Pools are great fun for all the family but they can also be dangerous, with drowning being the most common cause of preventable death children under five in Victoria. Ensure that your kids and your neighbour’s kids are safe by complying with Victoria’s pool fencing regulations. Here’s what you need to know. For pool fencing regulations in other states, see our article Pool Fencing Regulations in Australia.
Updated Pool Fencing Regulations in Victoria
With the new Building Code of Australia 2010 coming into effect as of 1 May 2010, all new swimming pools in Victoria now require a four sided pool fence. That is, the pool MUST be fenced on all sides. This is required for all pools and spas that will have a depth of 300mm (30cm) when filled with water. You must ensure that you have a building permit before you start building your new pool and pool fence, and the pool fence must be erected within six months of starting work. If your new pool and pool fence cost more than $5,000, including labour and materials (and most do!), you will need to have a professional do all the work for you.
Of course, you must also maintain your existing pool fence. You must make sure that it is in good condition with no holes, gaps or damaged areas in the fence, and that the gate and gate latches operate properly. All pools, regardless of when they were built, must have a self closing and self latching gate that opens outwards. You cannot access an outdoor pool directly from your home, and any indoor pool must be fitted with self closing and self latching doors that open away from the pool. If you don’t comply with the regulations, the fines are hefty, with penalties of $5,000 or more.
General Pool Fencing Regulations
There are also some other pool fencing regulations that you should be careful to follow. Pool fences need to be at least 1200mm (1.2m) high or if the boundary fence is used, the boundary fencing section must be at least 1800mm (1.8m) high. Make sure that there are no footholds or indentations greater than 10mm (1cm) on your fencing that children can use to climb over the fence into the pool area. The fence itself should not be more than 100mm (10cm) above the ground and the distance between any palings or panels should not be more than 100mm (10cm). This means that kids cannot squeeze under or between the fence to gain access to the pool. You should also make sure that there are no trees, plants, furniture, barbecues, pool equipment or anything else that is climbable within 900mm (90cm) of the outside of your pool fence. This is called a non climbable zone (NCZ). This is because kids are naturally curious and can use these to climb into the pool area.
For more advice on Victorian pool fencing regulations, talk to your local pool fencing