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  1. Hi Gemma, there has been a lot of discussion on this topic in the past - when the regulations came into force in May 2004. A brief summary is as follows: You must - on pain of a penalty of up to 45,000€ and possible jail if someone dies.. protect your pool with an approved security device. This can be one of four options. 1. A safety fence 2. An alarm 3. A security cover 4. An Abri (shelter - like a greenhouse over the pool.) These must conform to the relevant French standards or you are not compliant and open to prosecution. The standards are NF P 90-306 for fences. 307 for Alarms 308 for covers 309 for Abris. If you choose a fence it must be manufactured to the French standard and should be labelled as such. You will be given an attestation de conformite which is your proof. The fence must be installed a minimumof 1m from the waters edge. There is no ruling on the maximum distance, the law merely states that it should not be so far away as to be rendered ineffective... - there's a grey area for you. The barrier must be a minimum of 1.1m high - in practice they are all 1.2m. On installation there must be no object (such as rocks or a low wall) within a 1.1m arc measured from the top of the fence. If the pool is for family use only then you can use a simple gate, made by opening the fence where two sections meet - for a mesh type fence. If a separate gate is installed it must be of a self closing self latching variety and must open outwards. The gate must have been tested through 50,000 cycles so you cannot use any old gate, it must be a professionally manufactured one which has been tested and found compliant. If the pool is in collective use - if you rent the house out or anyone other than your immediate family uses the pool when you are not in residence then the pool is considered to be in collective use and you are obliged by law to have a compliant self closing/latching gate. Feel free to contact me for any further, more comprehensive, advice Richard
  2. Hi Jackie, Your information about the 1.1M arc is correct, so if the fence is 1.3M high and you have the pipe even directly alongside the fence you should be fine. If it is 40cm away from the fence then you have no problems at all. Richard
  3. For another removable fence that can be self installed, click on the more information: swimming pools under the swimming pools section in the main forum window - that you access to get to this section Richard
  4. Hi Andrew, I know it sounds contrary to say 'removable fencing' but there are valid reasons for it. Be prepared to be astonished - there are several fences on the market that are easily removable, two american and a number of French made ones, all having been tested by the authorities - I've seen the certificates and - it's a small world - know the people concerned. People want or need to be able to remove the fence for a variety of motives. For instance you may need to remove a section when you are getting the accumulated debris of winter out of the pool in the spring. I have a floating slatted cover (electric) on my pool and leaves fall through the between the cover and the pool sides. If the fence is 1m from the water then wielding the net to the middle of a 12.5 x 6.5m pool calls for dexterity and the fence can get in the way at 1m from the waters edge. If you have an approved winter cover you might want to take it down through the winter anyway or if you had already invested in Alarms (as I had to before my fence or indeed any fences had been approved) you might prefer to take it down when you are in residence yourself (I'm in the middle of nowhere, several kilometers from the nearest small child) and have the alarm as your legal protection. Having invested, you might even want to take it with you when you move house. We do offer a permanent latch however that needs tools to remove if people are renting their house and are concerned that clients might take the fence down, or it is a simple matter to make it permanent with the aid of a small L bracket on each section. That said, it shouldn't be removed for spurious reasons as it is, after all, intended as a passive security device. Richard
  5. John, That was a year of my life. The dossier number on the 'attestation de conformite' from the Laboratoire National des Essais is : E041043/CQPE/3 dated 5 Jan 05 If you would like to see it as an example of what every product should provide then I'll be happy to email it if you send me your details as a pm. Richard
  6. Hi, replies to two points raised earlier. 1. Alarms - Will is quite right about the growing consensus in the industry about the effectiveness of alarms. There were several instances last summer where a child nearly drowned in a pool equipped with an approved alarm. In each instance the alarm had been deactivated, as per the instructions, for the family to swim. In the period between leaving the pool and the alarm automatically resetting itself the children fell in. As the water had not settled from the swimming the alarm was still dormant so did not go off. This is clearly a problem area that the authorities have to deal with. In the USA, and everywhere else with common sense, an alarm is seen as the final layer of security to be used in conjunction with a fence, or other passive physical barrier. After all, an alarm doesn't keep your child out of the water, it alerts you to the fact that your child is either drowning or is already dead. I do not know of any other country with pool safety laws where an alarm is considered sufficient security by itself. 2. Importing fences. There are a couple of fencing products manufactured outside France (in the USA where all this started 20 years ago) that are AFNOR approved. They are of course available in France through a network of agents as no company will go to the trouble of obtaining approval (and it is long winded and expensive) without ensuring that their product is available in the marketplace. There has been a lot of discussion about inflated prices of fencing on this forum, but in actual fact the installed price of these products in France, before the TVA ! is roughly equivalent to the installed price in the USA despite the additional costs of freight, customs duty etc. So, even if you buy elsewhere, when you add in airfreight, duty & TVA (on the purchase cost plus the freight cost) you'll finish up paying more than buying locally. As far as ignoring the legislation, BJSLIV is right. Until inspections are mandatory lots of people will ignore the law. Tragically kids will die because of this. In 2003, June to September alone, there were 172 drowning incidents in private pools reported to the authorites, which resulted in 52 deaths...
