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The law governing pool security in France is lengthy but clear, and every swimming pool owner should be aware of it. Despite many arguments against it, all in-ground pools in France must comply with the law by having one of the four approved methods of security system in place by January 1 2006. The fine for not complying with the law is currently €45,000.

Above ground pools (temporary pools) are not affected by the law and normally just rely on a security ladder (or a ladder that gets taken away when the pool is not in use).

By using a security cover or fence we hope to help clarify how you can comply with this law if you already own, or are considering purchasing, a swimming pool in France. The law has been specifically put in place to protect children under five years old but anyone with children will understand that no security device, no matter how well approved can replace the vigilance of a responsible adult at all times.

The law was originally passed on Jan 1 2003. To comply with the law, standards for pool security systems have been set by AFNOR (the body responsible for French safety standards) so that any method of security fitted must conform to the specifications set out in each category of security device.

There are four types of approved security system: 1. Security BarriersAFNOR standard: NF P90-306. 2. Pool AlarmsAFNOR standard: NF P90-307. 3. Pool CoversAFNOR standard: NF P90-308. 4. EnclosuresAFNOR standard: NF P90-309.

These Government Safety Guidelines may also help.