Building Safety - Permits - Pools, Spas, & Hot Tubs

Facts And Figures

 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (Documents #359, #362, and #5097) each year, nationwide, more than 300 children under 5 years old drown in residential swimming pools, usually a pool owned by their family. In addition, more than 2,000 children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injures. Nationally, drowning is the fourth leading cause of death to children under five.

Pool submersions involving children happen quickly. Toddlers are inquisitive and impulsive and lack a realistic sense of danger. These behaviors, coupled with a child's ability to move quickly and unpredictably, make swimming pools particularly hazardous for households with young children. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. Seventy-seven percent of the victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.

Child drowning is a silent death. There's no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.

Barriers are not childproof, but they provide layers of protection for a child who strays from supervision. Barriers give parents additional time to locate a child before the unexpected becomes a reality.

For more information, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website. 

 

 

Zoning Requirements

 

 Please refer to the Village of Gurnee Zoning Ordinance, Section 8.7.5, for Zoning Requirements for Pools and Hot Tubs.

 

 

 

Barriers

 

 BARRIER: A fence, wall, building wall, or combination thereof which completely surrounds the swimming pool and obstructs access to the swimming pool.

1. The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches (1219 mm) 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 (51 mm) measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an above-ground pool, the barrier shall be permitted to be at finished 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 (102 mm). Barriers shall be constructed to withstand a concentrated load of 200 pounds in any direction at any point along the top of the barrier. Barrier in-fill shall be constructed to withstand a load of 50 pounds per square foot applied to any point.

 

COMMENTARY:

The acceptance of a barrier mounted on top of a pool is based on the old standard of above-ground pool wall height of 48 inches. This would allow a barrier mounted on top of the pool to compensate for the normal leveling of the pool. Care must be taken when choosing this type of barrier that the pool itself does not create a climbable feature. This may be the case if the pool is placed in a hill or partially buried and/or the kickers on an oval pool.

 

 

 

 2. Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) 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.

3. 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 (1143 mm), the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

 

COMMENTARY:

This size is based on the foot width of a young child and is intended to reduce the potential for a child to gain a foothold. If there are any decorative cutouts in the fence, the space within the cutouts should not exceed 1.75 inches in width.

 

 

4. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 mm) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm). Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches (44 mm) in width.

 

 

COMMENTARY:

This size is based on the head breadth and chest depth of a young child and is intended to prevent a child from passing through an opening. Again, if there are any decorative cutouts in the fence, the space within the cutouts should not exceed 1.75 inches in width.

 

 

 

 5. Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2.25 inches (57 mm) square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to not more than 1.75 inches (44 mm).

 

6. 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 (44 mm).

 

 

COMMENTARY:

This size is based on the foot width of a young child and is intended to reduce the potential for a child to gain handholds and a foothold.

 

 

 

 7. Access gates shall comply with the requirements of Items 1 through 7, 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 (1372 mm) from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism and openings shall comply with the following:

7.1 The release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate; and

7.2 The gate and barrier shall have no opening greater than 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.

 

COMMENTARY:

There are two kinds of gates which might be found on a residential property. Both can play a part in the design of a swimming pool barrier. First are the pedestrian gates. These are the gates people walk through. Gates should open out from the pool and should be self-closing and self-latching. If a gate is properly designed, even if the gate is not completely latched, a young child pushing on the gate in order to enter the pool area will at least close the gate and may actually engage the latch.

When the release mechanism of the self-latching device is less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism for the gate should be at least 3 inches below the top of the gate on the side facing the pool. Placing the release mechanism at this height prevents a young child from reaching over the top of a gate and releasing the latch. The gate and barrier should have no opening greater than 0.5 inch within 18 inches of the latch release mechanism. This prevents a young child from reaching through the gate and releasing the latch.

All other gates (Vehicle Entrances, Etc.) should be equipped with self-latching devices. The self-latching devices should be installed as described for pedestrian gates.

 

 

 

 8. Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following conditions shall be met:

8.1 The pool shall be equipped with a listed and labeled powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM F1346-91 (1996); or

8.2 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 audible warning shall commence not more than 7 seconds after the door and door screen, if present, are opened and shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds. The alarm shall be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities, and the sound of the alarm shall be distinctive from other household sounds such as smoke alarms, house alarms, telephones, and door bells. The alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions. The alarm system shall be equipped with a manual means, such as a touchpad or switch, to deactivate temporarily 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

8.3 All doors with direct access to the pool through the wall shall be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching device with the release mechanism located a minimum of 54 inches (1372 mm) above the floor. Swinging doors shall open away from the pool area.

 

COMMENTARY:

The alarm is intended to warn occupants in the house that a child has opened the door. The alarm audible requirements were designed to be heard throughout a normal house. An alarm on a door leading out of a separated section of a house, as is the case with an attached garage, could not be heard from all other sections of the house and would therefore not meet the need it was intended for and would not be approved. The door to the garage would need to comply with 8.3 or another barrier provided. In general, most whole house alarm systems and many general alarms do not comply with this alarm requirement. Verify that the alarm has been tested and approved for use as part of an approved barrier.

