Make sure your pool or spa has safety barriers

With summer approaching, Brimbank residents are reminded to make sure their pools and spas have safety barriers in place, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of family and friends, especially of young children.

It is important that pool fences are maintained as specified in the Australian Standard.

It is a legal requirement that all swimming pools and spas capable of holding a depth of water more than 300mm must have barriers to prevent unsupervised children gaining access.

Compliant barriers around a pool or spa and constant supervision, especially with regards to children under the age of 5 years are two important safety measures that can help keep young children safe around pools and spas.

New swimming pools in Victoria require four-sided pool fencing as stated in the Building Code of Australia 2014 and the relevant Australian Standard (AS-1926, 2012).

You need to maintain gates and fences regularly

  • Ensure all gates providing access to a pool or a spa have self-closing and self-latching devices that work.
  • Ensure no tree branches, pool pumps, pot plants or other item which could be used to climb over the barrier are within a 900mm radius of the gate or fence.
  • Make sure any fences (especially boundary timber paling fences) are still in good repair and non-climbable.
  • Ensure all gates that provide access to the swimming pool or spa area are closed at all times, except when entering or leaving the area.

Safety barriers are NOT required for:

  • Structures not used principally for swimming, paddling or wading including bird baths, fish ponds, fountains, dams and water supply/storage tanks.
  • Swimming pools or spas not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300 mm.
  • Inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm.
  • Spas inside a building that are used for personal hygiene such as a spa bath in a bathroom.

Remember that:

  • Alterations and/or new barriers for a swimming pool or spa require a building permit.
  • Anyone who fails to comply with the legislative requirements may be liable to penalties exceeding $5,000.
  • Owners can request an inspection from Council building inspectors to ensure their pool or spa boundary fences are up to current standards and compliant (fees apply).

Contact Council’s Building Services & Planning Compliance department on 9249 4000 for more information.