Swimming Pool Fencing
Pool fencing is designed to save children's lives by preventing their access to pools. However, it is alarming to see that the majority of children under five years of age who drown in swimming pools, do so as a result of fencing that is not compliant with the legislation.1-3 In other words, pool fencing that is not working or not being used as designed is contributing to the number of children drowning. A four sided fence, that does not include any part of the home, has proven to be the safest.4
You must, by law, have a four sided fence around ANY pool that can be filled with more than 300mm of water. This includes inflatable and portable swimming pools.
The maintenance of pool fencing is extremely important, even if you do not have young children living at your home. Children are most at risk of drowning within 6 months of moving into a new property with a swimming pool,5 or when visiting the home of a friend, family or neighbour with a pool.
Pool fencing is a legal requirement and significant penalties of up to $5,500 can be imposed if your swimming pool does not comply. Pool owners should regularly check their swimming pool throughout the year, especially in the months leading up to summer. To learn how to check the safety of your pool, watch our "Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids' video.
Please click here to view a report from The Children's Hospital at Westmead on the latest research and our recommendations concering swimming pool safety.
With the assistance from The Samuel Morris Foundation and The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW (SPASA NSW), The Children's Hospital at Westmead have developed the Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids video to educate pool owners about pool fencing and the common faults.
If you are not sure whether your swimming pool complies with the legislation, you should contact your local council to arrange an inspection or The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW (SPASA) for more information.
To find out what council area you are in, please visit The Division of Local Government.
Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids Checklist
Please find below the Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids checklist to inspect your swimming pool. This checklist is also available in booklet form and is available in 16 community languages.
A new portable pool safety poster and brochure is available for download in English and 16 community languages from the inflatable and portable pools section of the website.
Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids video
The material contained within the Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids video is current as at 24 November 2010.
After watching the pool barrier video, please fill out this online survey to help us evaluate the usefulness of the Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids video.
The individual chapters of the video can also be viewed on You Tube by clicking on the links below.
Chapter 1: Real life story
Chapter 2: Background Information
Chapter 3: Swimming Pool Laws – Your Circumstances
Chapter 4: Building a New Swimming Pool
Chapter 5: Pool Fence – Height
Chapter 6: Pool Fence - Non Climbable Zone
Chapter 7: Pool Fence - Vertical Gaps
Chapter 8: Pool Fence - Horizontal Climbable Bars
Chapter 9: Pool Fence - Gap at the Bottom of the Fence
Chapter 10: Pool Fence and Gate – Maintenance
Chapter 11: Pool – Gates, Self Closing and Latching Devices
Chapter 12: Pool Fence – Gate Latching Device Location
Chapter 13: Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Sign
Chapter 14: Boundary Fence Used as Part of the Pool Fence
Chapter 15: Child Resistant Windows
Chapter 16: Child Resistant Doors
Chapter 17: Above Ground Pools and Inflatable Pools
Chapter 18: Spa Pools
Chapter 19: Other Safety Issues to Consider
Chapter 20: Points to Remember
The Children's Hospital at Westmead would like to thank the ABC 7.30 Report for allowing us to reproduce an excerpt from their program. Special thanks to the employees and contractors of the Shell Clyde Refinery and Gore Bay Terminal (Parramatta/Greenwich) for funding the campaign. We would also like to thank PoolWerx, Bunning's and St John Ambulance for donating prizes to the campaign.
Please click here to view the disclaimer before viewing the video.
You can order hard copies of the following posters and flyers from Kids Health using the following order form
Inflatable and portable pool safety resources are also available for download at this link.
|Download Flyer PDF|
Pool Fencing Legislation
The legislation that applies to swimming pool barriers in NSW includes:
- The Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW)
- The Swimming Pools (Amendment) Act 2012 (NSW)
- The Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 (NSW)
- Australian Standards AS 1926- Swimming Pool Safety
- Australian Standards AS 1926.1- Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools
- Australian Standards AS 1926.2- Location of Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools
- Australian Standards AS 1926.3- Water Recirculation Systems
- Australian Standards AS 2610- Spa Pools
- Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 (NSW)
- Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 (NSW)
- Building Professionals Act 2005 (NSW)
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW)
- Building Code of Australia
Local councils will allow members of the public to attend any of their respective offices, libraries or outlets to look at (but not print or take any copy away of) the Standard during ordinary business hours.
1. Williamson A, Irvine P, Sadural S. Analysis of drownings involving children aged five years and under in NSW. Sydney: NSW Water Safety Taskforce; 2002.
2. Blum C, Shield J. Toddler drowning in domestic swimming pools. Inj Prev 2000;6 (4):288-90.
3. Bugeja L. Drowning of 0-5 year old children in private swimming pools & spas in Victoria: 1997-2001. Melbourne: State Coroner's Office and Department of Human Services; 2004.
4. Thompson DC, Rivara F. Pool fencing for preventing drowning in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001047. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001047.
5. Barker R, Heiring C, Spinks D, Pitt R. Domestic pool immersion in Queensland children under 5 years of age. QISU Injury Bulletin No. 104. Brisbane: QISU; Dec 2008.
Links to Further Information
Please see The Children's Hospital at Westmead safety fact sheets for more information.
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW (SPASA)
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW is a non-profit organisation dedicated to maintaining and improving standards within the industry for the betterment of consumers, pool builders and suppliers.
The Samuel Morris Foundation
The Samuel Morris Foundation, established in March 2007, is Australia's only charity supporting children disabled by near drowning (or other hypoxic brain injuries) and preventing future drowning deaths and disabilities through education and awareness
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) is a self-funded, charitable organisation committed to first aid. Whether it is training people in first aid or delivering first aid services at community and sporting events, we are passionate about saving lives. In Australia for more than 125 years, the St John of today is a modern organization where the practice of first aid by our 3,000 volunteers in NSW alone makes our courses and kits the most tested in the market.
The Division of Local Government
The Division of Local Government is responsible for administering the Swimming Pools Act 1992. They have a range of information available on their website, including a swimming pool laws brochure and home pool safety checklists in other languages.
NSW Fair Trading safeguards the rights of all consumers and advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. They provide information on what to know when building a new swimming pool, the dangers of skimmer boxes and inflatable swimming pool safety.
Farmsafe Australia is the association of national agencies that share a common interest in farm safety with state Farmsafe organisations. Farmsafe Australia is interested in protecting the health and safety of farmers, workers, family members and visitors to farms.
The Royal Life Saving Society NSW
Royal Life Saving Society - Australia works to prevent drowning and facilitate healthy, active lifestyles by equipping all Australians with water safety skills.