Do you have safe swimming pool fencing? With summer on the way it’s every pool owner’s responsibility to make sure your pool is safe for children, whether your own, a visitors or a neighbours. Young children like to go exploring and you never know when one will end up in your backyard, and in the worst case scenario, your pool.
If you’re unclear about the rules around pool fencing and think you need to get yours checked, keep reading for more information.
Pool fencing regulations
Broadly speaking, there is a strict standard Australian Standard pool fencing law (Australian Standard, AS1926.1) to make sure pools are safe for young children. This specifies the requirements for the design, construction and performance of fencing for swimming pools, plus also their location.
It also requires pool owners to regularly perform fence maintenance and check the surrounding pool area to keep it safe at all times, e.g. trim trees or shrubs near the fencing, check for loose bars or panels periodically, check latches on gates.
Each state and territory has varying ways of enforcing this pool fencing standard and there may be exemptions. Local councils can also get involved and issue fines if they think that someone isn’t complying with the state laws.
The best way to make sure that your pool fence is compliant is to check what your state requires and then follow up with your local council to see if there are additional local requirements.
What defines a ‘safe’ swimming pool fence?
According to the Australian Standard, AS1926.1, a safe swimming pool fence is one that a young child can’t climb under, over, through or around. It should meet the following criteria:
- At least 1.2 metres high,
- Have no climbing footholds,
- Have no more than a 100mm gap at the bottom,
- Have narrow gaps that a toddler can’t squeeze through,
- Be strong enough that a child can’t create a gap,
- Be tough enough that it won’t be dislodged in wild weather.
What materials are compliant for swimming pool fencing?
A quality pool fence that meets your State and local law regulations for pool safety is a must, but you still want it to look attractive and adhere to your personal taste.
Safety Glass - the most popular choice for pool fencing in Australia, albeit the most expensive. People like the aesthetic benefits of glass as it allows a clear unobstructed view of the pool. In terms of safety it has no gaps to climb through and is difficult to climb over.
Mesh - easy to install and allows a clear view into the pool area. You can choose a colour that works with your backyard. Difficult for children to climb over.
Metal - usually stainless steel or aluminium tubing,
comes in lots of different styles and colours, affords a modern
appearance. Strong and durable. More affordable than glass. Check it has
been tested to ensure compliance.
Do I need a safety inspection?
Yes, most Australian States require your pool fence to be inspected for compliance every year or every few years. If you don’t arrange an inspection and you have incorrectly installed pool fencing you can incur hefty fines.
For people selling homes or units with pools you will need a Pool Safety Certificate at the time of settlement. As soon as a Contract of Sale is signed it’s a good idea to book an inspection so there are no hold ups for the sale process.
Need to make your pool fencing compliant? Head to Bricks+Agent and list your job to receive quotes from local fencing specialists. Remember, it’s a good idea to get quotes from three or four companies to compare what they offer. Once you’re ready to connect you can simply enlist the services of the company you choose.
If you need to have a pool installed or to find out whether your pool area is safe or not, you can use our platform to find a pool specialist in no time.