All states in Australia have their distinct pool fencing regulations. In NSW, swimming pool laws are enforced by the government to ensure that kids have limited access to the pool at backyards of houses.
To make sure your swimming pools are compliant, you should understand pool compliance regulations NSW thoroughly. It prevents house owners from paying fines if the pool fence relevant legal requirements are met.
Pool safety law has been evolving over the years to improve the safety of children in the pool. Below are the Swimming Pools Act and Regulations in NSW.
Swimming Pools Act and Regulations
Swimming Pools Act (NSW) 1992
All pool owners should enclose their pools with a child-resistant barrier. This is to make sure that children are safe in the pool. Moreover, pools should be maintained in good condition at all times to enusre the effectiveness of the pool fence.
Swimming Pools Regulation 2008
The Swimming Pools Regulation gives you a clear and more detailed list of the pool fencing requirements. Both the Swimming Pool Act 1992 and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 apply to all swimming pools within a residential property, movable dwelling or hotel.
Over the past years, the regulations have been revised for pool safety compliance around swimming pools.
Swimming Pools Amendment Bill 2012
To further explain the pool compliance regulations, below are the basic requirements for pool fencing in NSW.
Basic pool fence requirements
All pool fences should be at least 1200mm (1.2m) high from ground level. If you have included some designs such as water features, stoneworks and other structures in your pool fence, make sure that it will meet the minimum height requirement.
If the pool fence is not 1200mm (1.2m) in some parts or sections, then you should seek assistance from your private certifier for immediate advice.
Gap at the bottom
Gaps from the bottom of the fence to the ground should be no more than 100mm (0.1m). Make sure that the gap from the bottom of the pool barrier to the ground is compliant all throughout the fence to avoid penalties during the inspection.
Boundary fence which is a minimum of 1800mm (1.8m) should have no handholds/footholds that will allow children to climb over the fence. This law only applies if the boundary fence is used as part of the pool barrier.
According to the Swimming Pool Act 1992, pool owners can choose where the pool barrier can be located. However, you should see to it that the barriers will separate the pool from any residential buildings within your property.
If your pool enclosure has vertical bars, then it should meet this requirement. Vertical gaps in the pool fence should not be larger than 100mm (0.1m).
There should also be no footholds within the vertical gaps. This is to prevent kids from climbing on the pool fence without supervision by an adult.
Horizontal climbable gaps in the pool barrier should be 900mm (0.9m) apart. It should also be within Non-Climbable Zone (NCZ) outside the pool fence.
However, if your safety fence does not have any horizontal gaps, then make sure that the pool barrier is Non-Climbable all around it.
Holes in the barrier (mesh fencing)
Some of you may be using mesh fencing instead of common steel pool fence. If mesh fencing is used, holes should not be more than 13mm (0.013m). Large mesh holes can make the pool fence climbable to kids.
Maintaining the pool fence
Pool barriers should be kept in good condition at all times. Pool gate, latching device, fencing panels and fence bolts should operate properly as intended. There should be no holes, broken rails, rust, or other damages.
You should regularly check that all locks and fittings are secure enough and in good order.
From the information given, completing a pool compliance inspection can be easy. Pool drownings and other accidents are preventable. Complying with these laws can also avoid you from the potential penalties in the future. You just have to carefully follow all the safety regulations.
If you found out that your pool fence is non-compliant with any of the guidelines above, then contact an pool compliance accredited certifier in Sydney immediately.
Aside from making sure that your pool fence is compliant, you should make sure that your pool gates and windows are also compliant with the pool safety regulations. Pool gates and windows have also basic requirements that you need to meet, which will be explained in this blog post.