Pool Safety: WWYD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in California, Kern County to be exact, and our neighbors just put up an above ground pool.

It's like 3 feet from our 5 ft. chainlink fence. They don't have any sort of enclosure around it or any other safety features that I'm aware of. They do remove the ladder while not using it.

We told them that it was the law to have an enclosure around it but they still haven't done anything and they rent the house so I doubt they will. California does have a pool safety act that enforces certain regulations.

I was researching some of the info since my 17 month old climbs half way up the chain link fence and I found out that an enclosure can't have any kind of of hand or footholds that a child less than 5 could climb. I also have an almost 4 year old. I like to let them play in the backyard while I do stuff and now I feel like I can't take my eyes off of them for more than 1 minute.

They already don't like us and we know who the landlord is (she lives across the street). I could call code enforcement and they will know it was us. I could go talk to the landlord and basically complain, they will know it was us. I asked DH if he would go over and talk to them since he had already mentioned that an enclosure was regulation but he said he didn't want to b/c he would just get worked up and get mad, etc.

What would you do in this situation where you feel there is definite cause for concern (they have a 2 yr. old, a 4 yr. old and a 3rd grader also and other small children come to their house often.) but you still don't want to create issues with people you have to live next to? How would you approach it given this info?
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#2 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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I'd call code enforcement.

-Angela
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#3 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I'd call code enforcement.

-Angela
thats your only choice...its a danger. period. and not just for your kids. how stupid ppl are!
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#4 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I just didn't want to seem uncommunicative and like a nasty neighbor but it is true that it's a major danger. People are so stupid and it would probably take more time to get it taken care of if we tried to approach the neighbors or the landlord.

I'm calling code enforcement on Monday. (I actually tried calling today but the office was closed.)
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#5 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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I'd call code enforcement.

-Angela
I actually agree with Angela...



Call.
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#6 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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How tall is the pool above the ground?

You say they take the ladder out when they don't use it, so how do you think your toddler or 4yo will access the pool without a ladder?

Up here, and we generally follow Californian rules anyway... the rules differ for above-ground and in-ground pools, and also for permanent and temporary installations.

For instance, a temporary above ground pool doesn't require a fence or enclosure, just the ladder removed to make it all but impossible for small kids (read: non-swimmers) to access the pool.

So... if you are sure that your local code requires an enclosure, then call bylaw code enforcement and be prepared to live with the consequences of a neighbour war (loud music at all hours, dog poop flung into your yard, their guests parking to obstruct your car, them calling code enforcement on your for any little thing, etc).

Or you could just make your side of the fence child-climbing-proof. Get the slats that fit into the chain-link fence, so little fingers and toes can't find a grip. Get 1""x6" boards and wire them vertically to your side of the fence, accomplishing the same purpose. Create a no-climbing rule with your kids and enforce it.
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#7 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I didn't read anything about above ground or temporary pools having different codes. What it said was anything with 18" or more of water including spas.

The ladder isn't the only thing in their backyard. There are lots of toys that could be carried to the side that would enable a child to then climb in, etc. Children are very smart and learn new things everyday so we can't even be sure as to what their actions will be.

We are leaving our house in 10 months so IMO, the owner of that house can buy the slats if she wants to allow her tenants to have a pool, otherwise they can just take it down if that's what code says to do.
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#8 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dadinblue View Post
How tall is the pool above the ground?

You say they take the ladder out when they don't use it, so how do you think your toddler or 4yo will access the pool without a ladder?

Up here, and we generally follow Californian rules anyway... the rules differ for above-ground and in-ground pools, and also for permanent and temporary installations.

For instance, a temporary above ground pool doesn't require a fence or enclosure, just the ladder removed to make it all but impossible for small kids (read: non-swimmers) to access the pool.

So... if you are sure that your local code requires an enclosure, then call bylaw code enforcement and be prepared to live with the consequences of a neighbour war (loud music at all hours, dog poop flung into your yard, their guests parking to obstruct your car, them calling code enforcement on your for any little thing, etc).

Or you could just make your side of the fence child-climbing-proof. Get the slats that fit into the chain-link fence, so little fingers and toes can't find a grip. Get 1""x6" boards and wire them vertically to your side of the fence, accomplishing the same purpose. Create a no-climbing rule with your kids and enforce it.
It's about more than this poster's kids. Other neighborhood kids could climb in also and drown. I wouldn't want it on my mind that I didn't call when I knew it was a safety issue.