 

 

 

9. 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 a barrier shall surround the ladder or steps which meets the requirements of Items 1 through 9 above. When the ladder or steps are removed or secured and locked up, there shall be no openings in the barrier that will allow a 4 inch sphere to pass or create a climbable feature over the barrier.

  

 10. Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment, or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers.

 

COMMENTARY:

This is an important item that regularly gets overlooked. Having an object adjacent to the barrier allows a child the opportunity to climb on the object to get over the barrier. This is the case when the pool wall is being used as a barrier and the pool equipment is installed along side of the pool, or a fence is installed along side of an air conditioner. It can also be said about the ground along side of a pool that is installed in a hill or uneven grade. A good rule of thumb is that the barrier should be a minimum of 48 inches above any object or grade that is within 48 inches of the barrier side facing away from the pool.

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming Pool, Spa, and Hot Tub Design

 

The Swimming Pool, Spa, and Hot Tub Design section is under construction--check back soon!

 

 

Electrical Requirements

 

Please download the Electric Requirements for Pools & Hot Tubs pamphlet (PDF) to view the Village of Gurnee's requirements.

 

Submitting your application 

  The following information is also available as a PDF for download.

1.         Complete a Building Permit Application.

2.         Submit a copy of your Plat of Survey to scale, showing the following:

            A.        Location of the proposed pool or tub.
            B.         Distance from pool or tub to adjacent lot lines, house, and easements.

1.         Pools and tubs are not allowed in easements.
 

2.         Pools and tubs must show a minimum 10 foot separation from the house except those locations that have been reviewed by the Village of Gurnee Fire Protection Bureau for possible access concerns and Fire Safety related matters prior to permit may be allowed closer than 10 feet but in no case closer that 5 feet.

3.         Pools and tubs are not allowed to be placed in any required front or side setback.

4.         Pools and tubs are not to be placed within 5 feet horizontally of underground wiring and 10 feet horizontally from overhead conductors.

5.         Pools and tubs may be no closer than 10 feet from any rear property line and must stay out of any easement.

C.        Show the locations of any underground or overhead wiring and distance from pool or tub.

D.        Show the location of an approved barrier. An outdoor swimming pool as defined in Section AG102 of Village of Gurnee Ordinance 2009-56, including an in-ground, above-ground, or on-ground pool, hot tub or spa shall be surrounded by a barrier which shall comply with the following:

1.         The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches (1219 mm) 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 4 inches (102 mm) measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool.  Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an above-ground pool, the barrier may be at ground level, such as the pool structure.

2.         Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.

3.         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.

4.         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 (1143 mm), the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence.  Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.

            Exception:  The top of the barrier is 60 inches (5 feet) or greater above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool.

5.         Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1143 mm) or more, or the top of the barrier is at least 60 inches (5 feet) above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm).

6.         Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width.

7.         Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2-1/4 inch (57 mm) square unless the fence has slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to not more than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm).

8.         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 2-1/4 inch (57 mm) square.

9.         Access gates shall comply with the requirements of Section AG105.2, Items 1 through 8, 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 be lockable.  Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1372 mm) above the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism and openings shall comply with the following:

9.1       The release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate; and

9.2       The gate and barrier shall have no opening larger than ½ inch (12.7 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.

10.       Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following conditions shall be met:

10.1     The pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM F 1346; or

10.2     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/or its screen, if present, are opened.  The alarm shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 2017.  The audible alarm shall activate within 7 seconds and sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds after the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities and the sound of the alarm shall be distinctive from other households sounds such as smoke alarms, telephones, and door bells.  The alarm shall automatically resent under all conditions.  The alarm system shall be equipped with a manual means, such as touch pad or switch, to temporarily deactivate the alarm for a single opening.  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 

10.3     Other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, which are approved by the governing body, shall be acceptable as long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by Item 10.1 or 10.2 described above.

11.       Where an above-ground pool structure is used as a barrier and the means of access is a ladder or steps:

11.1     The ladder or steps shall be capable be being secured, locked or removed to present access; or

11.2     The ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of Section AG105.2, Items 1 through 9.  When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch diameter (102 mm) sphere.

12.       Indoor Swimming Pool – Walls surrounding an indoor swimming pool shall comply with Section AG105.2 Item 10.

13.       Fences shall be constructed to withstand a concentrated load of 200 lbs in 1 square foot at any point.

14.       Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment, or similar objects from being used to climb the barrier.

15.       A spa or hot tub with an approved safety cover that complies with 2003 ASTM F1346-91 shall be exempt from the barrier requirements.

 

3.         Provide an information sheet for the pool to be proposed for installation.

 

4.         Provide installation instructions for the pump and filter.  Specify the model that is to be used.  The filter pump shall be UL NEC listed.  Original instructions will be returned with the permit.

 

5.         Provide a written proposal from your electrical contractor.  This proposal shall state the scope of work to be provided.  The electrician must be registered with our Department prior to the release of the permit.

 

6.         Entrapment protection shall be provided for swimming pool and spa suction outlets.

 

 
 
Inspections can be scheduled by calling
the Building Department at 847-599-7550.

A minimum of 48 hours notice is required. Please have
your building permit number ready; it is required in order
to schedule an inspection.