  7. Hi John, I have to declare an interest - I am the European distributor for Life Saver Pool Fence (Poolfence.com) so reading the above posts I thought that I ought to contribute - although I'm not sure whether the administrators will think this is advertising and remove my reply straight away! I don't think any other manufacturer or distributor has put their head above the parapet on this forum. I see the alarm manufacturers have declined in the past, but I'm happy to - I have confidence in the product. There are a number of similar looking products available in France. They mostly meet the requirements of NF P 90-306, although some have self certified so we can't be sure. For those that have been tested and awarded an 'attestation de conformite' I guess the difference between them is really a question of whether they just scraped through or passed with flying colours. Having seen every one of them displayed at Piscine 2004 and Piscina 2005 I can assure you that there are huge differences in quality of manufacture and materials. Look at the guarantee offered as a guide to what the distributor thinks of their own product. If it's a year then make your own mind up. If it's 10 or 20 years, then that's a different matter. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have on this subject. One thing I can tell you is that the mesh we use has a bursting strength of over 375 psi - I don't think many birds trying to get your strawberries will be quite that powerful! Bang to rights on how it looks - even the company chairman admits that it's not a pretty product - frankly with the exception of specialist glass fencing at a small fortune a metre none of the fences available are attractive. However they do the job they are designed for, which is to save lives. Feel free to post any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. Richard
  8. Ab, I am surprised that you find that the advice given by pool professionals/suppliers is guesswork, as the regulations are very specific and thus easy to comprehend. If you have a specific question that you have had a problem with, I am sure that either Hendo or I will be able to give you an answer. Cheers, Richard
  9. A post in answer to ray's question of 5 Sep. I am sorry to tell you that a 'compliant' winter cover is exactly that. It must have been tested by an AFNOR approved facility and be clearly marked as conforming to NF P 90-308. Your old cover is no longer sufficient and should not be used unless in conjunction with a fence which does conform and that you are using as your principal security device. Lots of people reduce the water level in their pool for winter. If you do then an alarm will not work as it needs to be immersed. Equally if the water is too deep (as happens when it rains and you are away) then some of the alarms may be deemed as non conforming as they require the end of the sensor tube to be at a specific depth. It is your responsibility to ensure that the specifications are adhered to and that the water is kept to the correct depth for the alarm. If you put your non compliant cover over the alarm, leaving it turned on and the water level normal, then you are not covered legally as the alarm is unlikely to work. They have only been tested and are only approved for use with an open pool. As the majority of the alarms need a shockwave of a body falling into the water to set them off, the cover will stop this happening. A child would roll into the centre of the pool where the cover has it's drain holes and drown there as the water forms a pool in the centre under the childs body weight. Again the pool may overfill catching you out. I am afraid that to be compliant year round you must buy a compliant winter cover or a compliant fence if your security device of choice is an alarm for the summer months. Not a fact the alarm companies have publicised for obvious reasons as the cost of both added together will be more than the cost of a fence that covers you all the time.. You pays your money.. Richard
  10. Hi Steve, you're right, these are chemicals. The great difference is that the automatic dosers adjust the levels twice daily with just a few CC's of acid or alkali and a few cc's of anti algicide, rather than the larger quantities of irritant chemicals that tend to be used with a chlorine based pool. The net result is that you swim in clear clean water, never have itchy skin, don't need to shower after you get out of the pool to wash the chlorine off and ladies don't have their hair become stringy or, if coloured, adopt a new unnnatural hue. The oxygene actif I use as a shock treatment, 10 litres to about 130 cubic metres of water if I've been away and the pool is completely green. Give it a day with the filtration running constantly and run the pool robot a lot and the water is crystal clear again, the oxygene actif having been completely absorbed. I can't recommend it enough. Swimming without goggles and no hurting eyes. When I get in a chlorine pool I immediately notice the difference. I agree with Hendo, again, that you need to consider carefully how many people will be using the pool and tailor your system to suit. It might cost a bit more to set up initially, and you should err on the side of caution as you may finish up with a higher proportion of people using your pool than you first calculated. In my opinion the results justify the cost as you enjoy the pool more. Richard
