For those immigrating to Australia from countries where the climate is less friendly, an outdoor swimming pool is undoubtedly a feature that holds great appeal when house-hunting. If you're new to Oz, you might not know that there are legal requirements concerning residential garden swimming pools, specifically the fencing of them.
But why do you have to have your pool fenced? And what are these legal requirements? Read on to find out more:
The purpose of swimming pool fencing
Water holds a fascination for small children, particularly when the weather is hot and sunny. It's extremely easy for a little child to fall into a pool, especially an infinity design where the edge is not clearly defined, and drowning accidents are tragically not uncommon. Swimming pool fencing is designed as a health and safety feature specifically to prevent small children (under five years of age) from accessing the pool unsupervised.
Pool fencing is manufactured to very strict safety standards as it must be durable, sturdy and not easily climbable. Swimming pool fencing in most countries, including Australia is designed, manufactured and installed according to International Code Councils (ICC) guidelines.
Legal requirements for pool fencing
Regardless of whether your swimming pool fencing is made of glass or metal, it must comply with the Australian Standard for Swimming Pool Fencing (AS1936). This applies to privately-owned residential properties and home rentals right across the country. The key points of the Standard to note are:
- Pool fencing height must be at least 1200mm from ground level, higher for infinity and drop edge pools
- There must be a gap of 100mm or less between the fencing panels or at the bottom
- Gates must swing away from the pool
- Gates must have child safety latches secured to the side furthest from the pool and must be self-closing
- No climbable objects must be sited within one metre of the pool fence
- The fence must be four-sided, not including a building as one side
- The pool fence must be designed such that a child cannot easily climb over it, or crawl through or under it.
Your swimming pool should be inspected by your local council and a compliance certificate issued. If you live in Queensland, this is enforceable by law and you have until the end of November 2015 to comply. Pools must be inspected every two years and a new certificate issued.
The laws surrounding pool fencing are somewhat fluid and are subject to ongoing change and updating. Contact your local fencing contractor or local council for further information and advice to make sure your swimming pool fencing is up to standard. For more answers, try speaking with professionals at a company such as Mermaid Fencing to learn more.