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Fencing - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I get somebody to inspect my pool and tell me if the child-safety barriers comply?

Although not currently compulsory, SPASA SA highly recommends that your property should be inspected by experienced pool fence inspectors such as some council officers, building consultants and private certifiers. Please contact SPASA for more information.

Only council officers have legislative authority under the Development Act 1993 to enforce requirements for swimming pool safety. 

I am selling my house, do I need a certificate of compliance?

Technically no, however it is your responsibility as the owner, in making sure that current requirements for swimming pool safety are met.  Generally speaking, having proof in writing, such as a certificate of compliance would be advisable.  Such proof provides peace of mind for all parties concerned in the sale of a property.

I am only renting my house not selling?

Renting a house falls into the same category as a sale, and therefore must be compliant with laws and regulations just as if it was being sold. Please Contact SPASA SA if you are unsure.

What are suitable barriers for above-ground pools?

The sides of an above-ground pool can be accepted as being part of a pool safety barrier, provided they comply with the Australian Standard 1926.1, however a barrier must also be provided around the ladder (it’s not good enough to say the ladder will be removed when an adult is not present) as well as pipes, pumps or anything else that can be climbed on.

What if I just empty my pool or spa?

Even without water, a pool or a spa is still a pool or a spa.

Do I need to upgrade the pool recirculation system before selling my house?

No. The Development Act requires upgrading of the child-safety barriers before sale of properties - but doesn't require upgrading of pump safety. However, the Development Act does require that all of the existing swimming pool safety features (including pump safety) must be maintained in good order at all times.

Do I need to get council approval of any upgrading work on child-safety barriers?

Some work does require council approval, and you will need to check with your local council. Note: Schedule 3 of the Development Regulations provides an exemption for upgrading of older pool fences.

How much will it cost to upgrade?

The cost of upgrading child-safety barriers should be minimal - the owner of a pre-July 1993 swimming pool should already comply with the old requirements, so the safety barriers should already be established.What about my older pool?

Minister’s Specification SA 76D, Swimming Pool Safety – new prescribed requirements for upgrading prescribed swimming pools, as of November 2010 no longer allow house doors onto a pool area regardless of locks, latches and self-closers.

*The only exception is when the door is less than 1.8m from the pool edge and this only relates to pools approved prior to July 1993. Other than this, doors are strictly not allowed to form part of a pool barrier.

How can I make doors child-resistant?

The requirements for a child-resistant door are similar to the requirements for a gate (i.e. the door must automatically close and latch). The handle to unlatch and open the door needs to be 1.5 m above the floor. See note *

Can sliding doors be made child-resistant?

Yes they can but, the same requirements for child-resistant doors apply to sliding doors (i.e. the door must automatically close and latch). There are door closers available for sliding doors, which are normally fitted to the sliding security screen door. See note *

Can I use a roller door as part of a swimming pool safety barrier?

Only if it complies with the requirements of the Australian Standard 1926.1. The main requirements are the same as for gates and doors, i.e. the roller door must automatically close and latch each time after it is opened.

Are there any ways to make bi-fold doors child-resistant in accordance with the Standards?

Not that we know of. Where you have bi-fold doors, you will need to install a safety fence between the doors and the swimming pool.

What about French doors, can they be child resistant according to the standards?

Where you have bi-fold french doors, you will need to install a safety fence between the doors and the swimming pool. All doors and or gates need to swing away from the pool area. The same requirements for child resistant doors apply i.e. the doors must automatically close and latch. This is not easy to achieve, if at all with double French/ patio doors.

Can I use a child-resistant hard cover as the safety barrier instead of a fence for above-ground spas or pools?

No. The main reason for this is that there is no standard for covers on spas or pools. Also, any time the cover is off, there is no barrier.

Where can I find the appropriate standards for swimming pool safety?

The relevant Australian Standards are:

  • AS 1926 Swimming Pool safety
  • Part 1: Fencing for swimming pools
  • Part 2: Location of fencing for private swimming pools
  • Part 3: Water recirculation systems
  • These Australian Standards are available from the Australian Standards website.