Do I need to fence my pool?
Yes. The owner of a swimming pool must ensure it is at all times surrounded by a complying child-resistant pool safety barrier maintained in a good state of repair and an effective and safe child resistant barrier.
Prefabricated and inflatable pools capable of being filled with water to a depth 300mm or more also require child-resistant barriers to be installed.
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 AS1926.1-2012 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.
Pool fencing must comply with AS1926.1-2012. Some of the requirements are:
- A barrier/pool fence must be located between the pool and the house and be a minimum height 1200mm
- Fences must have a minimum height of 1800mm along a boundary. (An alternative boundary fence design is available under the Standard)
- Pool fences must have a minimum 900mm separation between the upper and lower horizontal members to maintain non-climbable zone
- non-climbable zone extending from the barrier 300mm into pool area and 900mm outside pool area
- maximum 100mm gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground
- maximum 100mm gap between vertical members, including any flex in material
Pool Gate Requirements
- Gates must be self-closing and self-latching and must be closed at all times
- They must open outwards from the pool area
- No double gates
- Latch release mechanism must be 1.5-metres above the ground except where a shield is used. The shield makes it necessary to reach over the gate to release the mechanism
- 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
What can be kept within the swimming pool enclosure?
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.
All pools require a Resuscitation Chart/Warning Notice to be prominently displayed in the immediate vicinity of the pool. It is recommended that signs more than three years old be replaced.
The Resuscitation sign must contain information required under the Regulation, and:
- must be legible from a distance of at least three metres
- must be maintained in a clearly legible condition.
Resuscitation/warning signs are available for purchase from The Royal Lifesaving Society.
Swimming pool checklist
Industry experience suggests that a significant number of swimming pools are found to be defective and require remedial works to be completed.
You are also strongly encouraged to undertake your own self-assessment via the NSW Government pool safety checklists.
- Check there are adequate pool safety barriers in place separating the pool from the residence, adjoining properties and the neighbourhood.
- Are these barriers compliant with current legislation?
- Ensure all of the pool safety barriers are maintained and operating eg check gates are self-closing and self-latching.
- Make sure pool gates are kept closed at all times.
- Make sure there are no objects or trees near the pool barrier that would allow a small child to climb.
- Check that you have a resuscitation chart visible in the pool area
- Make sure you’ve discussed with your family what to do in the event that you need to use it.
- Supervise children when using the swimming pool.
Swimming pool legislation
The relevant legislative documents for pool safety are:
- Swimming Pools Act 1992
- Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 No. 77
- Swimming Pools Regulations 2018
- Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012
- The Building Code of Australia