Swimming pools can be enjoyed by everyone in the family, especially kids. Swimming is not only for fun but it is also a nice way to bond with loved ones. Furthermore, a pool can set the scene for quality family time, as well as playtime with friends.
But there are possibilities of unintentional injuries around swimming pools. Incidents such as tripping, slipping or falling may happen sometimes.
There are many ways to stay safe around swimming pools. Teaching children water and pool safety from an early age and following pool regulation can help minimise pool accidents.
Here is a blog post about important things on pool fencing compliance regulations in Australia to clear your confusion.
Pool Compliance Laws
In NSW, there are more than 300,000 backyard swimming pools installed. However, there are also many cases of pool drownings, which makes it one of the leading causes of deaths of young children in NSW.
In NSW, private or backyard swimming pool safety is legislated by Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pools Regulation 2008.
This act was modified to help improve pool safety for young kids. It is important to maintain pool barriers, keep gates secure, adult supervision, teaching young children to swim and have proper resuscitation (CPR) training.
Self-assessing you pool is the first step have a safe and compliant pool. It is the responsibility of every pool owner and something to be done with intent and purpose.
Self-Assessment of Your Swimming Pool
You can self-access your pool by visiting NSW swimming pool register. Their website has self-assessment checklist for you to check.
To find the right self-assessment checklist you will need to know a few things about your pool such as:
- When was your swimming pool built or installed?
- If the pool fence was rebuilt, when did it occur?
- What type of pool do you have - indoor? Spa pool? Outdoor? Portable?
- If you have:
Ø a waterfront property,
Ø a small-sized property
Ø or a large property.
After assessing your pool, you should learn the different pool compliance standards in different states in Australia.
Regulations from different states of Australia
To avoid unnecessary penalties, you must know the pool fence requirements in your area. In Australia, there are different fencing regulations in different states. However, there are some of these rules that are common to all state. These are as follows:
- The height of the fence should be at least 1200mm.
- The maximum gap from the ground to the bottom of the barrier is 100mm.
- Pool gate should self-close from any position.
- The latching device height should be at least 1500mm off the ground.
- The pool gate should open outwards.
Apart from these main rules, here are the specific laws in different states of Australia:
- There should be a 900mm non-climbable zone outside the pool fence and at least 1200mm above the floor.
- The latching device should be at least 1500mm above the ground.
- Pool gates should automatically close.
If you live in strata or community schemes with more than 2 lots and a shared pool, the pool fencing regulation mentioned above does not apply to your pool.
- There should be one gap of at least 900mm between any horizontal rail on the outside, and the gaps in the vertical members should not exceed 100mm.
- Climbable objects (such as chairs, trees, bushes, ladders, etc.) should be at least 900mm away from the pool barrier on the outside. The verticals rails should be more than 10mm apart and 300mm on the inside.
- There should be a 900mm non-climbable zone that is located on the inside of the fence and should be measured from the top of the inside. This is applicable for fences with at least 1800mm high. Make sure that there is nothing underneath this zone that a child could jump onto.
- Latches on the gate must be at least 1500mm high from the ground level and 1400mm from the top part of the lower horizontal railings.
- The latches should also be 150mm below the top of the gate or the edge of any hand hole opening and, if necessary, covered with a 450mm radius shield with no openings greater than 10mm
- There should be at least 900mm gap between hinges in the pool gate that are thicker than 10mm. Lower hinges should have a non-climbable (sixty degrees) safety cap fixed to prevent climbing.
- There should be at least 1800 mm high on the side that faces the pool for any boundary fences used as part of the child-safety barrier.
- It should have a 900mm non-climbable zone at the top inside of the fence; a boundary barrier may be climbable on the neighbour's side.
- The latching device should be out of reach of small children and at least 1500mm above ground level.
- If a boundary fence is used, the boundary fencing section should be at least 1800mm high.
- No footholds more than 10mm on the fence.
- Distance between any panels should not be more than 100mm.
- Walls of a building can be considered as part of the safety barrier if any window that opens onto the pool area are fitted with child resistant metal screens or bars. It should be fixed to the building or the window and can only be opened to a maximum of 125mm.
- The space between the bottom of the fence and the ground should be less than 100mm.
- Latches should be more than 1500mm from the ground.
Once you identify the fencing law in your place, it will be very easy for you to obtain a pool compliance certificate. You just have to register your pool and have your local council or private certifier to inspect your pool.
Register Your Swimming Pool
You can go to NSW Swimming Pool Register website to register your pool. You will need to complete an online form, which will ask you information such as your name, address, contact details, type of pool you own and age of your pool. You will also have to attach the self-assessment of your pool.
After your pool has been registered to the swimming pool registry, you can have local council or a private certifier to inspect your swimming pool. Local council and private certifier have different inspection fees.
There will be penalties for the owners who don't register their swimming pools and those who don't have certificate of compliance or non-compliance.
Obtain a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate
Obtaining a pool compliance is easy as long as your pool follows the relevant pool fence standards in your state. You must install sturdy safety barrier that can withstand different conditions such as weather, pool chemicals, insects, etc.
The main purpose of a pool barrier is to limit child’s access to the your pool. Installing a pool fence also ensures that you are compliant with Australian Standard and avoid expensive penalties.
Having a swimming pool is a nice and fun way to have a get together with friends and family. However, you must keep in mind that there will be possibilities of accidents that might occur around your pool. Thus, the local pool safety and compliance regulations should be followed.
Having your pools inspected is also necessary. A reliable private certifier can help you with this. They can conduct a comprehensive pool inspection and provide repair services for your pool.