Pool fencing is extremely important as if built incorrectly could have major safety consequences and drownings could occur.
The common age for kids who have drowned is 1-5 years of age, so you can understand that at this age the kids still don’t understand the danger that surrounds swimming pools and pool safety.
This is why the Swimming pool act of NSW has introduced stringent rules along with the regulations and Australian standards to try maintain high pool safety and safe pool fencing.
To maintain Pool safety there are pool fencing regulations for swimming pool home owners need to maintain and ensure that pool compliance is achieved.
For information on Pool fence requirements, you can call us on 02 8329 7997 to discuss any concerns or any questions you may have. Alternatively, you can log on to the NSW pool register here: https://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/.
NSW Pool Register
The NSW Pool Register has lots of information and some check sheets you could use.
PLEASE don’t use these as Gospel as they are only a guide. There is a lot more involved that you can imagine and quite in-depth.
We have decided to write about a few important things that may help you understand what Australian Standard is suitable for your pool and how they effect your pool fencing, pool gates and pool fence requirements.
Let’s start with how to work out what year Australian standard 1926.1 should be used to check your swimming pool fence requirements against.
First question? When was the pool built? Not sure ring your local council to ask and if they don’t know it will be best to inspect against the latest Australian standards to be safe which is the 2012.
This is a guide to help you:
- Pools and Barriers completed before 1st September 2008: refer to AS1926-86 and the Pool regulations 1998.
- Pools and Barriers completed between 1/9/2008 and 30/4/2013: refer to AS1926.1-2007 and regulations 2018
- Pools and Barriers completed after 1st May 2013: refer to AS1926.1-2012 and regulations 2018.
That’s is a quick guide on how to select the suitable standard to check you pool fence requirements against. EASY Right! Ahahaha not really. Let’s spice things a little.
Clause 30 and 31 of the regulations have strict rules in regards to using older standards for pools.
First and foremost! An existing compliant pool can continue to comply with an earlier standard. Compliant is underlined because that is the important part. If the pool is not compliant to the older standard in any way, then it must update to the new 2012 Australian Standard and can not use a older Standard for reference.
If the swimming pool fence or barrier has been substantially altered, modified or rebuilt it can not use and earlier standard for compliance and must use the latest and current Australian Standard for Pool fence requirements.
In addition to the above requirements the owner of the pool must show the swimming pool was complaint with the earlier standard immediately before the repeal of that standard. If they can show an inspection certificate or some type of proof showing compliance before the repeal of the standard the swimming pool fence must comply with the latest Australian Standards.
As you can see there are many variables to consider and its not a simple answer.
There are also exemptions that need to be considered for pool fence requirements.
Section 8 exemption: This exemption allows a child resistant barrier not to separate the swimming pool from any residential building on the premises as long as the means to access to the swimming pool is accordance with the prescribed standard.
When can you use exemption 8? Only for pools constructed before August 1990 and existing swimming pools on small blocks less than 230m2.
Section 9 exemption: This exemption allows a child resistant barrier not to separate the swimming pool from any residential building on the premises.
When can you use exemption 9? Swimming pools on large properties 2 hectares or more and the pool installation commenced prior to July 2010
Section 10 exemption? This exemption allows any large body of water such as creek, river, canal, pond, lake, reservoir, the sea or any other body of water whether natural or artificial is not required to be surrounded by a child resistant barrier so long as the means to access to swimming pool from any residential pool is restricted as per the prescribed standards and regulations
When can you use exemption10? Swimming pools on waterfront properties installed or commenced before July 2010.
So that’s a little information on Pool fence regulations and Pool fence requirements.
Pool Safety Requirements
I will tell you a few requirements you can check for pool gate latch and pool gates yourself as this is extremely important as this is the easiest way for children to access swimming pools.
I will use the 2012 AS1926.1 Standards as this is the most regularly used standard and current version.
- Swimming pool gates must always open outwards, away from the pool!
- Gates to be located so they are clear of any building or door way.
- Minimum gap under the gate is 100mm from finished floor level.
- The gates must be self-closing from any position stand still.
- Check the gate when closed with force it does not release the latch or unhinge.
- The Pool gate latch must be self-latching when door is closed position.
- The Pool gate latch must not be able to be locked in the open position.
- The pool gate latch must be higher then 1500mm from finished floor level or higher then 1400mm from the highest lower horizontal member.
- Pool gate latching device below 1500mm or below 1400mm above the highest horizontal member requires latch to be on the inside, be in a position that the release requires to reach over or through a fence at a height not less than 1200mm above finished floor level or not less then 1000mm from the highest lower horizontal member, be at least 150mm below the top gate and latch shall be shielded @ radius of 450mm from operating parts.
I hope this information has given some insights on Pool fence regulations and provided information you could use to check your Pool fence requirements, Pool gates and Pool gate latch.