“Does my Above Ground Pool need a compliant fence and gate?
A. Yes. All swimming pools in Queensland are required to have a compliant barrier and gate to prevent access to the pool by young children.
“Can the sides of the pool be used as the barrier?”
A. For above-ground pools, the walls of the pool shall be considered an effective fence barrier provided they comply with all of the Qld. Pool Fencing requirements. The pool wall must be a minimum of 1200mm above ground level, and without any external bracing struts that would facilitate climbing. Compliant pool fencing with a compliant pool gate must still be placed around the ladder at the access point to an aboveground pool. It may also be necessary to fence pumps, filters and associated piping that is within the non- climbable zone (NCZ). All climbable objects close to the pool wall need to be positioned outside of the 1200mm additional clear area.
A. Yes. All Swimming Pools including portable pools and spas must comply with pool safety laws if. i) it can hold more than 300mm of water. ii) has a volume of more than 2,000L or has a filtration system. Click on the following link to register your pool or to check if your pool is already on the Qld. Pool Register
Here is a Quick Guide to the Qld Pool Fence Regulations.
- The minimum height from finished ground level to the top of the barrier is 1200mm.
- The maximum allowable gap from finished ground level to the bottom of any barrier is 100mm.
- There must be one gap of at least 900mm between any horizontal rails on the outside, and the gaps in the vertical members must not exceed 100mm.
- If there is no gap between horizontal rails of at least 900mm, then the horizontal rails must be on the inside and the gaps in the vertical rails must not exceed 10mm.
- For fences less than 1800mm high, climbable objects must be at least 900mm away from the pool barrier on the outside and, where the verticals are more than 10mm apart, 300mm on the inside.
- For fences at least 1800mm high, the 900mm non-climbable zone may be on the inside of the fence and must be measured from the top of the inside. This could be useful for a boundary fence, for example, where it is difficult to make the non climbable zone outside the fence. Make sure that there is nothing underneath this zone that a child could jump on to, which would reduce the effective height of the fence from the minimum 1800mm.
Always check that the barriers are in good condition with no broken elements that could allow access to the pool area.
- Pool gates must not open inwards to the pool area and must be self-closing and self-latching from all positions.
- Latches on the the gate must be at least 1500mm high from the ground level and 1400mm from the top part of the lower horizontal railings. If not, the latch must be located inside so that it is necessary to reach over or through the fencing at a height of not less than 1200mm above ground level or at least 1000mm above the top part of the lower horizontal railings. It must also be 150mm below the top of the gate or the edge of any hand hole opening and, if necessary, covered with a 450mm radius shield with no openings greater than 10mm
- Pool gate hinges thicker than 10mm must be at least 900mm apart or the lower hinge must have a non-climbable (sixty degree) safety cap fixed to prevent climbing.
Doors and Windows
- There can be no direct access through a door from the house or another building, to the pool area.
- Generally, any windows opening onto the pool area must not open more than 100mm or must have a security screen fitted
Disclosure –Note the above checklist is a general guide to some of the most common areas of non compliance we find as pool safety inspectors and should not be viewed as a full and comprehensive list of all the pool safety regulations.
“What is Classed as a Swimming Pool?”
The Building Act 1975 defines a swimming pool as an excavation or structure:
- Swimming Pools including portable pools and spas. Your portable pool or spa must comply with pool safety laws if it: *Can hold more than 300mm of water. *Has a volume of more than 2,000L. *Has a filtration system.
- Queensland’s Pool Safety laws don’t apply to portable pools and spas that meet all of the below criteria: *You can’t fill it with more than 300mm of water. *It has a maximum volume of 2,000L. *It has no filtration system.
- Qld Pool Safety laws also don’t apply to a: *Fish pond. *Ornamental pond, manufactured to be used for ornamental purposes. *Dam used for aquaculture, marine research or storage of water. *Watercourse. *Spa bath situated in a bathroom which is not continually filled with water. * Birthing pool used solely for water births. *Portable wading pool.
- A Portable Wading Pool is defined as: *Capable of being filled with water to a depth of less than 300 millimetres. *Having a volume of no more than 2,000 litres. *Having no filtration or pumping system.