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Pool Safety Requirements

March 28, 2013

Pool Safety LawsAs a general guide, all pool fences need to comply with the following minimum requirements in order to meet the current pool safety laws.

WHEN IS A POOL FENCE REQUIRED - A pool or spa be it fixed or portable that is able to be filled with at least 300 millimetres deep of water, by law is required to be fenced. The exact definition of what is a pool that requires a pool fence can be determined by clicking on the link below & going to page 7 of 39 of the document.

http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/PoolSafetyInspectorGuideline.pdf

FENCE HEIGHT - The height of the fence must not be less than 1.2 metres high.

CLIMBABLE OBJECTS - There must not be any permanent or fixed climable objects within a distance of 900 millimetres or 90 centimetres from the pool fence. Examples of some common climbable objects are taps, bbq’s, gas bottles, hot water systems, window sills, pool pump enclosures & housing, planting pots, decorative ornaments, trees & adjoining fences & fence rails. Climbable objects should be removed or in some cases sheilded or the fence should be positioned at least 900 millimetres away from these objects.

GAPS & OPENINGS - Any gaps or openings in the fence must not be larger than 100 millimetres with the exception of the gap on the latch side of the gate which can not be wider than 10 millimetres. The latch side of any pool gate is the side on which the gate has its latch fixed to it.

POOL GATES - Pool gates must always open outwards from the pool. This is a logical requirement & an additional safety mechanism so that if a small child was to stand in front of the gate or place a chair or climable object in front of the gate & reach to open the latch, it would not be possible to lean forward or push the gate forward to open it. The gate would need to be pulled open & the would be restricted by the the child, the chair or the climable object in front of the gate.

Pool gates must be self closing & also self latching, meaning that whenever a pool gate is opened, the hinges must be able to immediately push the gate back to the closed position & the latch must then latch the gate automatically in the closed position.

RESUSCITATION SIGN - A complying CPR (Cardio Pulmanory Resuscitation) sign also reffered to as a resuscitation sign must be displayed near the pool area & clearly visible. There are several other rquirements that the sign must have in order to be complying. These requirements can be found by clicking on the following link.

http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing/PoolSafety/Pages/RequirementsCPRwarningSigns.aspx

CUSTOM PANELS - Each pool fence area is different & some may require more specific details & special panels to comply with the laws. particularly when a pool area has changes in floor levels, stairs & steps, planter boxes or raised garden beds. Thes panels are commonly reffered to custom panels or transition panels & can sometimes significantly add to the cost of the fence. It is important when planning & designing a pool area & the fencing to take these particular areas & requirements into account.

HANDRAILS – Pool owners should also be aware that if a pool fence is on a deck or raised platform which is 1 metre or more above the ground below, in other words there is a drop or someone might be able to fall 1 metre or more to the ground below should in the unlikely event a piece of glass breaks, ,then a handrail or barrier rail is required to prevent such a fall. This is a very specific requirement of the Building Code of Australia & must be complied with.

EARTH WIRING - Pool owners should also be aware that if a pool fence & its support structure is constructed less than 1250 millimetres or 125 centimetres from the pool water edge, then the fence &/or fence posts within that area need to be earth wired. This is a specific requirement of the electrical safety laws & in particular Wiring Rules Standard AS/NZ3000.  Earth wiring in simple terms means that all the electrical conductive parts (which are all the metal parts such as posts, spigots & handrails in the pool fence) are connected together by electrical wire to create an equipotential electrical bond which is then earthed to an earthing point. By earthing the pool fence to an earthing point it makes the pool fence the same potential (equipotential) or voltage as all the electrical conductive parts in, around & near the pool, including the steel reinforcing in the pool shell. This greatly reduces the risk of an electrical shock should there be an electrical fault.

POOL SAFETY CERTIFICATES - Every pool owner in QLD needs to obtain a pool safety certificate in order to comply with current pool fence laws. A pool safety certificate can only be issued by an independent accredited pool safety inspector. The inspector will only issue a pool safety certificate if the pool fence complies in every way with the current pool fence laws. The link below provides further detailed information as to what a pool safety inspection entails.

Link 1:   http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/PoolSafetyInspectorGuideline.pdf

All of the above requirements are the basic requirements listed in simple terms.

For further information & specific details, the following links would be of further assistance.

Link 2:   http://www.pool-safety-inspection.com/pdf/pool-safety-laws-overview.PDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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