Talking Pool Fencing and Safety with SPASA
Last Updated Oct 29, 2013 · Written by Craig Gibson
Even though pool fencing is a legal requirement, the number of children who drown every year in backyards is disturbingly high. Besides ensuring the safety of your family, having a pool fence that complies with the relevant legislation also means you avoid being liable for a significant penalty fine. hipages caught up with Spiros Dassakis, CEO of the Swimming Pool & Spa Association (SPASA) of NSW, to get the lowdown on pool fencing and safety.
Is there a broad definition of what constitutes a swimming pool?
“A swimming pool is defined as a structure that is capable of being filled with 300mm of water or more and is used for swimming and other water activities. This includes concrete swimming pools, fibreglass swimming pools, inflatable swimming pools, temporary or wading pools, above ground pools and spas.”
Are pool fence regulations governed by Federal or state law?
“State law. Each state in Australia has its own laws regarding pool fencing.’
What aspects do they have in common?
“Australian Standard AS1926.1 with minor variations, especially regarding fence height, the size of vertical gaps, a Non Climbable Zone (NCZ), horizontal members and the gap at the bottom of the fence.”
What other regulations govern pool fencing?
“In addition to state-specific laws, all swimming pools must comply with Australian Standard AS 1926.1 Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools and Spas with Australian Standard AS 2610.1 Public Spas or Australian Standard AS 2610.2 Private Spas.”
How must pool gates comply?
“Australian Standard AS 1926.1 stipulates that gates shall be hung so that they ONLY swing outwards. i.e. away from the pool area. They must also be able to swing freely through its arc of operation, be fitted with a self closing device and be fitted with a latching device. A pool gate that is not self closing or does not have a latching device should be permanently secured until such time as the device/s can be installed. Self closing and latching devices can be purchased from most pool shops and hardware shops and are relatively easy to install.”
What are my obligations in terms of maintaining my pool fencing?
“Maintenance of a pool fence includes but is not limited to regularly checking:
- Gate operates as intended.
- Latching device as needed.
- Fencing panels for correct gaps, rust and wear and tear.
- All fence bolts are tight and in good order.
Pool owners should be encouraged to seek the advice and/or services of a licensed pool technician, builder or fencing contractor in this regard.”
Are there specific regulations for glass pool fences and gates?
“Glass fences and gates must still comply with all the above laws but the glass must also satisfy Australian Standard ASAS1288-2006.”
Must pool fence installers have specialised training or be accredited?
“Tradesmen who undertake work over $1,000 are required to be licensed. Homeowners should also ensure that their quotation or contract stipulates that the barrier/fence will be installed in accordance with Australian Standards.”