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Everything you need to know about pool fence regulations and how you can comply.

Your complete guide to pool fence regulations

The requirements for pool fencing has changed dramatically over the last few years in response to the increase in drownings. Knowing the pool fence regulations in your state before you start designing will not only improve safety but it will also create a more functional and visually appealing outdoor space.

Starting with the pool fence

Decided on putting a pool in your backyard? One of the first things homeowners tend to think about when visualising a pool is the size and the location. However, a swimming pool is never complete without a pool fence and while they’re sometimes deemed an eye saw, they are necessary to comply with current safety regulations.

Thinking about the pool fence and how it will fit in your outdoor space should be your first consideration. This way you can work out how to place the pool fencing so that it flows with the architecture and the garden without impeding on your space. Once you’ve decided on the best position for the pool fence, you can design the pool around it.

Pool fence regulations – the basics

pool fence regulations
Metal pool fence with Jericho limestone stairs by Growing Rooms

Pool fence regulations vary from state to state and are continually being updated to improve the safety around water. Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT all must adhere to the current Australian Standard AS1926-2012.

The Australian Standard AS1926.1 – 1993 is in place for pool owners in the Northern Territory. Queensland adheres to its own modified standard AS 1926-2007 along with the state standard QDC MP 3.4.

The basic criteria for swimming pool fencing regardless of the state include:

  • Pool fencing must be a minimum height of 1200mm.
  • The top of the fence must be a minimum of 900mm away from climbable objects including trees, pergolas, barbecues, toys, pot plants and furniture.
  • Any gaps in the fencing must be less than 100mm.
  • The pool fence must be constructed from durable materials.
  • Gates must be self-closing and swing away from the pool.
  • Gate latches must be mounted pool-side.

Where there is any doubt, your licenced builder or pool fence installer can confirm all the regulations in your state.

State regulation resources

pool fence regulations
Pool with Beauford Sandstone paving by KMD Landscapes

Each state has slightly different regulations, so it’s a good idea to review your state’s regulations before you start designing your new pool. Below is a list of resources, state by state, where you can read the latest information and requirements for pool owners.

New South Wales

Fair Trading NSW – click here.

Victoria

Victorian Building Authority

Queensland

Department of Housing and Public Works  – click here.

South Australia

SA.gov.au – click here.

Western Australia

Department of Commerce – click here.

Northern Territory

NT.gov.au – click here.

Remodelling a pool? View our top considerations here

General owner pool safety

While the current pool regulations are designed to prevent drownings by providing a safe environment for all swimmers, there are still risks around any body of water regardless of the pool fence. The following guidelines by SPASA are designed to help pool owners ensure there is safe use of their swimming pool and spa at all times.

  • Ensure your pool fencing is compliant with your state regulations.
  • Always remember, a pool fence isn’t a substitute for adult supervision.
  • Do not leave any child around water unsupervised regardless of their swimming ability.
  • Take your child to swimming lessons.
  • Consider taking a CPR course so you can assist in an emergency.
  • Display resuscitation instructions near your pool such as on your pool fence.
  • Place a ‘no diving’ sign if your pool is too shallow for diving.
  • Avoid leaving furniture and other climbable items near your pool.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol around water and while supervising children.