Have you got a pool or spa?

Then under the Swimming Pools Act 1987 then you are required to have swimming pool fencing.

What are my responsibilities as a Pool Owner?

All pool owners must notify the local Council of the existence of a pool, and ensure all requirements in terms of fencing materials, height, structures, gates and surrounds are met. If not, a swimming pool may not be filled with water. Council encourages pool owners to regularly inspect swimming pools and surrounding areas to ensure compliance, and to promptly attend to any safety maintenance. If you are unsure, Truestyle are available to conduct pool inspections to make sure your pool or spa has the correct swimming pool fencing.

Swimming Pool Fencing Specifications From The Legislation

Materials

  • All materials and components of a fence must be durable, and should be erected so that a child may not climb over or crawl under the fence from the outside.
  • Except where the fence is horizontally close-boarded or made of perforated material such as netting or mesh, the spacing between vertical pales, panels or other posts must not exceed 100mm at any point.
  • All non-vertical supports, rails, rods, wires and bracing or other similar posts must be on the inside of the fence, so they are not able to be climbed up from the outside. Exceptions may occur when the distance between any two of the non-vertical supports is at least 900mm and when there is no other support of bracing between them.
  • All perforated material such as netting or mesh shall be firmly attached – top and bottom – to a rail, pipe or similarly firm frame so that the fence cannot be crossed by young children.

Height

  • Depending on the fencing method used, fences will be either 1.2 metres or 1.8 metres in height.
  • The top of a fence must be at least 1.2 metres above the ground on its outside.
  • It must also be at least 1.2 metres above any pool projection that is within 1.2 metres of the outside of the fence. Pool projections include any objects permanently placed on the ground within 1.2 metres of the fence, and trees. Such materials must be fixed at the top or bottom or be of such a nature that children under the age of six years cannot readily climb the fence (this includes projections on the neighbour’s side of a boundary fence that is used as part of the pool fencing).
  • The height of fences constructed of a perforated material such as netting or mesh is governed by the size of the openings in the mesh:
    • For fences 1.2 metres high (the minimum height of any pool fence) the openings in the netting or mesh must not exceed 10mm.
    • If you wish to use a wider mesh than 10mm it cannot have an opening any larger than 50mm (including diagonal measurements) and the fence must extend at least 1.8 metres above the ground or any permanent projection from, or object placed on, the ground outside within 1.2 metres of the fence.
  • Any gaps between the bottom of the fence or gate and ground level should not exceed 100mm.

Gates and DoorsSwimming pool fencing gates

For every gate or door;

  • They must not open inward towards the pool area.
  • They must be clear of any obstruction which could hold them open and that no other means of holding the gate or door open is provided.
  • Mounting should be so secure that even if the gate or door is lifted up or pulled down, its latching device cannot be released; it cannot come off its hinges; and it will not create a ground clearance greater than 100mm.
  • They must be fitted with automatic, child proof, and self-closing latching devices. The latching device should be mounted on the inside of the gate 1.2 metres above ground level or on the outside of the gate at 1.5 metres above ground level.

Doors Opening Directly onto a Pool Area

  • Where any building forms part of a fence (and the pool is not contained within the building) any door that provides access to the immediate pool area must be fitted with self-closing and latching devices. The latch must not be less than 1.5 metres above floor level and be such that it prevents the door from being readily opened by children under the age of six years.
  • For existing pools, where Council may deem it impossible or unreasonable to have compliant doors, Council may at its discretion permit current doors to be approved provided they are fitted with a locking device that prevents the door being readily opened by children under the age of six years.

 

Swimming Pool Fencing Checklist Pool Owner’s Checklist

  • Height of swimming pool fencing is not less than 1.2 metres
  • Maximum gap between fences / gates and ground is 100mm
  • Maximum gap between vertical cladding is 100mm
  • Spacing between horizontal rails is 900mm minimum
  • Mesh or netting gaps are no bigger than 10mm (1.2 metre fence) or 50mm (1.8 metre fence)
  • Gate opens outwards
  • Gate latches automatically and are self locking
  • No vegetable garden, clothesline, child’s sandpit, slide, swing or similar object in pool area, and no vehicle access, or pedestrian access from street through pool area
  • Pool projections are not climbable
  • Steps for above ground pools are removed when the pool is not in use
  • No objects, including those associated with a boundary fence, close to the pool fence or otherwise accessible that could assist young children climbing the fence
  • Ranch sliders, doors, and windows opening to immediate pool area have locking devices
  • Above ground pools have smooth vertical sides that are not less than 1.2 metres high
  • Steps are removable to semi-permanent structures (e.g. Para pools)
  • Backflow preventer fitted to water supply
  • Pool is registered with local Council

Style

The legislation for swimming pool fencing may sound a bit dry and boring, but it does leave you open to a huge range of styles, colours and materials to make your fence fit with the surroundings and your house.

If you need a swimming pool fence, please give us a call and we can provide a free no obligation quote.