Swimming pools in Australia are increasing in popularity, and with good reason. It goes without saying that having a pool at home entails numerous benefits that range from convenience, added physical activity and increased home value.
But, as valuable as it may be, swimming pools can also be a cause of accidents that most of the time, involve children. In fact, a 2017 statistics from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia recorded 291 drowning deaths in the country. Among the number, 29 are children under 4 years old – and the figure is persistently growing.
In the move to end the increasing number of such incidents, the government has implemented strict laws concerning the safety of swimming pools at home. It obliges any backyard swimming pool to be registered and compliant to the regulations regarding pool fencing.
As a property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your fence adheres with the policy. Although it may seem to require a lot of effort, educating yourself with the fencing requirements can go a long way towards reducing the risk of your children drowning. Surely, the pool fence you install today could save a life in the future. To guide you on the process, this article discusses the fencing requirements that you need to know for every pool type.
What is Considered a Swimming Pool?
The Swimming Pools Amendment Act of 2012 defines a swimming pool as an “excavation, structure or vessel” that can be filled with 300mm deep or more of water and that is used for any water activity. Thus, any pool that falls to any of this category needs to be registered.
How to Register Your Pool
Pool fence regulations slightly differ in each state and where you will register your pool. But, if you reside in NSW, you can list your pool online at the Swimming Pool Register. Here, you will need to provide your information – name, address, contact number, and the type and age of the pool.
There will also be a self-assessment checklist that should be filled in to assess whether your pool fence complies with the guidelines.
Fencing Requirements for Every Type of Pool
- Existing Pool
Definition: An outdoor pool that was installed or constructed before Feb. 1, 1991.
An existing pool can be exempted from the fencing requirements. However, if you willingly decide to fence the pool, then it will have to meet the present fencing regulations.
- Indoor Pool
Definition: A swimming pool that is completely enclosed by walls and can only be accessed by entering an establishment.
An indoor pool that is fully surrounded by the walls of a building is excused from the fencing requirements.
- Spa Pool
Definition: A small pool or tub that is used for soaking, massage or relaxation.
Unless your spa pool has a lockable lid, you’ll need to have a child-resistant barrier installed. The fence should meet the requirements of the Standard AS 1926-1 of the Building Code of Australia for pools.
- Portable Pool
Definition: A portable pool can take several forms including a canvas pool and hard plastic pools. It has depths that vary from at least 150mm to one metre or over.
A portable pool is generally required to be fenced with a child-resistant and council-compliant barrier. But, a pool that can only hold 2000L of water and is only 450mm deep is excused from this restriction.
- Inflatable Pool
Definition: A pool that is technically inflated with air.
Inflatable pools that can hold at least 30cm deep of water are required to be fenced like any regular pools.
How to Choose a Safe Pool Fence
The law also outlines the standard requirement for the pool fence. It details that a fence should:
- Be at least 1.2m high.
- Has no gaps of more than 10cm.
- Has no climbing footholds.
- Be rigid enough that no child can get through the bars or mesh.
- Be strong enough to resist heavy knocks.
Note: They also offer other tips such as don’t leave climbing objects such as chairs or structures near the pool fence as young kids can climb them and jump the pool fence, this is to be avoided.
For the safest possible fencing solution, it’s best to leave your fence to the professionals. House of Bamboo® has been providing compliant fences that helped many clients obtain pool fencing certification, trouble-free. Contact us today.
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George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. He works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney and a Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia the most varied collection of classic and new natural materials.
House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high quality natural materials that can be integrated into contemporary setting. Our range encompasses high quality bamboo floorings, bamboo ceilings, bamboo fencing and screenings, pool certification and more.