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Comply with legal requirements for pool fences in New South Wales

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Get ready for summer with pool fences

It's not that long a wait to summer - is your pool safe ready?

There is a Building Code of Australia (BCA) that homeowners need to know about. If you have a pool at home, there are safety issues you need to comply with. The BCA has a set of performance requirements for swimming pool barriers.

There are two ways to meet the requirements.

  1. Performance solution - suitable for an individual situation. This offers a more flexible solution in achieving the outcomes and there is more flexibility in innovative design and use of technology.

  2. Deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) solution - there are a set of rules about how to do something. The BCA offers a set of solutions which tells you what materials, components, design factors and construction methods are required.

It's important for pool owners to be informed about what's needed, but bear in mind these are legal requirements, so it's a good idea to contact a licensed builder, pool technician or fencing contractor to take a look at your pool and see if it's in line with safety regulations.

Do you know the rules and regulations for a swimming pool?

You'll need a Pool Fence

In NSW, pool fences must:

  • Be at least 1.2m high (from finished ground level)

  • Not have a gap at the bottom bigger than 10cm (from finished ground level)

  • Have a barrier at least 1.8m high (e.g. a boundary fence)

  • Not have gaps of more than 10cm between vertical bars in the fence

  • Horizontal climbable bars must be spaced at least 90cm apart

  • Perforated or mesh barriers must have holes no larger than 13mm (for fence heights 1.2m)

  • Holes in perforated or mesh barriers must not exceed 100mm (for fence heights 1.8m)

  • Fences must be well-maintained and in good working order.

Child Safety is of Prime Importance

Children are the biggest users of the pool, so their safety is of prime importance. Even when there is fencing around the pool, children may still climb over them, so it is necessary to create a ‘non-climbable zone’ around your pool.

How do you create this zone?

To measure this zone, think of an arc shape from the top of the pool fence arching towards the ground.

Remove any trees, shrubs, barbecue pits, potted plants, large toys, ladders or furniture such as tables and chairs within 90cm of the non-climbable zone.

Take note that this includes the space extending 30cm inside the pool area. There should not be anything in this area that a child can use as a foothold or handhold. Also, any horizontal climbable bars on the pool fence must be spaced at least 90cm apart.

If your pool was installed a long time ago, it may have doors and windows built into the pool fence or barrier. Take note that this is no longer allowed. There are new requirements related to doors and windows, as we’ll see in the next section.

Door and Windows for Pools

Doors in pool barriers must be able to self close without manual force. Ensure it self-latches and requires manual release.

The latching device has to be at least 150cm off the ground.

Referring to what we were saying earlier about the non climbable zone, doors should have a non-climbable zone of 90cm that is at least 120cm above the floor.

Doors should not open towards the pool, and no pet doors are allowed.

For windows, you’ll need a locking device or security screen fixed to the building so that it cannot open more than 10cm.

There are similar rules for gates and latches. Pool gates must never be propped open. Always keep it shut. Gates should swing outwards (away from the pool area). It should shut automatically without manual force, and lock automatically when closed.

Material for pool installations

Acrylic is commonly used as a cheaper alternative to glass for pool fences. In fact, Acrylic is the most widely used material around swimming pools as fence guards. Acrylic is also used extensively in signage, shop fitting, displays and windows.

Benefits of Acrylic

Acrylic is 10 times stronger than glass, with an impact resistance 17 times that of glass. It is in fact more affordable than glass. It also has better clarity, transmitting 92% of light. There are many different Acrylics that are suitable alternatives to glass.

As a local plastic fabricating specialist in Port Macquarie, we have a wide range of materials that are full sheets or which can be cut to size such as acrylic, PVC, HDPE, PolyCarbonate, Corflute and other plastics. Every plastic has its unique characteristics and strengths. Knowing which material to use for each installation makes a big difference to the lifespan of the installation and ensuring a financially efficient investment.

Speak to us if you are not sure whether your pool fences, doors and windows require an overhaul or improvements.

Learn more about Abstract Plastics acrylic sheets:

Need a suitable material for your fences, doors or windows? Contact us.

Contact Abstract Plastics for acrylic perspex sheets
Abstract Plastics

t/ (02) 6584 8907

a/ Bay 2, 31 Jindalee Rd, Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia, 2444




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