Safe Backyard Pools for the Whole Family

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In 2024, the number of presumed drownings went down by a third compared to the previous year. Safety standards for private pools changed in July 2021, and it seems like these changes are having positive results. A reminder that if your pool doesn’t meet these standards, you could face a fine of $500 or more.     

As mentioned, the rules around private pools have changed. For instance, fences must now meet new standards to limit the risk of drowning from unsupervised swimming.  

If you own a pool installed before November 1, 2010, you have until September 30, 2025, to comply. All other pools must already comply with the new rules. 

Choose the right fence 

Any pool with a depth of 60 cm or more must have a fence around it, even if it’s an inflatable or temporary pool. To comply with safety regulations, the fence must 

  • be at least 1.2 m high,  
  • prevent the passage of any round object 10 cm in diameter, and 
  • be difficult to climb. 

For chain-link fences, the links should be 3 cm or less. If the links are wider than 3 cm, you must insert vertical slats. 

Every gate giving access to the pool must have a self-closing and self-locking safety device.   

If you have an above-ground pool and its sides are more than 1.2 m high, you don’t have to install a fence around it. But any entrance to the pool, like a ladder or a patio, must have a fence around it and a gate that meet the requirements mentioned above. 

Respect the one-metre rule

Any equipment or fixed structure on which a child could climb must be installed at least one metre away from the fence, or the pool wall if no fence is required because of the pool wall’s height.  

Make sure your diving board is installed correctly  

If your pool has a diving board, it must comply with the safety standards of the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (standards office of Quebec). These standards set out the pool dimensions and minimum depth required to install a diving board.

Check municipal by-laws

Your municipality may have stricter regulations than those mentioned above. For example, many require you to obtain a permit before installing a swimming pool. Check with your municipality to ensure you’re doing everything correctly. Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to swimming pools!