Swimming pool safety – the rules in France

Swimming pool safety – A private swimming pool in France must be outfitted with the necessary safety facilities in accordance with the law to prevent drowning – especially of small children.

Which safety measures are required around the pool?

If you own a swimming pool, you are personally responsible for the safety f the users and anybody else qho might wander into your garden. It does not matter whether it’s a private swimming pool in your own garden or a swimming pool as a collective facility, for example at a campsite or a holiday venue such as gîtes or chambres d’hôtes (B&B). You must install at least one of the following features:

  • Security fence with lockable gate around the pool
  • Swimming pool alarms when someone falls into the water (alarme d’immersion) or when someone approaches the swimming pool (alarme périmétrique).
  • Pool cover (bâche)
  • Pool roof that closes the entire pool

Does this concern all pools?

No. These security measures are only mandatory for swimming pools that are partially or partially dug into the ground. The so-called in-ground or semi-in-ground pools. The security reuirements do not apply to swimming pools built on top of the ground, such as inflatable or deconstructible swimming pools.

Which pool security installation do you chose?

When choosing a device or cover you must take into account the compliance with the ‘Association Française de Normalization’ (Afnor) standard. Check the labels, the packageing or the documentation for the following standards:

NF P90-306 for safety gates,
NF P90-307 for alarm systems,
NF P90-308 for decking
NF P90-309 for overcoats

Swimming pool safety installation

It is allowed to take the security measures yourself, but you can also ask an external supplier or technical instalation company to take care of the setup. In that case, the seller or installer must at least provide the necessary documentation, including the technical specifications (fiche technique) describing the properties, user manual and maintenance requirements of the security device. In addition, they have to give you an information sheet with more general information on prevention and risk management concerning open water and drowning hazard.

Fines

In France, the soup is rarely eaten as hot as it is served (as we say in the Netherlands), but in principle there is a penalty that can amount to € 45,000, – for failure to comply with these rules. This also applies to the swimming pool supplier if they don’t provide the required documentation.

Sources about Pool security and safety in France:

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