regularly.
Ornamental iron or aluminium fences
For those who like having their way, ornamental fences are the way to go; this artistic barrier comes in a range of shapes, colors and sizes. It also offers good visibility when it comes to remaining watchful of your children, and doesn’t block out noise, as do glass and wood.
Ornamental fences -which are much sturdier than their name indicates -are advantageous in that their look is timeless, and can be perfectly matched to your yard. Choose complimentary colors, express yourself with classic or whimsical lines and add decorative touches to the tops to please the eye (and add an element of safety, depending on the shape of the decoration).
Ensure you get the rust-proof or durable finishes to keep the fence in a good state and avoid injuries. You will also have to keep a sharp eye out as this fence can potentially be climbed by nimble little ones.
Wooden or bamboo fencing
For those who prefer a more natural look, wood fencing would be a good option. While sturdy and durable, it doesn’t have to be ‘boring’. A good carpenter can alter the shape of the wood to create an original design, and the right stain can set the perfect tone.
While it is much more difficult for children to climb these fences (depending on how they are made), decreased visibility means you will have to keep a keener lookout when your children play outdoors. In order to decrease the risk of accidents, add an alarm system to the door, which lets you know when it has been unlatched and opened.
The full monty
For the full article, written by owner and president, Glenn Curtis, please drop by Natural Landscape Magazine’s page and check out their Spring 2014 issue. It’s a fantastic magazine, and it’s always a pleasure to collaborate with such amazingly passionate leaders in the landscape industry.
Whether you’re a pro or a connoisseur, it’s well worth the read.