  11. Hi wisteria, an alternative to a salt pool is to make the pool freshwater. I have a Bio-UV ultraviolet water treatment unit, with a Zeostar filtration system. We do not use any chlorine or other foul chemicals and the water is crystal clear. The BIO-UV system has a ph meter that automatically checks the ph twice daily and doses automatically with ph+ or ph- (you set it up with one or the other solution depending on the characteristics of your pool) There is a second automatic pump that doses with a nominal amount of Remanent (anti-algicide) daily. Should you get an algae build up a dose of Oxygene Actif (Hydrogen Peroxide by any other name) clears it in no time. The final touch is to use a specialist floculant, Jolly Gel for instance that can be used with Zeostar. Zeostar filters to a finer diameter, I forget what it is in Microns, than ordinary sand so ovarall you get wonderful clear fresh water in your pool. After the installation cost, you replace the sand in your filter with Zeostar and adjust your piping a little for the Bio-UV cyclinder, the cost of ph adjuster and Remanent comes to a few hundred Euro a year and well worth it in my opinion. No dry skin, no smelly hair - bliss! See www.bio-uv.com Happy swimming Richard
  12. On the pool cleaner question, I have a Tigershark made by Aquavac systems (http://www.aquavacsystems.com/) in the USA. I've had it for four years now and it has been absolutely fantastic. It cleans every last bit of grit and muck out of the pool and as it is electric with its integral filters you don't get the dirt into your main filtration. You can get them in France for an astronomical sum, I paid 16,000 Francs about £1,600 or you can find them in the states for a lot less. The cheapest I have seen was $800.... You put it in and leave it and it cleans the whole pool thoroughly. It too has a microprocessor and it's supposed to map the pool - in this case it seems to work. At the end of the cycle (about 4-5 hours) you take it out and hose the dirt out of the filters and that's it. Happy hunting Richard
  13. well, this seems to be a real hornets nest that we're stirring with a stick. I have talked about this in the past with a french lawyer, whose opinion was that until tested in the courts then only products that had been tested and certified as NF compliant should be used. Indeed he felt that although some companies self certify, they should be avoided and only products that carry an 'attestation de conformite' from an authorised testing facility (Authorised by AFNOR) were truly within the law. So, personally I am using a product that carries an attestation. Obviously people must follow their own instinct and buy a product that they feel meets their needs. I am of the opinion that the alarms should never have been approved as a sole 'dispositif de securite' they really ought to be used in conjunction with a fence and be seen as a final layer of security. That is how they are used in the States and if you look at the poolguard website, that is what they recommend. A line that I think is pertinent is the following from Mikeys earlier post: Parmi les autres moyens, existent notamment les normes, spécifications techniques ou procédés de fabrication en vigueur dans les pays membres de la Communauté européenne ou partie à l’accord sur l’Espace économique européen, qui assurent un niveau de sécurité équivalent. So perhaps you can used a CE branded product that "Assures an equivalent level of security." I would have thought that the way this will be measured is by referring to the testing regime and the requirements that are specified in the relevant norm. If this is the case then the poolguard alarm will not assure an equivalent level of security because it hasn't been designed to meet these requirements. Therefore, should you buy a non compliant product and, god forbid, have a fatality in your pool the onus will be on you to prove in court that your choice of product was as effective as the law requires. As I've said before I wouldn't like to be the one doing this. There is no doubt that the alarms available are being sold at a vast profit and this is outrageous - the poolguard alarm sells for $289 retail in the USA (see www.childsafetystore.com) - so we can see that this should be the correct sort of price for this type of technology, but the companies concerned are unlikely to be shamed into reducing their prices. To conclude, until this is tested in the courts and precedent set all we have are differing opinions as to the real meaning of the law. Who would like to be the test case? Richard
  14. My pool guy who is based in the Razes is excellent. His name is Bob York and you can contact him via [email protected] or send me a pm and i'll forward you his number. Richard
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