Swimming pool Law in France / Gite advice
The swimming pool law in France states that all new swimming pools built since the first of
January 2004 and all swimming pools for private rental, must conform. For the remainder,
standardised security must be in place by January 2006.
i.e all swimming pools must now have security conforming to AFNOR standards.
The reasoning behind this law is that most swimming pool accidents have been shown to
happen to the under 5's. Most are fatal. A small child can drown in as little as 3 minutes.
Often, even if they can swim, the shock of falling in, is enough to panic the child, resulting in
drowning. They do not shout out for help. They do not have the strength to stay afloat for
long, even if they can swim.
This swimming pool safety law has been enforced to help prevent such fatalities, and should
be enforced along with vigilant parental/adult supervision at all times.
The swimming pool law in France was passed in December 2002, however standards were a
little longer before being released.
Now, all is in place and there are many products on the market conforming to the AFNOR
The penalty for breaking the law i.e. Not having security protection conforming to
AFNOR standards, is 45,000 Euros.
There are a variety of options available, the swimming pool law in France requires that one of
the following is installed :-
Fencing must comply to NF P90-306.
It must be a minimum of 1 metre in height.
The lock must be childproof and have a 2 action movement.
There must be no ledges or footholds for a child to climb up.
A building wall may be considered suitable as part of the fencing - e.g. side of barn.
Fencing should be positioned a minimum of 1 metre from the pool edge - no maximum is
indicated, however the law states that the fencing must be around the pool area.
Fencing around the whole premises is not acceptable.
If you wish to fence close to a perimeter fence, there must be an arc of 1.2m before contact
with the perimeter fence i.e. to prevent someone clambering onto perimeter fencing and over
pool fencing. Prices for safety fencing vary, there are now many conforming to AFNOR
Swimming pool alarms must comply to NF P90-307. These are often the cheapest option -
but are only as effective as your response time. Which raises the question - If you are not
present and a neighbours child falls in, who will respond, bearing in mind that you have the
ultimate responsibility as pool owner. Pool alarms will detect when someone or something has
fallen into, or entered a specific area of the pool. The alarm often has to be turned off for
swimming - which necessitates someone remembering to put it back/turn it on once swimming
is finished. Pool alarms only detect when someone has fallen in, they do not prevent
someone falling in.
Safety covers must comply to NF P90-308. Safety covers cover the whole pool or the pool
and pool edge. They must be strong enough to take the weight of an adult. Safety covers
will state they are reinforced for safety purposes, some can be used as heat retention and for
Separate summer and overwintering covers are NOT the same thing and have already been
the cause of a fatality in France. Covers only provide security if the state the conform to the
AFNOR standards and hence, the swimming pool law in France. Separate Summer and
winter covers are entirely different, summer covers provide heat retention, winter covers
prevent overwinter debris and provide protection to the pool, not to people.
Safety covers are applied with manual roller or by automation, often increasing costs.
Shelters must comply to NF P90-309 Shelters come in a variety of styles. They can be fixed
or removable. They must be locked when swimming has concluded. It is advisable to check if
planning permission is needed for a fixed structure. Shelters are usually expensive.
Other things you can do to enhance the swimming pool law in France, and thus pool safety:
If you have an above ground pool, the sides act as a barrier for a small child, however, when
not in use the steps should either be removed or they should be made inaccessible in some
There is really no substitute for vigilant adult supervision
Do not leave your child unsupervised at any time. If you have to leave the pool area, take
your child with you.
Teach children to swim as soon as possible, but do not rely on this to save them.
Even older children should be supervised, what is 'play' when you are around can turn into
rough play and 'duckings' under the water when they are unsupervised.
Do not leave pool toys in the pool - they can attract youngsters.
Ensure that any pool equipment such as loungers, seats, tables, storage box for inflatable's
are not easily moved by a toddler to climb over fencing if used, into pool area.
Take a course in mouth to mouth resuscitation and recovery from drowning.
Make sure you know how to contact the emergency services.
For further information on the swimming pool law in France, contact Logement.gouv.fr (this is
If you are unsure re security products, we are happy to advise during a site visit when your
needs and options best suited to your family and intended pool area can be identified.
Contact us for security for your swimming pool conforming to the Law in France
Gite advicethe swimming pool
Check with your Marie to see if you come within these regulations if you have a gite.