The history of mesh pool fence
With 26 years in the mesh pool fence industry Protect-A-Child is truly the pioneer in this industry. To preserve the origins of this product below is a history of the mesh pool fence, including the inventor of this great product, and the evolution of its features:
1963 - The removable mesh pool fence was invented by John Berghage, a Pompano Beach, Florida grandfather and inventor. The first removable mesh pool fence was invented to protect his own grandchildren when they came to visit and designed for easy removability when they left. He called it the “Remova Pool Fence”. The original mesh pool fence was 42” high (standard pool fence height) utilized a lightweight nylon mesh supported by hollow 1” diameter .063” wall thickness aluminum support posts. The posts were attached to the mesh first on 24” centers and later expanded to 30” centers. Mr. Berghage was in his sixties when he invented the fence. His purpose was pool safety rather than profit; therefore he never applied for any patents on the invention. He installed fences for friends and friends of friends who recognized the versatility of the unique pool fence but did not expand the business past his hometown of Pompano Beach, FL except on rare occasion.
Between 1963 and 1977 - Mr. Berghage was sole owner and manufacturer. During these years, Mr. Berghage and 1 man handled all manufacturing, sales, and installations. It was a part time venture and distribution continued to be limited primarily to Mr. Berghages' home town.
1977 - Mr. Berghage sells the company.
Between 1977 and 1979 - , there is minor growth for the product under the new owner. Its distribution is limited primarily to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Palm Beach, FL.
1980 - , Don Coppedge (one of 3 original owners of PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE) becomes the Miami FL distributor for the small Remova Pool Fence Company. Mr. Coppedge services fences as old as the early 70’s providing valuable insight into how components of mesh pool fencing hold up in the Florida climate.
At this time Remova remains the only removable mesh pool fence in existence sold only in S. Florida.
1984 - Don Coppedge, Bill and Birgit Fillingame form PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE CO. Mr. Berghage backs the PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE product and places his support behind it. Protect-A-Child becomes only the 3rd company in existence manufacturing removable mesh pool fences and immediately dominates the industry.
The new PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE utilizes .063” wall welded aluminum poles, an open weave PVC coated polyester mesh, and stainless steel screws. PROTECT-A-CHILD quickly becomes the largest mesh pool fence company in the US.
Mr. Berghage continues his support and guidance with PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE through the remainder of his years. We honor his contribution to child safety through his invention and support of removable mesh pool fencing.
1986 - PROTECT-A-CHILD is the first company to introduce mesh pool fencing to California, Arizona and other states. Protect-A-Child was the first removable mesh pool fence introduced to most of the US and Canada.
Protect-A-Child introduces the first black mesh pool fence to the market. The transparency of this color immediately sets the standard for color in the mesh pool fence industry.
1987 - With expanding distribution Protect-A-Child sales easily surpass all fence sales from the inception of the products birth in 1963 making it the most widely purchased mesh pool fence in the world.
1988 - With the introduction of 48" fences, PROTECT-A-CHILD pioneers the use of reinforcing pole inserts to increase the strength of the taller fence.
1990 - PROTECT-A-CHILD introduces the first self closing, self latching gate for tension based removable mesh pool fences and applies for a patent on the gate. Due to the commonality of self closing, self latching gates for pool fences the patenting process is dropped when the application is denied. Years later others submit various patent applications yet self closing, self latching gates for removable mesh pool fences remain unpatentable in the generic sense.
1991 - PROTECT-A-CHILD introduces the first brass and stainless steel section safety latches to make PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE the only mesh pool fence which is now totally rustproof and maintenance free.
1992 - PROTECT-A-CHILD introduces the first support posts in a black color to match the black mesh making mesh pool fencing much more attractive than the standard silver aluminum posts. Other colors including tan and white soon follow.
1992 - PROTECT-A-CHILD introduces black fiberglass pool fence support posts with the assistance of Shakespeare and Co. These posts offer superior strength, flex impact resistance, and corrosion resistance. They are black in color and have matching black hardware to produce the first nearly unbreakable fence of highest quality.
1993 - PROTECT-A-CHILD is the first to introduce plastic sleeves so that mesh pool fences can meet the National Electrical Code replacing aluminum sleeves as the standard product. This soon becomes the industry standard.
1994 - PROTECT-A-CHILD (with the assistance of distributor Russ Bohen) patents the Lock in Deck system for mesh pool fences. This is the first system enabling the mesh pool fence to actually twist lock into the patio. By eliminating the reliance upon fence tension as the sole means of holding a mesh pool fence in the patio, this feature eliminates one of two “weak links” in mesh pool fence safety.
1998 - PROTECT-A-CHILD patents their Point Lock Secure Latch. This section latch eliminates the only remaining weak link in mesh pool fence safety. Namely the need for a section latch to connect fence sections together that does not rely upon fence tension, is safe for even older children, is adjustable, and lockable. This represents a major move forward in mesh pool fence safety.
2000 - PROTECT-A-CHILD introduces a new composite fiberglass support post with the only warranty of its kind guaranteeing the post will never break or become bent when used as a pool fence support post.
2001 - PROTECT-A-CHILD uses its wide product knowledge to help write much of the Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act
2011 - New products are on the way that will continue to establish Protect-A-Child as the unquestioned industry leader in removable mesh pool fencing.
PROTECT-A-CHILD POOL FENCE COMPANY continues to grow, expand, and refine removable mesh pool fence technology today. Much of its strength is attributed to its owner who spent the first 12 years of his 30 year career in the field personally selling and installing thousands of removable mesh pool fences for families helping them solve their pool safety problems. This “in the field” experience continues to this day now with 30 years product knowledge and experience. This provides the insight and knowledge that allows us to produce products, installation procedures, and training that help Protect-A-Child expand around the globe.