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Is Pool Fencing Necessary?

Is Pool Fencing Necessary? - Pool Fencing
September 20, 2019 Pool fencing

According to a report published by Royal Life Saving Australia, there were 291 cases of people drowning in Australia in 2017. Their report also shows that the number of drowning accidents have been increasing since 2015. To add to this, Kidsafe includes drowning as one of the causes of child injury. They also point out that this commonly happens in backyard swimming pools. These data all points to the same thing, drowning is a common accident but it can be prevented.

One of the best ways to avoid drowning, especially if you have a pool at home, is to make sure that you have pool fencing.

Is Pool Fencing Necessary? - Pool Fencing

All about the Australian pool fencing rules

Did you know that there is an association dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards when it comes to the swimming pool and spa industry in Australia? This association is aptly called the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia Ltd or SPASA Australia. One of the main missions of the association is to uphold the good standing of Australia globally when it comes to the swimming pool industry. This good standing includes pool safety.

Australia takes pool safety extremely seriously and created the Australian Standard AS1926.1 – Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools. Every pool owner must comply with this standard.

If you want to know more about this, below is an overview of the safety standard.

There are some exemptions to this standard allowed.

Specific to NSW, there are two cases where variations are allowed:

  • NSW spas are provided with an alternative to pool fencing and may have a lockable lid that is capable of being operated by one person and must be locked when the spa is not in use.
  • NSW does not permit any out-of-ground wall of a pool to be used as a pool barrier.

It is also good to note that there are exemptions that apply to certain types of properties with pools in several jurisdictions. These are the following:

  • NSW: historic exemptions for particularly small or large properties, and waterfront properties
  • The ACT: pools build before 1970
  • Northern Territory: pools built before 1 January 2003 and pools on small and large properties.

Furthermore, local councils actually have the power in NSW, QLD, and WA to give the go-ahead to alternative barriers provided that they are proven to deliver the same level of safety as an AS1926.1 barrier.

Is Pool Fencing Necessary? - Pool Fencing

Pool Fencing Rules: The Australian Standard AS1926.1 (2012 Version)

  • Height of the pool fence:According to the standard, a pool fence should not be less than 1.2m in height at any point. If the pool fence is not 1.2m, consider getting advice from a pool fence technician or contractor.
  • The non-climbable zone:
    • It is required by the Australian Standard that a pool fence must have a Non Climbable Zone or NCZ of 900mm outside of the pool fence. This standard also notes that this NCZ should be present all around the fence. To achieve the NCZ, a pool owner can:
      • Trim trees or shrubs that are near the pool fence.
      • Remove objects like pot plants, toys, barbecues, ladders and outdoor furniture. This way, the NCZ area will not be blocked.
    • For all barriers that are less than 1800mm in height, the following NCZs need to be present:
      • NCZ 1: 900mm vertical plane that’s located on the outside face of a barrier
      • NCZ 2: a quadrant on the outside of a barrier created by a 900 mm radius down from the top of NCZ 1 above
      • NCZ 3: another type of quadrant but this time, it is on the outside of a barrier. It is created by a 900mm radius up from the top of the barrier.
      • NCZ 4: this type of NCZ is required on all barriers that have 10-100mm (width) of vertical openings and is a 900mm high by 300mm deep rectangular space found on the inside of the barrier. This should also align with NCZ 1.
    • Boundary fence:When a boundary fence is used as part of a pool fence, the standard requires that the NCZ of 900mm be measured from inside of the (poolside) of the fence.
    • Pool fence bottom gap:A pool fence can only have a gap of up to 100mm at the bottom.
    • Horizontal climbable members:The standard requires that any horizontal members should not be within the 900mm NCZ on the outside of the pool fence. If the pool fence has horizontal parts, then it is essential that they not be climbable.
    • Pool gates:The Australian Standard requires that all pool gates only swing outwards. This means it should open away from the pool area. The standard also requires that the pool gate will be able to swing freely via its arc of operation. To add to this, all gates must have the following:
      • a self-closing device that can get it closed from any position without the use of manual force.
      • a latching device that will automatically operate on the closing of the gate. This also means that it can prevent the gate from being reopened without being manually released.

For a sturdy and standard-compliant pool fence, contact Uneek Security Doors.

Do not be part of the Australian statistics, make sure that you only get the best installers when it comes to your pool fence. Uneek Security Doors has been in the industry for over 20 years. We make sure that we are delivering satisfaction and security to all of our customers. If you’re interested in finding out more, just fill out the enquiry form. You may also email us at or call 02 4945 4460. We have qualified and licensed staff who can assist you today!

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