What are the swimming pool barrier & enclosure requirements?

The following is for guidance only, no document could cover
all possible scenarios or situations. Please consult with the building division
should you have additional questions regarding pool barriers after reviewing
this document. 

The barrier provisions contained within the Massachusetts
State Building Code (780 CMR) apply to indoor and outdoor swimming pools and
hot tubs with water depths greater than 24”. This includes “portable” and “inflatable”
swimming pools. An approved safety cover for a hot tub would satisfy the
barrier requirement. Required pool barriers or fences must be at least 48” high
and constructed to prevent climbing by children. Access gates must be self-closing
and self-latching, swinging away from the pool with hardware arranged so that
the gate cannot be opened from the side opposite the pool. Below are some
illustrations of code compliant pool barriers. 

For above ground pools, the wall of the pool may serve as
the barrier, provided it meets the 48 inch height requirement and access to the
pool is via a “closable, lockable ladder” A removable ladder is NOT acceptable
unless it is closable and lockable. 

In addition to outside walls or fences as barriers any doors
from the dwelling (where the walls of the dwelling are used as a portion of the
pool enclosure) with direct access to the pool area must be equipped with audible
alarms. The alarm must be audible in all portions of the home and activated
when the door is opened. 


Pool requirements

Show All Answers

1. What are the zoning setbacks for a pool (above ground pool, shed, etc.)? Do I need a fence around the pool?
2. Do I need a permit for a fence? What requirements apply?
3. What is a plot plan? Where can I get a plot plan? Where is the Registry of Deeds?
4. If my property is listed in the Ballardvale Historic District or on the Mass Historic Register, how does that affect my Building Permit application?
5. Can you tell me if this lot is "buildable"? What is a “hundred-percent-upland” rule?
6. Can I do my own electrical work as the homeowner?
7. Do I need to get a permit for small jobs?
8. Do I need an electrical permit for an above-ground pool?
9. Why can’t I do plumbing and gas fitting work as the homeowner?
10. Why do I need permits?
11. Guidance on Stairways, Handrails & Guardrails?
12. How to determine the maxium number of occupants?
13. What are the swimming pool barrier & enclosure requirements?
14. How to close out permits?