If you have tried to sell our lease your house after April, 2016, you may have been one of the many who were surprised to find out that your pool fence is not compliant and that you would need to address this before you are allowed to pass on occupancy.
Although the swimming pools act has been around since 1992, since April in 2016 councils across NSW have been clamping down on homeowners who are looking to sell or lease their house and whose pool fences do not meet these requirements. You can find out more about the swimming pools act here
If you have been told that your fence is not compliant, we have created a good guide to help you become better informed when contacting an installer to make these changes.
To make sure your pool fence is compliant you have to ensure that the following requirements are met:
- All gaps between the fence panels and the ground, or other panels needs to be less than 100mm.
Note: a different rule applies to the gate panel, which is covered in the next section.
- Any surface protruding or indenting in the fence with a depth of greater than 10mm will need to be 900mm apart from each other, and be at least 900mm away from the top of the pool fence and the ground level.
- A 900mm clearance zone arc on the outside of the pool fence area needs to be cleared of steps. If any steps are present in this area, the pool fence will need to be raised by 1200mm.
- If the step is on the inside of the pool area, a 300mm clearance zone applies.
The gate on your pool fence has to adhere to several regulation requirements to ensure that it is compliant. These include:
- The gate needs to be fitted so that it only swings outward from the pool, and there has to be enough clearance so that the swing of the arc of the gate can open freely without any obstructions.
- The opening underneath the pool gate (and any other panel on the pool fence) can not exceed 100mm
- The gate also needs to be self-closing, so that it can be closed from a stationary position without any manual force.
- The latch on the gate needs to automatically lock upon closing to stop the gate from being re-opened without manually being released.
- The gap between the gate panel and the latching panel needs to be • If the latch is located less than 1500mm from the ground level, it will have to be located on the interior side of the gate panel (toward the pool) in such a way that there is 1500mm distance from the ground level outside the fence, to the latch on the inside.
- Do your hinges protrude more than 10mm from the pool fence? If so, they are considered to be a step and will need to have a pointed cap with a slope of 60 degrees or more to become compliant.
The guide above covers most of the important items that you need to be informed about when consulting with an installer about making your pool fence compliant, or when trying to DIY. Although every effort has been made to keep this guide as thorough and up to date as possible, there may be certain aspects that need to be addressed on your pool fence that is not covered above, and as such this should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about the swimming pools regulations act, you can visit any of the resources mentioned in the references section below.
Standards Australia 2012, Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools, AS 1926.1-2012. Available from: Australian Standards.
“NSW Legislation”. Legislation.nsw.gov.au. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 Sept. 2016.