Pool fencing requirements you must comply with   

by Pool Builders on 11-16-2010 in Articles

If you own a pool or a spa then you're responsible for erecting a suitable barrier around your pool and poolside area. This is for the safety of yourself and your family. Regardless of whether or not you have small children who could wander into your pool area unaccompanied, you still need a barrier or fence to guard against accidents involving visitors to your house and even people who may be in your property without your permission, as you would still held accountable were something to happen to them. The positive thing about pool fences is that they require little upkeep: unlike a pool pump which requires your attention regularly, once you have your fence up in accordance with regulations, there's no need to worry about it.

The Barrier
The first thing to ensure is that your pool is surrounded entirely. A partial barrier won't do and it's unlikely that something like a hedge or existing garden wall is going to cut it. The Australian Standards for Swimming Pool Safety stipulate that the fence or barrier must be at least 1200mm high, basically tall enough to dissuade even the most tenacious of toddlers from climbing up and over into your pool. There must also be a clear span of 1200mm from the fence. This means there can't be anything that someone could use to leap over the fence within this span. Of course, even the highest wall can be breached if it's easy enough to climb, so any horizontal railings on your fence need to be a minimum of 900mm apart. Likewise, if they can't go over it they mustn't be able to go under it: the gap under your fence needs to be a minimum of 100mm.

Giving you such strict guidelines to work with isn't giving you many options when it comes to the look of your fence or how it blends in with your outdoor area. When choosing a fence for your pool it's important to think about how it's going to work in with your lifestyle. How will it impact your outdoor entertaining area or barbecue space, for instance? You may want to get creative with your fencing and there are many ways to achieve this. Steel fences are the obvious choice material-wise. Most pool fences are constructed of steel coated in weatherproof paint suited to the colour of your house. If you wish to preserve a particular view then a glass fence is perfectly within the legal requirements. Consider also the impact that your fence is going to have on the paving work around your pool, and where your pool filter is and how much room you need to perform maintenance on your pool.

The legal issues around pool fencing are strict and specific, but there are many ways to work with these laws. Make sure you know what you need to have in place, then work on what you want to have in place.

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