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Pool Fence Laws

Safety always comes first, even more so when lives literally depend on it!

Pool Fencing Laws & Regulations in Australia

Australian authorities are doing their utmost to ensure our well-being, and that of our friends, family and loved ones in the spaces where we relax, have fun and enjoy the beautiful country that we call home.

While swimming pool owners would naturally cherish their own, maximum peace of mind, there still has to be pool fencing rules, laws and regulations to lock in pool safety compliance and due care all round.

In Australia, pool safety barrier regulations are largely governed by Standards. Currently, Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 – Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools, is the default reference benchmark for pool fence regulations. But, exceptions and variations may apply from state to state as far as pool barrier laws, licensing, compliance and registration requirements go.

Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 – Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools

Before we drill down to the letter of the law, please enjoy our introductory video below.

Key points of Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 - Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools

Definition: a pool is any body of water that has a depth of 300mm (30cm) or more. Whether it is in-ground, above ground or just a wading pool it requires a pool fence by law. For the purpose of our summary, the words pool fence and barrier have the same meaning.

Definition: a pool is any body of water that has a depth of 300mm (30cm) or more. Whether it is in-ground, above ground or just a wading pool it requires a pool fence by law. For the purpose of our summary, the words pool fence and barrier have the same meaning.

The pool safety fence/barrier
  • Must be a minimum height of 1200mm (1.2m). Measured from finished ground level, i.e. a stable surface such as settled/compacted ground, settled grass or lawn, fixed paving and/or solid floors.
  • No gaps larger than 100mm (10cm) are allowed under the pool fence, i.e. between the fence and settled ground.
  • Vertical gaps in the pool fence itself are only allowed if they are not wider (horizontal) than 100mm (10cm). For instance, where steel and aluminium fencing is installed, this relates to the vertical bars on the fence. And for glass fencing, it applies to the gaps between panels.
  • The safety barrier must incorporate a non-climbable zone -outside the pool area and directly next to the fence- of 900mm in an arc measured from the top of the fence.
  • There must not be any climbable objects directly next to the fence which any young child can use or move to gain access to the gate latch and/or access the pool. Examples are planter boxes, BBQ’s, potted plants, lightweight seating, ladders and so forth.
Pool gates and latches
  • Pool gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Must open/swing away from the pool and into the safe zone.
  • Must not be propped open under any circumstances and remain closed at all times.
  • For glass pool fencing, the latch must be located on the inside of the pool gate and down 285mm (28.5cm) from the top of the gate.
  • For non-glass fencing, the latch may be on either side -inside or outside- of the gate. If outside the gate, then the latch must be a minimum of 1500mm (1.5m) above the ground. If the latch is on the inside of the gate, then reach over to the inside of the gate and down to achieve the effective 1500mm (1.5m).
  • Pool gate latches must be a minimum of 1500mm (1.5m) above the ground.
Boundary fences that form part of the pool area
  • Boundary fences are the ones between your own property and the neighbour/property next door.
  • Must have a minimum height of 1800mm (1.8m).
  • Must have a no climb zone on the pool side of the fence, so that a child on the adjoining property could not climb down from the top of the fence and onto the pool area.
  • Horizontal fence rails are not permitted inside the pool area. For instance, common paling fences with horizontal rails, must not have horizontal rails fitted inside the pool area. Also, horizontal fence rails must be away from the pool area at least 1200mm (1.2m), measured from where the pool fence meets the boundary fence.

When in doubt, do not hesitate to ask!

Pool fencing laws, rules, regulations and pool safety requirements may be daunting -or even confusing- when you don’t deal with it often. And, especially when special pool safety considerations need attention, such as retaining walls, house windows, boundary fences, trees and shrubs. Always ask your swimming pool safety professional. The only way to ensure your swimming pool safety compliance is through sign-off by a registered building survey or pool safety professional.

References

Standards Australia – AS 1926.1-2012
Swimming Pool & Spa Association Australia (SPASA) – Australian Pool Fencing Rules – An Overview