Temperatures have been climbing and that means many Aussies will be thinking of installing a pool in their backyard for summer.
All states of Australia have stringent laws when it comes to regulations on pool fence and gates, and for good reason – The Royal Lifesaving Drowning Report 2019 showed that pools accounted for 11 per cent of the 276 people who drowned in Australian waterways in the year 2018/19.
This number included 27 children aged between 0 and 14, and 16 of them drowned in a swimming pool.
Pool fences can never replace good supervision, but they can help keep the area around pools safe – for all ages.
While a good pool installer will be able to advise you of relevant laws when it comes to fencing, it’s important that you know the laws yourself, so you know when something isn’t right.
Pool Fencing During Construction
Fencing isn’t just a must when your nice new pool is complete and ready to go – you’ll need to make sure that your pool is fenced during construction as well.
Your pool company will likely ensure that the area is fenced off as required during construction, but it’s important for you to be informed on the requirements – just in case something goes wrong.
The pool fencing during construction and installation will be temporary – but why is it needed if there’s no water in the pool?
Temporary fencing is important to keep unauthorised persons out of the area while there’s construction going on in your backyard – it’s for the safety of your family, those that are installing the pool, visitors, and even your neighbours and their children.
Even during construction, water can puddle in the base of the hole that’s excavated for your pool, and it’s important to remember that children can drown in as little as six centimetres of water.
Similar to permanent pool fencing, temporary pool fencing must meet the regulations imposed by your state and your local council – it’s worth giving them a call if you have any queries or doubts about temporary fencing while your pool is being installed.
Temporary pool fencing is also different than regular temporary fencing – you can find out more at the TTFS website.
Australian Pool Standards
First introduced in 1993, Australian Standard AS 1926.1 laid down the rules around pool fence regulations. In 2012, the Standard was updated to change the definition of a “pool” – if the depth of the pool is 300mm or more, it must be fenced.
This includes everything from in-ground and above-ground pools to cheap inflatable pools – if it has 300mm or more, it must be fenced to the standard. (If you do have an inflatable pool, consider temporary fencing for when it’s in use – it’s cost-effective, simple to install and uninstall, and easy to store when not in use.)
A pool fence and gates must stop young children from accessing a pool, and must also be a permanent structure, be at least 1.2m tall from ground height, must not have gaps more than 100mm wide, and must have a ‘non-climbable zone’ of at least 900mm.
Gate latches must not be accessible by toddlers and small children and must close and bolt automatically, and the gate itself must open outwards.
A good pool or fencing company will ensure that your pool and its fence meet the Australian standard without you having to worry, so look for reputable businesses and ask around – you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars only to end up with a pool fence that doesn’t meet these vital regulations!
Differences Between States
It’s important to note that the Australian Standard 1926.1 applies to pool fences country-wide, but the laws and procedures that ensure every fence complies with this Standard is at the discretion of each state and territory – that means there are variances in the law depending on where you live.
This can range from who must inspect your pool and its fence and the relevant certification that comes with it; building permits; and even whether older pool fences must be updated to meet the current Standard.
Check out the below link for your state for more information:
- Pool Fence Regulations VIC
- Pool Fence Regulations NSW
- Pool Fence Regulations QLD
- Pool Fence Regulations WA
- Pool Fence Regulations SA
- Pool Fence Regulations ACT
- Pool Fence Regulations NT
- Pool Fence Regulations TAS
The bottom line is, if you are well-informed and aware of pool fencing requirements and choose reputable and trustworthy builders, you’ll be enjoying your new pool in no time – and you’ll be able to relax knowing that your family and loved ones are safe.
For all your temporary pool fencing needs look no further than TTFS – Australia’s specialist in manufacturing and supplying steel and plastic safety infrastructure products. Contact the TTFS team today by sending us an enquiry or ring us today on 1300 119 998.