Removable Pool Fence Options
If you’re looking for removable pool fence options you should start by considering the purpose of the pool fence. I posted recently about the suitability of removable pool fences for use in Australia so if you’re reading this in Aus and considering one, you should really go there and read about the limitations and unsuitability of having a removable fence around your pool.
There are plenty of removable pool fence options for sale online, from many providers (mostly in the United States) and even on Amazon and Ebay. So here’s a summary of the main removable pool fences that I’ve found:
Screw in poles removable pool fence
There’s a number of pool fence companies overseas making a similar product that are all variations of the “screw the fence poles or posts into your deck” theme. This is basically pool fence panels made of aluminium or steel poles, that hold up a mesh (usually reinforced fabric) panel.
You then drill holes into the surface around your pool and screw the bottom of the poles of these panels into them, making a pool fence section by section.
That gives you the option to easily unscrew and remove the fence panels.
It’s a cheap way to put up a removable pool fence but I’m not convinced by the strength of those eye hook and clasp arrangements that clip each panel together.
They don’t look like they would last very long or even withstand the beating that kids playing in your backyard near the pool are going to give the fence.
All Safe (http://www.allsafepool.com/pool-fences/) in the US make some good looking removable pool fences with the screw in pole method, but even they admit in the product details that:
We offer the 2 strongest poles available when measured by break strength and mesh material that cannot be torn under normal circumstances. Mesh removable fences are not indestructible. If enough force hit a pole at the right point a pole can bend or break. However, because the force needs to be high on the pole and requires a lot of weight and velocity for this to happen, it is not children who ever bend or break poles. The mesh material can be cut with a sharp object such as a knife or scissors. Both the mesh and poles can be repaired if damaged.
The bolding in that quote is mine and I’ve done it to highlight my two main concerns.
First of all I’d be very concerned about those aluminium poles being bent out of shape, that happens and straight away the integrity of your fence is partially compromised.
There’s another US company protect-a-child who address this pol strength concern by offering composite fiberglass pool fence posts that they insist are so strong they offer a lifetime warranty against “breakage or becoming crooked”.
That sounds good enough to ally my worry about the strength of the fence posts, but competitor Guardian Pool Fence counters the use of fiberglass by suggesting that if a fiberglass pole does break then the fibres can be a serious health hazard potentially causing “irritation of the eyes, skin, or respiratory tract and, here in California (as of 1991), must be labeled as a potential cancer causing material.” A pool fence pole with the potential to cause cancer?! Almost as big a cancer risk as just lying around in the harsh Australian sun without protection. Probably not, but I agree that you don’t want a broken splintered fiberglass pole in your backyard if your pool fence takes a big impact hit.
My second concern is around the panel mesh.
Protectachild say their pool fence mesh is “impact-absorbent” and the suggestion is that if your child runs (or crashes their scooter) into the fence they won’t get hurt as much as if they crash or bump into a solid fence made with, say… glass.
I’m calling BS on the usefulness of that feature because the purpose of a pool fence is exactly that. To be so strong in keeping young kids out of the pool area that yes they might get hurt if they run right into it. I’d rather some bumps and bruises than my child falling into the pool and drowning.
Then there’s the strength of the mesh itself.
In most of these products the mesh is made from PVC-coated polyester or plastic or similar. Which means that it’s UV resistant so it will survive in the sun, and it’s tear proof so your kids won’t be able to just leap through it like running through a cheer-squad banner onto the footy field. But resistant to being cut or sliced? Er, no.
Now I’m pretty careful about my three year old not getting access to a pair of scissors. But in the unlikely scenario that he did, I sure wouldn’t want him to be able to slice through the pool fence with them!
No Holes removable pool fence
Guardian Pool Fence Systems in the US make a “no holes” pool fence system that is essentially a series of pool fence panels held up by polyethylene bases that you fill with water or sand to make them heavy and stable.
Kind of like the base of a portable at-home basketball ring or a base that supports a large outdoor umbrella.
On their own each base probably isn’t particularly sturdy. But they hook together which I think would make them substantially more sturdy as the combined weight makes the bases very hard to move or push over.
And as for the fence mesh in the panels? Same considerable issues as we outlined above.
In the US, it seems to be that removable pool fence products are pitched as a safe alternative to otherwise having NO pool fence. And you can’t argue with that.
A removable pool fence is always going to make your pool safer than if you have no fence at all. The simple act of having a significant barrier to prevent young kids from accessing the pool unsupervised is going to make the pool area safer and reduce the risk of children drowning.
But as for whether you’d install and use a removable pool fence in Australia? Well I’m glad we have really strict regulations and pool fence laws that say a removable pool fence just isn’t good enough in Australia.