When designing your pool, safety is always first. Massachusetts law requires that all pools be surrounded entirely by a safety barrier. It’s non-negotiable for both the Commonwealth and Shoreline pools. Yet with so many of our clients’ homes set along the shoreline, we’re also mindful of preserving views of the ocean without compromising safety regulations. We have several options that work beautifully and, as of next year, we anticipate having more.

At this home, which has commanding views of the ocean and the dunes, we opted for classic white fencing rails with glass insets. The glass allows for an unimpeded view and acts as a windscreen, which is perfect for this hilltop location.

Another great option is tension-wire fencing, shown above. It has similar classic white framing, while the wire, which virtually disappears from view, allows the breeze to flow through the area. Photo courtesy of Patriot Builders.

If topography permits, a negative-edge pool such as this allows the view to remain completely unobstructed. When the height on the face of the negative edge meets the minimum requirement, it acts as the needed safety fencing. While a yard that slopes down to the water works best in achieving the height requirement, excavation can be done to make alterations to an existing slope line if zoning regulations permit.

In 2018, Massachusetts is set to alter its current pool safety regulations to allow automatic safety covers, such as this one from Latham (photo via Lathampool.com), just as nearly two dozen other states currently allow. The cover acts as a safety barrier by completely capping the pool, which means fencing would no longer be needed. A flick of a switch rolls the automatic cover closed. When in the closed position, a family of four is able to stand on top of the cover with no fear of falling through. They’re that strong. The covers have the added benefit of retaining heat and keeping debris, such as leaves and sticks, out of the pool.

As Chris Dittrich, the owner of Shoreline Pools, recently said of the new safety cover regulation, “It’s a game-changer!”