In NSW, pool fencing and other approved 'child resistant' barriers must be installed to all swimming pools and spa pools, in accordance with the Swimming Pools Act 1992, the Swimming Pools Regulation 1998 and Australian Standards, AS 1926-1986.
These laws apply to all outdoor and indoor pools and penalties for failing to comply with these requirements incurs and infringement notice. Council officers can also issue a Notice to direct a person to comply with these requirements.
The legislation and full requirements are too detailed to be included, therefore pool owners are advised to refer to detailed legislation and Australian Standard for the complete requirements.
In summary, pool fencing and other approved barriers must comply with the following key requirements:
- Pools installed after 1 August 1990, must be surrounded by a pool fence which fully separates the pool from any residential building situated on the premises.
- Pools installed before 1 August 1990, must either be surrounded by a pool fence which to the pool area must be restricted at all times by fencing and child resistant barriers must be provided to all doors and windows which provide access to the pool are, in accordance with the Swimming Pools Regulation 1998.
- To be child resistant, doors must have latching devices located at least 1.5m above floor level and windows must be permanently fixed so as not to open more than 100mm or be provided with other approved barriers. There must also be no foot holds, which enable a child to reach the latching or locking device or climb through the windows.
- Pool fencing must be not less than 1.2m high measured from the outside.
- Pool gate/s must open outwards from the pool area and they must be self closing and self latching at all times.
- The vertical components in the fences must not be more than 100mm apart.
- The horizontal members in the fence must not be less than 900mm apart.
- The space below the fence must not be more than 100mm.
The latching device on the gate/s must not be less than 1.5m above ground level, or alternatively the latching device is to be located on the inside of the gate/fence and be shielded so it is only accessible by stretching over the gate/fence.