Douglas County Health Department offers backyard pool safety tips

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 1:11 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As the summer heat arrives, county officials are urging people to stay safe at their backyard pools.

The Douglas County Health Department is asking residents with pools to keep regulations in mind, particularly when it comes to fences.

According to the health department, in-ground pools and pools taller than 24 inches need to be permitted before being installed. As well, in-ground pools and above-ground pools taller than 24 inches need to have a fence surrounding them.

In-ground pools need a 5-foot-7-inch fence, and above-ground pools taller than 24 inches need a 48-inch tall fence. Both kinds of pools also need a self-closing latch that is at least 45 inches above ground. An above-ground pool’s walls can qualify as a barrier if it’s 48 inches or taller, although the ladder into the pool must still be fenced off.

According to the health department, fence violations are a somewhat common occurrence.

“Every year we receive multiple complaints about backyard pools without fences,” said Environmental Supervisor Russ Hadan. “Every complaint is investigated.”

The health department says pools without the required fences pose the risk of drowning. According to the CDC, drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional injury death for children under 14 years of age.

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