Algarve pool security fencing, covers, pool safety, removeable fences
Algarve Portugal pool safety, pool security, access to swimming pool, fences, barriers, gates, legislation

swimming pools, fencing, gates, access barriers, child safety, pool safety

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Legislation and Regulation re pool safety in the EU
Hotel/condominium pools Link
Private pools

Portuguese legislation for private/rental/hotel/condo pools is not yet in force.

In March 2009 a new European Standard (EN15288) came into effect.

The standard is split into two parts:
EN 15288-1: 2008 Swimming pools – Part 1: Safety Requirements for Design
EN 15288-2: 2008 Swimming pools – Part 2: Safety Requirements for Operation

Both parts will have a major impact for the future of both swimming pool facility design and management. All areas of Swimming Pools will be affected from the widths of deck surrounds and drainage through to signage, drowning prevention systems and video surveillance.

EN15288 is the most significant publication since the Health and Safety Executive published “Safety in Swimming Pools” in 1988 later renamed “Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools” referred to as HSG179.

The Standard is applicable to new and refurbished swimming pools and will affect nearly all pool types:
1. Public pools and aquatic parks
2. Hotels, campsites, clubs and hydrotherapy pools
3. Pools in rented villas
4. Domestic pools serving more than 20 homes

EU norm for pools ( type 3) is EN 15288
Private pools for owners/family and rentals/paying guests are type 3.4 and not covered in this, but see below for the French standards, which will almost certainly be copied here

At present the only country with clearly defined regulations for private swimming pools and jacuzzis is France.

They have the AFNOR certification system, with the following certification categories



There Is a French Standard AFNOR NF P90 306,7,8 &9 ( Dec 2003) on pool access and safety,
this has been, or is being , updated to examine and possibly exclude, alarm systems, as primary systems, we are informed.

NF P90-308 (20061201) + A1 (20090401)
NF P90-309 (20071001) + A1 (20090401)
NF P90-306 (20071001)
NF P90-307 (20090401)
NF P90-307-2 (20051101)

Portuguese version

Portuguese proposta 2008


Sumation of the Algarve Councils proposals :-

Generally it establishes that children under the age of 5 should not be able to access the pool from any area, without adult assistance to open the security access. The gates or doors must open outwards from the pool, be self closing, and not be able to trap or catch or injure, any child. There must be no projections or nearby objects, enabling any child to climb over or under the barriers, or open or close a roller cover, or tent, without adult supervision. There are technical rules associated with each type of barrier. ( More details on individual pages, see menu bar)

The report states that a fence is almost certainly the most effective form of barrier, when properly constructed and maintained.

Also Pool chemicals must be stored securely, and not allow children to access them

Any other equipment, steps, slides, trampolines etc, must adhere to EU norm EN13451-2

It does not establish any time frame for the regulations to be enforced, but we expect that, as usual, the Camaras will just pass these, and say..there you go! And not tell anyone in any organised way! In France there was a two year period of grace given, but I doubt if this will be the case here.


1. Security Barriers
AFNOR standard:
NF P 90-306.

Removable or permanent barriers or fencing used to restrict young children’s access to a pool.
Security barrier
A security barrier can be combined with one (or more) walls of a building or home which borders the area in which the swimming pool is located.
A hedge alone should not be regarded as a suitable protection barrier which must be AFNOR approved so check that it has this before purchasing.
The protection barrier must prevent children under five years old being able to climb over it, and ensure against the accidental opening of the gate or access point. All barriers must also have a self-closing and self-locking gate as part of their fence which must open outwards. The minimal height of the barrier must be at least 1.1 metres and should be installed a minimum of 1 metre from the water's edge but not so far from the edge of the pool to render it ineffective.
The CSC (Centre de Sécurité des Consommateurs) recommends the installation of a pool safety fence or a barrier as it is the only passive security device as the other approved means of security, alarms, rigid safety covers and shelters (Abris) need to be actively turned on or closed every time that the pool is vacated.
Safety fencing
This can be either removable or permanent. Removable pool fencing has the benefit of being able to be removed to enjoy the pool and its surroundings and then put back up afterwards. The bottom border of the fence material should be flush to the deck to prevent a child from passing underneath it.
The basic principle that keeps a pool fence in place is bilateral tension and the fence should be checked periodically.

Self-closing, self-locking gates
Self-closing, self-latching gates are automatic and offer a practical option when there are older children in the home who have unsupervised access to the swimming pool as it does not have to be physically closed or locked by the user. Be sure that a gate is always installed to swing out or away from the pool.


2. Pool Alarms ( Under review)
AFNOR standard:
NF P 90-307.

Immersion detector or perimeter alarm.
Remember that the most advanced alarm system is only effective if there is someone there to react to it.
. 3. Pool Covers
AFNOR standard:
NF P 90-308.

Summer and winter
covers are compliant if they are AFNOR approved.
Older covers may not satisfy the recent legislative requirements
  4. Pool Abris
AFNOR standard:
NF P 90-309.

Abris are fixed or telescopic structures which effectively cover a swimming pool
like a greenhouse.
Abris enable a pool to be used year round if heated as it is covered.

Hotels Condominiums etc

All other 'public' (type 3.5- type 2 ) pools for condominiums, hotels etc are covered by the following

EN 15288-1 specifies safety requirements for the design, planning, construction, and operation of swimming pools. It provides guidance regarding the risks associated with design characteristics required for a safe environment. The requirements put forward in this standard are applicable to all new classified pools, and, as appropriate, to specific refurbishments of existing pools.

EN 15288-2 specifies safety requirements for the operation and management of swimming pools. The guidance provided in this document covers risks for both staff and users associated with public swimming pools.

These documents may have to be purchased for full details.