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When building a fence for your pool there are a couple things to keep in mind. The idea is to keep even the determined child out, so fences or walls that are tall and smooth are ideal. Basically, they should be difficult to climb. You should close gaps between picket fences and build so there are no potential footholds. Be aware of nearby trees or bushes that could inadvertently aid a climber; trim limbs back from the fence.
As far as height goes, the local building codes may only require 4 foot tall fences, but 6 to 8 feet is best.
Any gates in your pool fence should be sturdy. Use the kind of lock that clicks locked on its own when the gate swings shut. This means no worrying about the kids leaving the door unlocked on their way out.
It's also a good idea to install pool alarms for increased safety and security. Simple siren alarms do a good job of scaring off intruders. You can install alarms both on the gates and around the perimeter of the pool. (Some building codes even require this).
Source: Taunton's Pool Idea Book