Does Your Fence Comply with the New Safe Pool Fencing Legislation?
Over the past few years, Australia has introduced rigorous pool fence laws in all States and Territories to prevent the tragedy of children and toddlers drowning in our backyards. This means that all pool fence specifications are checked every 12 to 18 months to ensure they comply with the relevant State and Territory laws.
Here at Sentrel we ensure that our pool fencing will consistently meet the changing pool safety regulations and we are proud to have the only cable fencing system that complies to National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and Australian Standards.
So if you are looking to purchase pool fencing or already have pool fencing but you are not sure if it meets the new regulations - here’s an overview to help you navigate fence specifications for pools and spas that contain more than 300mm depth of water, across Australia.
All new pools must comply with these regulations and must be inspected prior to applying for a compliance certificate.
- The minimum pool fence height across Australia is 1200mm, measured from the ground with no more than a 100mm gap between the ground and the bottom of the fence.
- If a boundary fence is used as a pool barrier, then this must be at least 1800mm in height.
- If the fence has vertical members, then these cannot be more than 100mm apart, horizontal members no less than 900 mm apart.
- Vertical gaps must not be more than 10mm in size and any handholds or footholds no more than 10mm in size.
- Gates must open away from the pool, latches must be self closing and at least 1500mm above the ground.
If you already own a pool and want to ensure you have safe pool fencing you will have to abide by the pool fence laws for each state and territory.
In Western Australia, any pool or spa approved after 2001 must comply with the general regulations listed above but must not include a barrier such as a wall that contains a door, unless it is permanently sealed (locks are unaccepted). If your pool was built before 2001 the barrier is allowed to include a wall that contains a door, providing the door opens away from the pool and latches are self closing.
Queensland’s pool and spa safety regulations align with the general regulations listed above but include a few extra specifications. Climbable objects must be at least 900mm away from the pool fence on the outside and 300mm on the inside. Pool gate hinges must be 900mm apart or the lower hinge must be not climbable and have a safety cap.
A current CPR sign must be displayed on the fence, or near the pool at all times. If you don’t comply with pool safety standards in Queensland you will get fined $824.60 on the spot or $2356 for companies - so make sure your pool is registered and covers all the safety requirements.
For your pool to be compliant in New South Wales, ensure you follow the general regulations and the specific regulations for pools and spas built between 1990 - 2010. For pools built before 1990, access to the pool from the house must be restricted. Windows and doors may form part of the barrier providing the door opens away from the pool and the latches are self closing. For pools built after 1990 - 2010 the pool must be surrounded by a fence that separates the pool from the house. All pools built after 1 July 2010 a fence must separate the pool from the house.
Pool safety regulations in Victoria also follow the general pool regulations listed above. A distinct difference in Victoria’s pool and spa safety laws is that windows are permitted as part of the barrier. All windows can only open to a maximum of 100mm or the windows must be totally covered by bars or a mesh screen. The height from the sill of the lowest opening panel of a window (to the pool area) has to be 1800mm from the floor. And remember, it is against the law to prop the pool gate open!
In the Northern Territory pool safety regulations align with the general regulations but have specific regulations for pools built before 2003 and those built after. Pools built before 2003 can either comply with the Modified Australian Standards or the Community Safety Standard. The Community Safety Standard allows the pool owner to self declare that their pool is enclosed by a barrier that prevents young children under 5 years of age from accessing the pool unsupervised. So if your pool was built before 2003, you can apply for a compliance certificate without needing your pool to be inspected by a Pool Safety Advisor.
Pools built after 2003 must be certified by a Pool Safety Advisor to comply with the Modified Australian Standard. This set of regulations complies with the general regulations. Doors cannot be used as barriers. Where there is a balcony there must be a balustrade, and windows must have bars or mesh. It is important to consult the swimming pool authority to ensure you have met all the requirements for pool safety laws in the Northern Territory.
At Sentrel, all of the pool fence specifications for both our stainless steel vertical wire pool fences with timber/aluminium rails comply fully with all Australian Standards. This means that you can relax knowing your family is safe and your pool is compliant, while enjoying a beautifully designed fence built for a lifetime. For more information on how our pool fences comply with the safe pool fencing laws, call us on 1300 658 330, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online enquiry form.
Disclaimer: This article is informational only and is relevant as of 16 September, 2015. Sentrel takes no responsibility should these regulations change in the future.