If you have a pool, it must have a safety barrier. The barrier must be well maintained at all times.
Maintenance of pool fences and safety barriers is essential to stop children drowning or being seriously injured.
If your pool fence or barrier is damaged, you must repair it immediately.
From 30 November 2015, all pool fences and barriers must comply with current pool safety laws.
Why do barriers fail?
Pool fences and safety barriers commonly fail because:
- the gates are not self-closing and self-latching from all points
- the height of the pool safety barrier is less than 1200mm—ground levels and garden beds can rise over time, reducing the height of the pool barrier
- the adjoining boundary fences have climbable rails
- the windows opening into the pool area can be opened by more than 100mm
- there are climbable objects near the pool safety barrier.
Make your pool barrier compliant
There are some easy fixes to help ensure your pool safety barrier or fence complies:
- replace, tighten or adjust the hinges on your gates
- make sure the pool safety barrier height is at least 1200mm from bottom to top
- trim back any vegetation or branches that a child could use to climb over the pool safety barrier
- shield or remove climbable objects within 900mm of the pool safety barrier
- install fixed security screens on windows that open into the pool enclosure
- remove climbable objects from the pool safety barrier and surrounding areas.
Replacing damaged or missing parts of a fence or barrier
If part of a pool fence or barrier is damaged, or missing, you must replace it.
If a small part of the safety barrier is damaged (e.g. where palings, hinges or latches need to be replaced) the barrier may be repaired (to the same standard as the existing pool safety barrier)—unless you are selling or leasing the property (in this case, the barrier must comply with the current standard).
Some pool safety inspectors are licensed to perform minor repair work.
Building a new safety barrier
New safety barriers must comply with the current standard.
You do not need a building development approval where:
- the pool safety standard is the only assessable standard applicable to the work; and
- the fence is
- not higher than 2m above ground level
- if built on a retaining wall or other structure, is not higher than 2m above the wall or structure, and no part of the fence that is higher than 2m above ground level is within 1.5m of a boundary; and
- the pool barrier is inspected by a pool safety inspector for compliance with the pool safety standard.
The fence will also need to be inspected for compliance by a pool safety inspector or building certifier.
Owners of swimming pools
The pool owner is generally the owner of the land. If this is you, you must ensure that your pool safety barrier is compliant.
Tenants renting property with a swimming pool
If you’re renting a property, you must keep the pool gate closed, and make sure that there are no objects near the pool area that would allow children to access the pool.
If you’re renting and you buy a pool or spa, you must ensure that it has a compliant pool safety barrier (if needed by law).
View the rules for portable pools or spas.
For more information: