Sompt - Swimming pools
As we are planning to install a swimming in our new house, the new laws that have been implemented are of great interest to us. I have been looking at many websites and forums trying to get to the bottom of the new law and here are my findings.
If you have a swimming pool in the grounds of your French house then you need to ensure you comply with the new swimming pool law, which came into effect in January 2004. There is an awful amount of confusion about exactly what the new law means but hopefully the summary below will makes things a little clearer.
- The law affects all swimming pool owners, regardless of whether it is private or used by paying guests
- All swimming pools built after 1 January 2004 must be equipped with a system to prevent drowning
- All existing swimming pools built before 1 January 2004, but are used by paying guests, must be equipped with a system to prevent drowning before 1 May 2004
- All other swimming pools must comply by 1 January 2006
- It would appear that only 1 prevention system is needed to comply with the law. The options available to you are barriers, alarms, covers and shelters. The Final Standard for each of these is NF P90-306, NF P90-307, NF P90-308 and NF P90-309 respectively
- If you go for the barrier method (i.e. a fence) then it must be at least 1 metre 10 centimetres tall, and should also have a locking gate
- The owner of the standards for each of these systems is AFNOR
- La Commission de la Sécurité de Consommateurs recommends the barrier system above all others because they have self closing, locking gates. The problem with alarms is that someone needs to be within hearing distance at all times to make the system worthwhile
- If you do go for the barrier option, then it must be at least 1 metre away from the pool edge (I am not aware of any maximum rule)
- When you get your barrier installed by the approved AFNOR fitter, he will provide you with a certificate. I am not sure what happens if you decide to fit the fence yourself
- Failure to comply with the law is punishable by a 45.000€ fine