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Swimming Pool, Hot Tub and Spa Enclosures

Scottsdale’s current swimming pool barrier requirements apply to all single-family residential swimming pools, spas and hot tubs constructed after July 20, 1995.

There are no exemptions for households without children.  

A wall permit is required.

 

Per IRC Appendix G:

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See City of Scottsdale Ordinance # 4060 for other information.


AG105.2 Outdoor swimming pool.

An outdoor swimming pool, including an in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pool, spa or hot tub, shall be surrounded by a barrier which shall comply with the following:  

1. The top of the barrier shall be at least 5 feet (1524 mm) above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches (51 mm) measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an above-ground pool, the barrier may be at ground level, such as the pool structure, or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches (102 mm).  

2. Openings in the barrier shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

3. Solid barriers which do not have openings, such as a masonry or stone wall, shall not contain indentations or protrusions, except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.

4. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members, and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches (1143 mm), the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.

5. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members, and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 mm) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm). Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.

6. Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2-1/4 inch (57 mm) square, unless the fence has slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to not more than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm).

7. Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, such as a lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall not be more than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm).

8. Access gates shall comply with the requirements of Items 1 through 7 above, and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from the pool, and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates, other than pedestrian access gates, shall have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism and openings shall comply with the following:

8.1. The release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate; and 
8.2. The gate and barrier shall have no opening larger than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.

9. Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following conditions shall be met:

9.1. The pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM F 1346;

9.2. Doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm which produces an audible warning when the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2017. The alarm shall:

9.2.1 Activate within 7 seconds and sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds.

9.2.2 Be heard throughout the house during normal household activities with a sound pressure level of not less than 85 dba when measured indoors at 10 feet (3048 mm).

9.2.3 Reset automatically reset under all conditions.

9.2.4 Repeat 9.2.1, 9.2.2 and 9.2.3 until the door, and/or its screen, if present, are closed.

9.2.5 Be equipped with a manual means, such as touchpad or switch located 54 inches (1372 mm) or more above the threshold of the door, to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such deactivation shall last for not more than 15 seconds. Doors that remain open after 15 seconds shall activate the alarm as outlined in 9.2.4.

9.2.6 Not be equipped with an on/off switch of any type other than the temporary deactivation switch.

9.3. Other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, which are approved by the building official, shall be acceptable as long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by Item 9.1 or 9.2 described herein.

10. Where an above-ground pool structure is used as a barrier or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps:

10.1. The ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access; or

10.2. The ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of Items 1 through 9 above. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.


AG105.3 Indoor swimming pool.
Walls surrounding an indoor swimming pool shall comply with Item 9 of Section AG105.2.

AG105.4 Prohibited locations.

Barriers shall be located to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb them.

AG105.5 Barrier exceptions.

Spas or hot tubs with a safety cover which comply with ASTM F 1346 shall be exempt from the provisions of this appendix.


SECTION AG107 – NOTIFICATIONS

AG107.1 Barrier requirements notification – pool contractor.

Before constructing a new swimming pool, spa or hot tub, the pool contractor shall give the pool owner written notice of the above barrier requirements. Failure to provide this notice shall be enforced in accordance with Section 31-33 of the Scottsdale Revised Code.

AG107.2. Safety notification.

Any person, firm or corporation, on entering into an agreement to sell or rent a dwelling with access to any swimming pool, spa or hot tub, shall give the buyer or renter written notice explaining pool, spa or hot tub safety and the responsibilities of pool, spa and hot tub use and ownership. Failure to provide this notice shall be enforced in accordance with Section 31-33 of the Scottsdale Revised Code.

SECTION AG108 – MAINTENANCE

AG108.1 Maintenance of barrier.

The owner and person, firm or corporation in possession of a swimming pool, spa or hot tub, shall keep the required barrier(s), including all gates, fencing, doors, locks, alarms, and latches in safe and good working order at all times. No person shall alter or remove any portion of a swimming pool barrier except to repair, reconstruct, or replace the barrier in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Any barrier removed shall be promptly replaced.

AG108.2 Public nuisance.

Any swimming pool, spa or hot tub safety barrier(s) not maintained to the minimum requirements by the code under which the barrier(s) was installed is hereby declared to be unsafe and a public nuisance. In addition to enforcement under this chapter, violations of this section may be enforced in accordance with Chapter 18 of the Scottsdale Revised Code.

Preexisting Pools:

Since the requirements are not retroactive, pools constructed prior to July 15, 1992, need only comply with the 54” perimeter yard fencing and gate requirement in effect at the time. Pools constructed from July 15, 1992, until July 20, 1995, must meet the current requirements, except perimeter fence height, which was 54” (4’-6”) at the time.