CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield County wants to talk to residents about backyard pool safety.
"Main thing when you're thinking about pool safety, make sure you have a good gate and a good fence," said Inspection Supervisor, Jean Stanley. "The fence needs to be at least 48 inches high in all places, the gate also needs to meet that and it needs to have a latch that's on the inside and it needs to swing out, so when you shut it needs to automatically shut," she said.
Building codes mandate you not only put barriers and gates around in-ground pools but also sizable above-ground pools that hold over 5,000 gallons of water, or is 24 inches or more in depth.
The measurements are printed on the pools, but Stanley says not many people know the facts on above ground pools.
"A lot of people think that if it's a small pool, you don't need a permit, but there are a lot of drowning in small pools, they're very unsafe," she said.
Another common violation Stanley sees is back door barriers without alarms. If a door leads directly to a pool, an alarm must be set up to go off for 30 seconds every time the door opens.
It could sound like a lot of noise on a summer afternoon but it is also part of the building code.
"This is the best defense when you have small children in a house, you'll be able to look after them. When they've stepped outside you'll know when they're near that pool," said Stanley.