Pool Fences

Summer Pools are built in the cooler months.  Now that we’re in Autumn, it’s time to start planning that pool if you want to be swimming by the time the weather warms again.  Pool Fencing is one of the most important parts of a swimming pool.  A pool is never complete without a fence, so in order to avoid problems at the end, it’s important to think about your fence from the outset. 

Pool fencing regulations in NSW are strict. Without care they’ll disrupt your design intent or cause you to rethink planting palm trees poolside. But they’re there for a reason – to reduce the event of accidental drownings.

To have confidence your pool will meet the regulatory requirements, understanding the pool fencing regulations in New South Wales is crucial to your pool design project.

Cronulla Pools recently sat down with Mick Hornery from Building Certificates Australia to ask him to help simplify fencing regulations.

CP: We know pool fencing is an important element in the design process. When should clients start thinking about pool fencing?

Straight away. A pool is never complete without a pool fence. If you start thinking about it first you’ll avoid disrupting your design down the track. If you can build in a compliant pool fence, you’ll end up with a more functional and visually appealing space.

The pool fencing regulations are tricky and have changed dramatically over the past decade. We inspect non-compliant fences daily. Clients who have spent their time on the placement and design of their pool, and haven’t considered the pool fence.

Start the pool fence conversations early in the piece to avoid problems down the track.

CP: What’s your role in the pool building process and when should clients engage a Private Certifier?

It’s important to understand the role we play as Private Certifiers. We’re engaged to ensure that the proposed development meets the requirements of the development consent and the relevant legislation at all stages of the build.

If a pool is to be determined through the complying development process then we will be engaged to assess whether the application can be complying development and then to determine the application. It’s within this process that the location of a pool barrier is determined.   

Where the swimming pool must be determined as a development application, Council will be the determining authority. Once approved by Council, a construction certificate will be issued to carry out the works.

It is at this stage where compliance with the relevant conditions of consent is achieved and the location of the pool barrier further discussed. Throughout the construction of the pool, we conduct inspections confirm compliance with the consent and the relevant legislation.

CP: Ok so let’s get to the specifics. What do all pool owners and potential pool owners need to know about the NSW pool fence regulations? 

A thorough understanding of the Australian Standards for swimming pool safety (AS 1926.1—2012) would be awesome. But if they want a quick recap, then these points will definitely help them to comply;

  • Gates shall be installed so they swing outward (away from the pool area)
  • Fence latches shall be installed poolside.
  • Gates shall be self-closing from a stationary start without the application of manual force
  • Fencing within the property should be 1200mm or higher
  • Where there are gaps between a pool fence they shall not exceed 100mm
  • Retaining walls, objects or level changes that would otherwise affect the height of a barrier shall not be located within 500mm of the barrier
  • When a boundary fence is a pool fence its height shall not be less than 1800mm
  • Where a barrier with a height less than 1800 mm intersects with a barrier with a height not less than 1800 mm then the non-climbable zone shall extend 900 mm beyond that intersection.

CP: Why is it important to understand pool fence regulations before building your pool?

The regulations have changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Having a good understanding of the regulations will allow for a more functional and visually appealing space. And like I said before, a pool is never complete without a pool fence!

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