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Swimming Pool Safety Law

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Extracts from Standard NF P90 306

These extracts are for your general information; they are not a definitive interpretation of the law and should not be regarded as such.

The standard decided by the French Government and regulated by AFNOR is defined as NF P90 306 . This requires a standard means of security for every pool that is constructed in 2004 and covers all pools by 1st January 2006.

It is essential that all property owners understand that if their property is available for rent then ALL pools must have a security device in place by 1st January 2004 (This deadline has been extended to 1st May 2004)

The law is enforced by a fine of up to €45,000.

To read the law (in French) click here. legifrance image


The CSC (Centre de sécurité des consommateurs) recommends the installation of a pool safety fence or barrier as it is the only passive security device. All the other approved means of security; alarms, rigid safety covers, shelters(abris) need to be actively turned on or physically closed every time the pool is vacated (even for a few minutes) and as such should be seen as supplementary to a physical barrier.

The standard NF P90 306 defines the requirements for the installation of pool safety fencing and the means of access to pools (partially or completely buried in the ground or above ground) which is intended to limit the access to swimming pools to children of less than five years old.

Remember that no barrier is ever foolproof and nothing can replace the vigilance of a parent.


Protection Barrier and means of access

A material device conceived to be established around a swimming pool in order to prevent the access of children of less than five years to this swimming pool.

The protection barrier can be combined with one (or more) wall(s) of buildings, or dwellings, bordering the zone in which the swimming pool is located insofar as these walls do not allow an access to the swimming pool by their height or their own openings.

NOTE: a hedge alone is cannot be regarded as a protection barrier.

Family private swimming pool

Swimming pools reserved for the personal use of a family

Swimming pool of collective use - including Rental properties

Any swimming pool which is not for private family use is considered to be of public or collective use


The protection barrier must be built in order to prevent the passage of children of less than five years old by striding over, climbing or accidental opening of the means of access. The protection barrier should not harm a child attempting to cross it; the risk of cuts and puncture wounds, or the means of access jamming, must be avoided. To allow older users to cross the barrier without risk, the protection barrier must comprise a means of access which cannot be opened by children of less than five years of age and must be without danger to all users, whether they are adults or children.

The minimal height of the barrier must be at least 1.1m

The minimal height between two fixing points must always be equal to or higher than 1,10 m.

Means of Access

The protection barriers must have a means of access to the pool area which is childproof

Pools for private family use

The access to the pool must be closed with locking latches (which require two simultaneous actions to open them or an automatic locking system

Pools for collective use including rental properties

The access to pool area must be by the use of a self-closing self locking gate.

The gate must open outwards from the swimming pool.

To prevent the accidental opening of the gate by a child of less than five years the unlocking system should necessitate a minimum force of 20N

The unlocking system must be simple for an adult to operate.

Fixing to the ground

The method of fixing to the ground should ensure that the barrier is unable to move more than 10mm from the fixing post.

The barriers should be installed a minimum of 1m from the water's edge and not so far from the edge of the pool to render them ineffective.

The above is for your general information. It should not be used as a definitive interpretation of the law in any way.  You should ensure that any security product you purchase for your swimming pool conforms to NF P90-306 or any of the other three standards ratified in May 2004