Swimming pools are dangerous. Drowning hazards pose a significant threat to pets and young children, which means that there are a range of safety regulations associated with swimming pools in Western Australia. The most notable of these surround the installation and maintenance of pool fencing which meets certain technical requirements.
Pool fence laws are very specific, and they outline what does and what doesn’t pass as an acceptable barrier. The good news is that your fence can be versatile – even things like glass pool fencing are acceptable under WA law.
Below is a brief outline of WA’s pool safety laws:
Pre-May 2016 & Post-May 2016 Pools:
The regulations are slightly different for pools built before and after May 2016. Before May 2016, your swimming pool barrier could include a door that was permanently fixed shut, and the rest of the barrier had to comply with the Australian Standard 1926.1-1993.
Post 2016 the laws were tightened to make swimming pool fences safer for children. Any pool built after 2016 must be enclosed by a barrier that meets the Australian Standards AS 1926.1-2007 and 1926.2-2012. One of the major changes under the new standards is that doors can no longer form part of the barrier surrounding a swimming pool.
The rest of this article will focus on the new post-May 2016 laws.
What Technical Requirements Does My New Pool Fence Have To Follow?
The technical requirements for WA pool fences are very strict, and must be followed closely. If they aren’t, you risk substantial penalties – including fines. Some of the technical requirements that you have to follow include:
Glass pool fences – All glass pool fences need to comply with the safety standards listed above. They also need to comply with the Australian Standard AS 1288-2006.
Height – All pool fences and other parts of the barrier surrounding a swimming pool needs to be at least 1200 mm above ground level. They must be as vertical as possible, and they must not lean towards the pool on an angle greater than 15°.
Horizontal members – Where applicable, the horizontal members on pool fences have very strict requirements to prevent people from climbing over the fence. The lowest member must be within 100 mm of the ground, while the distance between the highest lower and lowest upper horizontal members must be at least 900 mm. In the case of a glass fence, the bottom of the fence must be within 100 mm of ground level.
Vertical members – There should be no more than 100 mm between the vertical members of a pool fence. In the case of a glass or other solid fence, there should be no more than 100 mm between individual panels.
WA pool fencing laws are extremely strict. The above is by no means a complete outline of the relevant rules, which means you should always speak to the relevant pool fencing professionals before constructing your fence.