Tulsa Ordinance: Residential Swimming Pool Safety

Safe Kids Tulsa is working with the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Health Department to ensure that backyard pools and spas are as safe as possible for our children. Currently, newer residential swimming pools in Tulsa must meet the following requirements. We are working with the city to determine requirements for existing residential swimming pools/spas and will post those as soon as they are available.

Barrier/Fencing Requirements for Residential Swimming Pools/Spas and Hot Tubs

Appendix G of the 2000 International Residential Code
(Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs)

The provisions of this chapter shall control the design and barriers for residential swimming pools, spas and hot tubs in the City of Tulsa. These design controls are intended to provide protection against potential drownings and near-downings by restricting access to swimming pools, spas and hot tubs.

For the purposes of this code, a RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL is defined as any structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing that contains water over 24 inches (610 mm) deep and is situated on the premises of a detached one- or two-family dwelling or a one-family townhouse not more than three stories in height.

AG105.2 Outdoor swimming pool. An outdoor swimming pool, including an in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pool, hot tub or spa shall be provided with a barrier which shall comply with the following:
1. The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above ground, such as an above ground pool, the barrier may be at ground level, such as the pool structure, or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches.
Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere.
Solid barriers which do not have openings, such as a masonry or stone wall, shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1.75 inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches in width.
Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches in width.
Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 1.25 inch square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduces the openings to not more than 1.75 inches.
Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, such as a lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall not be more than 1.75 inches.
2. Access gates shall comply with the requirements of above barriers listed above and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall have a self-latching device where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism and opening shall comply with the following:
The release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top of the gate, and
The gate and barrier shall have no opening greater than 0.5 inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism.
3. Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier one of the following conditions shall
The pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM F1346; or
All doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm which produces an audible warning when the door and its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds immediately after the door is opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. The alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions. The alarm system shall be equipped with a manual means, such as touchpad or switch, to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening. Such deactivation shall last for not more than 15 seconds. The deactivation switch(es) shall be located at least 54 inches (1372 mm) above the threshold of the door; or
Other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, which are approved by the governing body, shall be acceptable so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded than the options described above be met.
4. Where an above-ground pool structure is used as a barrier or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps, then:
The ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access, or
The ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of listed above. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere
Barrier exceptions: Spas or hot tubs with a safety cover which complies with ASTM F 1346, as listed in Section AG107, shall be exempt from the provisions of this appendix.


Please contact your city councilor to express your support for Safe Kids' "Safe Pools for Safe Kids" advocacy efforts