Stairs and elevated deck surfaces around pools

This pool’s depth is 6’ or less at all locations

Hazard or No hazard?

Any opinions and supporting documentation are welcomed

Maybe a no-diving sign.:slight_smile: Someone probably would not hit bottom if they just fell or were pushed off. An idea would be to put railing where it is outlined in red. But then you’d have someone sitting on that, which of course would be higher. :twisted:

I bet the person who had this pool built was a basketball player that could not swim.

A nice glass railed fence would look great.Don’t Drink & Dive


I’m thinking Your looking at the difference between safe and looks good Barry…since the yard is fenced …I’m guessing they’re legal…not smart maybe , but legal…jmo…jim

per irc you need railing on the upper level and at the stairs

have a great day
bradley schumacher

Do you have that per irc?

Swimming pool barriers


  • Applies to all pools or spas >24in deep (IRC AG102.1) (UBC 420)

  • Fence min 48 in high (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#1)

  • Gap under fence max 2 in above grade 4in if concrete (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 4221.1#1)

  • Max opening size must prevent passage of 4 in sphere (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#1)

  • Difficult to climb over ( no ladder or rails) (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#1)

  • Gate lockable, self closing, open away from pool (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#4)

  • If latch <54in high: Must be poolside & min 3 in below top (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#4)

  • No openings >1/2 within 18in of latch (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#4)

  • Doors & screens with direct pool access req. alarm audible for 30 seconds throughout house (IRC AG105.2) (UBC421.1#5X)

  • Alarm control min 54in high, must rest automatically EXC (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#5X)

  • Doors from iinterior w self close and release >or= 54in above floor (IRC AG105.2) (UBC 421.1#5X)

  • Safety glazing req’d for glass enclosing pool (IRC 308.4) (UBC 2406.4)

Here is the pool information that I found in CodeCheck Building.

Thanks for that Scott. The yard is fenced, in regard to railing on the stairs and deck it doesn’t appear to be above 32" or the 4 step rule.

I realized after I looked at the picture again what Barry was asking.

Curious Barry, what was your final report on this?

These statements go in every report that has a pool whether I inspect it or not (modified for the pool in picture)
Diving or falling into the shallow (not designed for diving) swimming pool may result in severe injury or death. The immediate installation of guardrail fall protection at the elevated areas outlined in RED and posting of NO DIVING signage is advised by this inspector.
According to The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, thousands of deaths occur each year due to drowning or submersion. The majority of aquatic accidents occur in backyard swimming pools. While both children and adults alike are victims of pool accidents, residential swimming pools are the second leading cause of death of children under 14 years of age. Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate spas and whirlpools are also frequent scenes of child death and injury. In addition to deaths, each year thousands more swimming pool accident victims are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion and near drowning. Alcohol-related injuries in and around swimming pools are quite common. A variety of pool equipment such as diving boards contribute to other pool mishaps. Aside from death, diving accidents are among the most serious and can result in spinal cord injury, causing permanent neurological injuries.
**Required must read Information for your report to be complete: **
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This may all seem extreme to some readers but I have a childhood friend that suffered spinal cord injury (SCI) at age 17, as a direct result from a pool like this, he’s been in a wheelchair for the past 37 years with many health complications.

SCI complications is what did in Superman Christopher Reeve

Our nephew drowned at age 3 in his backyard pool

Excellent advice. :frowning:

I have always been around pools and installed one of my own the year my 1st daughter was born.

Inground pool with a gradient depth of 3 to 5 feet.

Pool Rule

No Diving and NO Children without Adult Supervision.

Served me well and has worked for my girls now 9 and 11.

I am always amazed at how many Parents comment that I will not allow my children to swim unattended in their own backyard.

That would be a “non-issue” in my book Barry. The “fall” into the water from that level, as compared to the other side, will result in the same consequences - you will get wet.

Common pool safety should be an adequate recommendation. . .


Yes it should, as should supervision of pool users but this rarely happens throughout an entire day’s pool activities…I’m the “mother hen” when our grandkids are over…probably from previous life experiecne…

A barrier/guardrail recommendation/installation at the elevated area may stop the once in a million from occurring.

Bobby’s fall (SCI) was into 6’ of water, the exact depth of the pool depicted…a little more then just getting wet

Not all of us that used the same pool that day wound up SCI but one did and it only took that one to alter many lives forever…especially his

it is easy to see why You would be sensitive to this issue Barry…all good points imo…jim

A quick glance and you’d think it’s not an issue - chances are just walking by and falling in will not be an issue. But it only takes the one visitor that has never been to that particular pool, and dives into the pool not realizing how shallow it really is.

Some people don’t realize the difference between diving in and falling in. It’s huge.

Whether this fall occurred at the raised area or the lower area (most likely) made little difference.

This unfortunate consequence can occur from any edge of a pool.

The next extreme would be someone using the top of the rail as a jump-point. Then we have to consider adding rails at the patio cover - where I often see teenage jumpers.

There’s no “violation” depicted in your pictures, so a recommendation for additional railing is unwarranted IMHO.

Nothing wrong with making a recommendation for enhanced safety based on experience.

If a home, up here for instance, has a south facing entry porch on an eave wall with some steps (even less than 4 rises) chances are I’ll recommend a railing because I have experience with water dripping and refreezing on the steps during thaws. It is not required and they don’t have to install it but I’ll share my experience with them.