Most people associate pools with fun in the sun. In reality, pools can be quite dangerous if safety isn’t kept top of the list. The government decided to look into new safety regulations in order to curb the number of drowning accidents. The upshot is that your pool needs to be brought up to a compliant level for safety reasons.
What the New Pool Fence Safety Laws Say
The new laws apply to existing pools although any new pools built will also have to apply. Some general things apply to all pools:
If your property has a pool, whether you own it or are leasing it, you need a pool safety certificate. The certificate is valid for two years in the case of pools that are not shared and one year for pools that are.
Compliance standards need to be met before the deadline.
The laws also apply to commercial properties – thus every property with a pool.
Portable pools and spas that are deeper than 300mm need to have safety barriers.
All pools also need to be listed in the pool safety register.
The Pool Safety Inspection Checklist
Before you book your building inspections to get your pool safety certificate, you need to run quickly through the following checklist.
Your fence needs to be a minimum of 1.2 metres high, including a portion of at least 900mm that is not climbable. Gaps need to be less than 100mm.
These need to swing out from the pool area and need to be able to close and latch by themselves. The latches need to be a minimum of 1.5 metres off the ground.
Any dividing fences need to be a minimum of 1.8m high and not climbable on your side of the fence.
This is anything that is considered possible to climb – such as a toehold or ledge that is a minimum of 10mm. Anything climbable must be kept away from the outside of the fence – a minimum distance of 900mm from the outside is required by law and at least 300mm from the inside of the pool area.
You cannot have any doors from the house opening directly onto the pool area.
The sign must be clear to read and easy to view from the pool.
Make sure any windows that do open onto the pool area have security screens installed.