Virginia Fence Regulations for Pools: A 2024 Guide

Understanding Virginia's fence regulations for pools is crucial for safety and legal compliance. Ensure your pool meets all standards in 2024!

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In Virginia, pool barriers are mandatory to prevent unsupervised access and reduce the risk of drowning. Good Neighbor Fence designs non-climbable fences to restrict access to the pool area. The topic of fence regulations is serious. Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission donated over $2.0 million dollars to prevent pool drownings and drain entrapments.

Fence Regulations for Pools

Virginia law requires all outdoor swimming pools, including spas and hot tubs with a depth of over 2 feet, to have a barrier that is at least 48 inches high above the ground level. This means that the barriers do not protrude or feature indentations and utilizes a design that limits horizontal gaps to prevent climbing.

  • Non-Climbable Fences: Barriers without any horizontal gaps larger than 1.75 inches if below 45 inches in height. For fences with horizontal elements greater than 45 inches apart, vertical gaps should be 4 inches or less​​.
  • Gate Requirements: Gates must be self-closing, self-latching, and swing away from the pool. The latches are placed at a minimum height of 54 inches from the ground and are positioned on the pool side of the gate​.
  • Louisa County created a helpful pdf to explain local fence regulations.

Special Provisions for Above-Ground Pools and Spas

For above-ground pools, the walls of the pool can serve as a barrier if they are at least 48 inches above the ground. Ladders or steps should be removable or secured with a gate when the pool is not in use. Spas and hot tubs can employ safety covers that meet the ASTM F1346 standards as barriers​.

Safety Tips

  • Door and Window Alarms: If a house forms a part of the barrier to the pool, it’s required to install alarms on doors and windows leading to the pool area. These alarms must emit a sound for at least 30 seconds and be audible throughout the home when triggered​.
  • Electrical Safety: Proper electrical installation and maintenance are vital to prevent accidents. Ensure that all electrical fixtures near the pool meet the Virginia Code requirements for water and electricity safety​​.


Ensuring your pool meets the Virginia fence regulations is not just about legal compliance. Regular checks and maintenance of pool barriers will prevent accidents and provide peace of mind.

For more detailed information, consult the Virginia Department of Health’s guidelines on pool safety or contact local authorities.


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