What Are the Legal Requirements for Swimming Pool Fences in Australia 2022?

What Are the Legal Requirements for Swimming Pool Fences in Australia 2022?

 Legal Requirements for Swimming Pool Fences

 

If you have a backyard swimming pool, it’s crucial to ensure that it is safe. So, what are the legal requirements in Australia for residential swimming pool fences? Do you need to install a swimming pool fence?

 

Having a secure swimming pool fence is the best way to reduce the risk of drowning or other water-related injuries. Young children under five years old are very vulnerable to serious injury around water, however, the drowning rate in Australia has actually decreased by 67% over the last 25 years. This is due, in part, to the stricter rules we have around things like swimming fences, as well as educating more people about the dangers.

 

Unlike your regular front yard or back yard fence, a swimming pool fence must adhere to a set of regulations set out by the Australian standards regulations. Although there are a few differences between states, they are pretty universal across the country. Making sure your fence is compliant with the rules is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe.

 

What are the common types of pool fences?

There are two popular pool fence types in Australia: tubular and glass. Tubular fences are made from aluminium or steel and are a number of tubular rods secured together by two horizontal rails to make a good-looking, secure fence. The metal used for tubular fencing is corrosion-resistant, so it’s safe to be splashed by both chlorinated and saltwater. Tubular fences can be powder coated to the colour of your choice.

 

The other popular type of pool fence is a glass one. Glass is undoubtedly a classy, sophisticated option that can make your entire yard space look larger. It’s made of ultra-tough security glass that will not break from the impact of a child running into it. Glass fences can be framed or frameless, in which case they are secured to the ground by metal spigots. Glass fences are a pricier option, in comparison to tubular fencing.

 

Both types of fences offer great vision accessibility, so you can easily observe younger children swimming.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Swimming Pool Fences in Australia 2022?

 

What are the rules for a pool fence?

Pools are a blessing in the summer. What better way to cool down, shield yourself from the sweltering sun, and have a blast? No one really likes to spend too much time thinking about all the rules that come with owning a pool, but they are there for a reason.

 

The Australian standard fence regulations may seem like many rules to follow, but most of them are fairly basic. Any pool fence sold to you should automatically comply with the below-listed regulations – especially if you are getting it installed by a professional.

 

This list is detailed but not exhaustive. It’s compulsory to get approval from a pool safety inspector before and after you construct your fence, so they will be able to add on any additional requirements your specific pool area needs. Your fence must:

  • From the finished ground level, have a minimum height of 1.2 metres;
  • Not have a gap from the finished ground level to the bottom of your fence that exceeds 100mm;
  • If your fence is less than 1.8 metres high, you cannot have any climbable objects within a metre of your pool. This includes things like outside tables and chairs, large pot plants and large children’s toys;
  • The gaps between the vertical rails cannot be wider than 100mm if there is a 900mm distance between the horizontal rails on the outside. If there isn’t, the gap between the vertical rails can’t be wider than 10mm. This is mainly referring to tubular pool fences;
  • A compliant CPR sign has to be either on the fence or next to it, where people entering the pool area can clearly see it; and
  • There should not be any windows or doors that open into the pool area. If there are windows, they must not open more than 100mm and need a security screen.

 

What about the pool gate?

The gate is perhaps even more critical than the fence. After all, it’s the pathway in and out of the pool area.

Your gate must:

  • Open inward into the pool area;
  • Be self-closing and self-latching/self-locking;
  • The latch on the gate has to be at least 1.5 metres above the finished ground level and 1.4 metres above the bottom of the fence. If you’re unable to build it that high, you must have the latch on the inside of the wall so that a person has to reach over the fence to open it;

If your pool gate hinges are thicker than 10mm, they are seen as a potential climbing opportunity. Because of that, any hinges under a metre must have a non-climbable safety cap on them.

 

What kind of pool requires a fence?

All types of pools! Yes, above-ground pools also require a fence that matches the Australian Standards. If your above-ground pool is a rental or temporary summer fixation, there are temporary pool fences you can utilise. Standard pool fencing regulations may also apply to spas and even potentially inflatable pools. You will need to get a pool fence if your spa/portable pool/inflatable pool can do any of the listed:

  • Has a water volume of over 2000 litres;
  • Has a filtration system; or
  • If the water can be filled to be deeper than 300mm.

 

What are the penalties if my fence does not meet the standards?

Firstly, remember that these rules are here to keep you and your family safe. Prevention of injury and drowning should be a greater incentive than dodging a bill.

However, you will receive an on-the-spot fine from your local government if your pool fence and pool area do not follow guidelines. Not registering your pool and having an unsafe fence may also lead to court action.

 

What if one side of my pool fence is a divider fence?

This is a common occurrence in many Australian households. It can be very cost-effective to save on building a whole new wall. You will be responsible for the cost of making your side of the fence compliant with Australian regulations – for example, lowering the gap at the bottom or raising the height. Both you and your neighbour will be responsible for maintaining the fence, although only you will be in trouble if the fence doesn’t meet safety compliance rules.

 

Other pool safety tips

Your pool fence is definitely the most crucial part of your pool safety plan. You can also take other minor actions to ensure that your pool area is safe for everyone enjoying it. These are:

  • Storing any pool chemicals in a locked cupboard or on a high shelf, where young children cannot access them
  • Keeping a first-aid kit somewhere easily accessible
  • Having one person in your household learn CPR, so they can administer it if the worst happens
  • Set rules about what is and isn’t allowed around the pool. Some good practices could be having no glasses by the pool, no running by the pool, and no pushing another person into the pool
  • Clearing away pool toys and other items when not in use, in case they pose a tripping hazard.

 

Final steps

Once your fence is installed, looking great and functioning well to serve its purpose, all you have to do is maintain it. Annual checks by a professional fence installer to ensure it is in good condition and continues to comply with Australian standards. Jim’s Fencing offers a pool fence inspection service, which includes a pool safety certificate for your fence. Phone 13 15 46 for more information about fencing Melbourne for your swimming

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