B.O.C.A. (Building Owners and Code Administrators) code is not a law, but rather a guideline, but almost every community uses it (or a very similar version) as their local pool fence code.
In fact, your homeowner's association, if you have one, and perhaps even your homeowner's or commercial insurance company may have the same or even more stringent requirements! So, it is important to check with all of these entities before buying a pool safety fence!
Many people are aware of the code requirement that a pool fence be at least 48" tall.
This is because, when you check local codes, you may be simply told that you have to have a 48" tall fence. If you follow just this rule, you may find later that your fence does not meet code and has to be torn down and replaced.
Why? Because 48" tall is not the only B.O.C.A. pool safety fence requirement!!
To help you to determine if you will be in compliance, we provide a Pool Safety Codes page that contains a summary of the typical fence requirements including types of hinges, latches, etc...
But, here is more about heights and picket spacing to help you determine what you need...
Because of what they are told, many people want to simply put up a 48" tall fence and believe they will be in compliance.
What they miss is that a picket and rail type fence (like we sell) must also have a minimum separation of 45" between any middle rail and the bottom rail if the gap between pickets is greater than 2" and less than 4". The gap must always be less than 4".
So, there are styles of fence (regardless of manufacturer) that simply cannot be 48" tall and meet code. It is physically impossible...
For example, this style fence (our popular UAF-200) cannot meet code at 48" as can be seen in this illustration.
The space between the middle rail and the bottom rail is less than 45".
For this style to meet code, it must be, at least, 54" tall with the bottom rail dropped down to the bottom of the pickets as shown here.
We refer to the bottom rail at the bottom of the pickets as "Flush Bottom"; other companies may use different terms. However, this style, from any manufacturer, must be built in this way to meet safety codes.
Since a spear top style fence (like our UAS-100) has pickets extending above the top rail of the pool fence, the top rail is essentially lower and so are the other rails.
In order to adhere to the 45" rule, spear top fences must be built like
the one shown here.
When you elect to use one of our other styles as a swimming pool fence, you will have a choice between flush bottom (as discussed above) and modified bottom.
Modified means the bottom rail is moved down far enough to meet pool code, but about 1" of the pickets still extend below the rail. Since there is enough room to allow this, the fence still meets the 45" rule.
Due to manufacturing considerations, this is the only option on UAS-300 and UAS-350 styles as shown here.
Both variations, Flush and Modified, meet BOCA code and there is no additional charge for either of these modifications.
|Popular Pool Fences|
Here is a handy chart that shows some of the more popular fence styles and the heights at which they meet code.
As always, there are exceptions to the 45" rule!
Generally, and you must check your local codes to verify that this applies to you, if the spacing between pickets is 2" or less, then the 45" rule no longer applies.
All of our fence styles that end in a "1" (for example, the UAF-201) have additional pickets the reduce the gap between pickets to 1 5/8".
So, if it meets your local codes, any "1" style can be used at just 48" tall since the smaller gap prevents a child from standing on the bottom rail to climb over the fence.
This plus has its cost, however! Since nearly twice as much aluminum is used in a "1" style, the price is about 40-50% more than the styles ending in a "0".
But, there are two other advantages to consider though: The smaller spacing does afford a bit more privacy and is excellent for containing small dogs!!
Assuming you must meet your local pool fence codes, your choices come down to these:
We offer two styles, available in Residential grade only, that are specifically designed to meet B.O.C.A. codes at 48" tall.The UAB-200 (3 Rail) pool fence is the same as the UAF-200 fence except that the top two rails are only 2" apart instead of 6". This allows this style to conform to the 45" rule.
(The UAB-200 is
available in 48" only!
If you need a taller three rail fence, please consult the chart above
The UAB-400 (2 Rail) pool fence; a slightly "fancier" style because it features the designer Ultra Pickets.
We can also provide the UAF-200 in a 48",
2-Rail pool fence, if you would prefer the standard square pickets. It is
available in Commercial (3/4" pickets) or Industrial (1" pickets) only.
Pool Fencing styles, as well as all of our fences, feature the industry
Rails! With their designer contours and internal ribbing, there are no better looking or stronger rails on the market today.
Commercial: UAS-100 • UAS-150 • UAF-200 • UAF-250 • UAS-300 • UAS-350
Industrial: UAS-100 • UAS-150 • UAF-200 • UAF-250 • UAS-300 • UAS-350
Aluminum Pool Fences