Who is responsible for pool fencing?
It is the responsibility, under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW), of the owner to ensure that a swimming pool is surrounded by a complying child resistant pool fence or safety barrier. These fences must be maintained in a good state of repair in order to act as an effective and safe child resistant barrier. If the child resistant barrier is not maintained to an appropriate standard, then the owner of the pool may be fined under the legislation.
I want to build a new pool, what do I need to do?
- All pools, including pre-fabricated self-installed pools, require approval prior to installation. An inspection and approval of the child-resistant barrier by Council or another approval authority is required prior to filling the pool with water.
- All pools must be separated from residential buildings and adjoining public or private properties by a complying child-resistant barrier (Must be in accordance with the Regulations and AS1926.1-2007 Swimming Pool Safety).
- Gates must be self-closing and self-latching and open outwards from the pool.
- No door access from a residential building into an outdoor pool is permitted.
- Walls of above-ground pools or self-installed prefabricated pools are not accepted as a child-resistant barrier.
Under the Swimming Pools Act, only structures associated with the pool can be located within the pool area. Structures such as clothes lines, barbeque, sheds, entertainment structure, outside toilets, etc, must all be located outside the child resistant barrier.
Is my gate up to standard?
In order for the gate of a pool fence surrounding a swimming pool to comply, it must meet the following:
- Entry gates into the pool area must be closed at all times and be self-closing and self-latching.
- Gates must never be propped open for access.
- All gates must open outwards from the pool area.
- Double gates are NOT permitted.
- Latch release mechanism must be 1.5 metres above the ground, except where a shield is used. If a shield is used the latch is positioned on the pool side near the top of the gate. The shield makes it necessary to reach over the gate to release the latch mechanism.
- The latch release must be positioned a minimum 1.5 metres above ground level & 1.4 metres from highest lower horizontal barrier member.
- Gate width is to be kept to a minimum (no more than 1 metre) to minimise the possibility of the weight of the gate causing the gate to drop with the self-latching mechanism failing.
Self Assessment Checklist
Is my pool fence up to standard?
All swimming pool fences must be built in accordance with AS1926.1-2007, and must be maintained at a level that complies with this standard for the life of the pool. Some general requirements are:
- Is your fence at least 1200mm at all points?
- Is there a gap of at least 900mm between the horizontal members of the fence?
- Is the gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground less than 100mm?
- Is the gap between vertical members of the fence less than 100mm?
- Is the first 300mm on the inside of the fence clear of any climbable objects?
- Is the first 900mm on the outside of the fence clear of any climbable objects?
- Is a boundary fence included as part of the barrier? If so is it at least 1800mm high?
As per Australian Standard 1926.1-2007, the following diagrams provide details on a variety of barrier situations such as retaining walls, cliff faces and balconies.
Does my pool require a CPR sign?
Yes, all pools in Australia require a resuscitation chart or warning notice to be displayed in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of the pool.
The following warning statements must be contained within the resuscitation sign:
- Young children should be supervised when using this swimming pool.
- Pool gates must be kept closed at all times.
- Keep articles, objects and structures at least 900 mm clear of the pool fence at all times.
The resuscitation sign must be:
- legible from a distance of at least three metres
- maintained in a clearly legible condition.
Any approved sign erected between 1 September 1995 and 31 August 2008 does not require replacement and may be retained. However, it is recommended that signs more than three years old be replaced, due to changes in best practice resuscitation techniques.
Where can I purchase a CPR chart from?
Resuscitation/warning signs are available for purchase from the council's Customer Service Centre on 9748 9999 or The Royal Lifesaving Society.