Here are what you need to know if you own a swimming pool in Europe (France, Spain & other EU countries).
NF P90 306 French Standard Extractions
The CSC (Centre de securite des consommateurs) recommends the installation of a pool safety fence or barrier as it is the only passive security device. All the other approved means of security; alarms, rigid safety covers and shelters need to be actively turned on or physically closed every time the pool is vacated (even for a few minutes) and as such should be seen as supplementary to a physical barrier.
The standard NF P90 306 defines the requirements for the installation of pool safety fencing and the means of access to pools (partially or completely buried in the ground or above ground) which is intended to limit the access to swimming pools to children of less than five years old.
The law in France is enforced by a fine of up to €45,000 for private pool owners and €225,000 for communal and commercial swimming pools.
Remember that no barrier is ever foolproof and nothing can replace the vigilance of a parent.
- Protection barrier and means of access
A material device conceived to be established around a swimming pool in order to prevent the access of children of less than five years of age. The protection barrier can be combined with one (or more) wall(s) of buildings, or dwellings, bordering the zone in which the swimming pool is located insofar as these walls do not allow an access to the swimming pool by their height or their own openings. NOTE: a hedge alone cannot be regarded as a protection barrier. The minimal height of the barrier must be 1.1m.
- Means of access
The protection barriers must have a means of access to the pool area which is childproof.
- Pools for private family use
The access to the pool must be closed with locking latches (which require two simultaneous actions to to open them) or an automatic locking system.
- Pools for collective use including rental properties
The access to the pool area must be by the use of a self-closing self locking gate.
The gate must open outwards from the swimming pool. To prevent the accidental opening of the gate by a child of less than 5 years the unlocking system should necessitate a minimum force of 20N The unlocking system must be simple for an adult to operate.
- Fixing to the ground
The method of fixing to the ground should ensure that the barrier is unable to move more than 10mm from the fixing point. The barriers should be installed a minimum of 1m from the water’s edge and not so far from the edge of the pool to render them ineffective.
The above is for your general information. It should not be used as a definitive interpretation of the law in any way. You should ensure that any security product you purchase for your pool conforms to NF P90-306
Spanish Swimming Pool Law
The regulations regarding community pools generally apply to the control of water sanitation. However, the Junta de Andalucía (Andalucía Government) has added a number of other stringent regulations regarding communal swimming pools which service over 20 dwelling units.
In France, Spain and other EU countries it is now becoming law to secure your swimming pool.
Private pool owners in France are now liable to a fine of 45,000 € if they do not comply. For communal and commercial swimming pools the fine for failing to comply is 225,000 €.