-Angela
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#9 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually the other 2 sides of their yard are cinderblock wall and wood privacy fencing so I don't think other kids from other yards could get in.

The gate that leads to their backyard is questionable since it's not self-closing/locking so that could pose an issue if they don't keep it locked at all times.

I'm really not trying to be critical of these people and I know so much about the house b/c we have lived there longer and I spent time at the house (my husband has even fixed things there) when the last person lived there. So, I'm just very familiar with the area surrounding my house.
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#10 of 19 Old 07-06-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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My dad rents out a house and the tenants just put in a trampoline (without asking him). No problem, until he went to renew the insurance and they sent an inspector out. I wish I could remember all the details, but essentially they would not insure the house unless the trampoline was taken down. No matter what happened, it would be him and not the tenant that would be sued, according to the ins. co. You may want to see if the landlord has looked into her own insurance plan.

BTW - I hate the litigious nature of this world, but in this case, it may work in your favor.
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#11 of 19 Old 07-07-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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Can I offer another perspective? Instead of calling code enforcement, (which will really upset your neighbors), could your husband offer to help the neighbor build a temporary fence around the pool? Seems like some temporary fencing stakes and a roll of hardware cloth would do it for $40.

Wife to awesome DH, and Mama to DD (6/05), and DS (12/07)
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#12 of 19 Old 07-07-2008, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sky - That's a really nice gesture that my DH would be more than willing to do even though he is super busy but these people just aren't all that smart nor are they very friendly.

I did call code enforcement today...he's going to come and take a look at their pool. Then what should be done will be done, if anything at all. I'll let you guys no what they end up saying.
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#13 of 19 Old 07-07-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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What about a long pole with a very sharp object at the end that might just happen to slip through the fence and make a hole in the pool?

Oh, sorry, that's not very nice. But if code enforcement didn't work, that's what I'd be tempted to do.

Actually, is there any way that you can block off YOUR fence so your kids can't climb it?

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#14 of 19 Old 07-07-2008, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Believe me, it crossed my mind for a moment but we just wouldn't do that.
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#15 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I called code enforcement on Monday and he transferred the message to the chief building inspector.

I called the CBI to ask him if he could update me on what his findings were and whether anything about the fence separating our property would be changing.

He told me he had driven by the house but didn't see a pool in the front yard..."where was it? the backyard?"

I'm like "uh, yeah...duh."

So he said he would go back over there and leave them with a copy of the safety requirements. Then I told him that the code enforcer had said that chain link fence couldn't be smaller than 11 gauge and that he would be able to tell what size our fence was....The CBI was kind of seeming lazy this day because he just said he hadn't ever heard of that.

Anyways, I'm waiting until Friday to call back and check on anything.

I'm a little bummed the fence isn't going to be an issue b/c I think it's ridiculous that it would be code seeing as the diamonds are foot and holds.
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#16 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 09:52 AM
 
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that is lazy. i would call someone else...higher up. if there is a code violation, they need to get it FIXED, not be given a copy of the stupid regulations. thats just a ridiculous way of handling it.

can you get in touch w/ the first person you spoke to re: the fencing requirements? perhaps tell them that the code enforcer didnt know what he was talking about?
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#17 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to by Friday...I just haven't seen anyone come by but I did leave the house a few times. My DH works at home though and our dogs would have barked like crazy if someone strange was in our neighbors backyard. So I don't think they've actually been here.

He said they have 24 hours to comply and that is when the code enforcer comes and enforces the code.
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#18 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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I think you're taking good steps.

But, if it were my kids, I'd put a non-climbable fence on my side TOMORROW.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#19 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to put up a privacy fence...I wanted to do it along time ago but we don't have the funds. I just stay in the backyard with the kids and bring them in when I come in.

I think the inspector came by today. My DH heard the neighbor loudly talking about something and they included the word inspector. Like I said though, I don't think anything is going to happen with our fence. I'm hoping they just take the pool down....not that I want to spoil their summer fun....it's just that to make it be safe would take quite a bit and personally if I was renting the house I wouldn't want to make that investment on someone else's house.
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