*Updated April 2020
Safe pool fence and barriers, the NCZ Non-Climbable Zone, gate locks and latches and the right CPR signage stand as the ultimate defences against children drownings in the pool. Armed with a tape measure, we all can join the fight for pool safety. And it starts with The Ultimate Guide To Pool Fences & Barriers.
All Australian swimming pools are required to follow pool safety compliance regulations according to their state or territory. Knowing the pool safety regulations maintains the safety of your family and community while avoiding any pesky financial penalties. In NSW, Pool Fence Requirements were last updated with the Swimming Pool Regulation 2018, and Swimming Pool Regulation 2008 prior to that.
What Is A Pool Fence & Barrier?
There are 2 types of pool fences:
Pool Fence Or Barrier
directly separates the residence from the pool and is a height minimum 1200mm.
Boundary Or Dividing Barrier
on a boundary line or dividing property fence which can frequently serve and act as part of the pool barrier. The boundary or dividing barrier is a height minimum of 1800mm, unless being assessed on the Swimming Pool Australian Standard 1986, with the height minimum 1200mm
Why Is The Pool Fence Or Barrier Important?
The top reasons pool safety inspections are non-compliant comes down to
- Pool gate locks and latches not self-closing or self-latching
- Objects within the NCZ non-climbable zone
- Pool fencing & barrier issues
- Incorrect CPR signage
We tackle the common problems found with pool fences and barriers with their pool safety solutions.
Timber Boundary Fence
Most wooden timber boundary fences have horizontal rails. The top reason being caught out for non-compliance is often due to the top and middle rails within 900mm from top rail of the barrier.
The NCZ non-climbable zone is measured in a 90 degree arc downwards from the top rail of the barrier.
That horizontal rail acts as a hand hold or ladder for anyone climbing the fence.
The Pool Safety Solution
Attach a 60 degree wooden fillet to the rail to eliminate the rail acting as both a hand or foot hold – as per the above image
Colour Bond or Lattice Boundary Fence
If colour bond or lattice style with extensions in place is used as the finishing material.
Gaps in lattice and edges of the extension are often more than 10mm – acting as a handhold within the 900mm NCZ non-climbable zone.
The Pool Safety Solution
Fix sheets of clear perspex or up to 10mm mouse mesh to cover the facia of the colour bond extension. This prevents the gaps in the lattice acting as hand or foot holds.
When The Fence Height Is Reduced By Items Within The NCZ Non-Climbable Zone
*Relevant to Swimming Pool Australian Standard 2012
Trees, vegetation and level objects can be found within 500mm of the boundary fence. This reduces the effective height of the fence to less than 1800mm.
The goal is to see the fence 1800mm high without any obstruction or way of accessing the pool area.
The Pool Safety Solutions
- Plan your landscaping so plants and trees aren’t in the NCZ non-climbable zone
- Remove trees, vegetation and level objects
- Reroute the fence around the trees, vegetation and level objects so they’re outside the NCZ non-climbable zone.
- Extend the fence so the trees are not compromising the NCZ non-climbable zone 900mm away from the top rail of the boundary barrier and 500mm away from the remainder of the boundary.
- Cover the obstruction such as pool filter boxes and pool filtration with an enclosure 1800mm from the ground.