Safety standards for swimming pools and spas
- You will need to install a compliant pool fence around any pool or spa capable of holding a depth of 300mm or more.
- A pool fence is compliant if it has been constructed and inspected in accordance with a building permit issued by a building surveyor registered with the Victorian Building Authority.
- If you own a pool or spa that can hold a depth of more than 300 millimetres, please note that legislation is likely to be passed later in 2019 that will mean you need to register it with Council and have its safety barrier inspected by a building/pool inspector every 3 years. You do not need to do anything yet. For more information: Proposed changes – Compulsory registration of pools and spas in Victoria
What are the requirements for pool fencing?
Pool fencing must designed in accordance with Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012 and AS1926.2-2007.
It is important that any work carried out on a pool fence is conducted in accordance with a building permit and is built to the Australian Standard, including:
- fence height to be at least 1.2 metres
- fence shall be located away from climbable objects (make note of NCZ)
- gates to be self-closing and self-latching
- latching device is to be located 1.5 metres above the finished external surface
- fence designed to ensure no direct entry from the house
- fence to be capable of withstanding reasonable force (250N).
Maintaining a non-climb zone
A non-climb zone (NCZ) is the area around a pool safety barrier and runs the full length of the barrier, including the gate. It is essential that you keep this zone free of any objects that allow young children to climb the barrier, such as plants, chairs or tables.
Horizontal components of a pool fence must not interfere with the NCZ. If there are horizontal components on your pool fence that may allow a child to climb the fence, they must be altered to be non-climbable to the satisfaction of the building surveyor responsible.
Boundary fences acting as a pool barrier
Your common boundary fence/s must be kept in good condition if used as a pool barrier, it is not the responsibility of the adjoining owner to maintain this condition.
If your boundary fence is used to form part of the pool barrier it cannot not be climbable within 900 millimetres of the top of the fence within the pool enclosure.
Doors from dwellings or houses are not considered to be an acceptable pool barrier if the pool is located outside.
The walls of some above-ground pools may be used as a compliant pool barrier as long as they comply with the NCZ. In most cases, a pool fence will be required around any filtration, pump and ladder to ensure compliance.
Gates and latches
- Gates must only swing away from the pool area and be freely self-closing without obstruction.
- The self-closing device of a pool fence must allow the gate to close from any position with a stationary start and without the use of manual force on the gate or latch - the opening of a closed gate shall not exceed 100mm at any point.
- When the gate is closed it is required to be able to withstand a force of 250N in all directions to ensure the gate does not release the latch, unhinge the gate or increase minimum openings.
- The latch is required to ensure the gate automatically operates on the closing of the gate and will prevent the gate from being re-opened without being manually released.
- The latching device can be positioned on the gate in various manners to ensure it is not accessible to children, the common method is 1.5 metres above the finished surface adjacent the outside of the gate.