Swimming Pool Fencing – What You Need to Know!

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Swimming Pool Fencing

If you’re getting a swimming pool installed in your backyard, we’ll start this post by wishing you our heartiest congratulations! We hope you, your family, and your friends all make many memories and enjoy your brand new pool to the maximum. At the same time, we also want to remind you not to take pool safety too lightly, because after all, the safer you make your pool, the more peace of mind you’ll have.

One of the most talked-about pool safety aspects is that of pool fencing. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know regarding swimming pool fencing so that you become familiar with all the legal regulations involved, along with some tips to help you choose the fence that’s best suited to your pool. Let’s get started!

The importance of pool fencing

When you or other adults are around, ensuring your children’s safety and/or pets won’t be an issue. But what if your children are all alone at home and there’s no one to supervise them? In such a situation, not having a pool fence can be disastrous, particularly if your children don’t know how to swim. That’s why it’s essential to invest in quality pool fencing. Not only will it restrict access to the pool for your children and pets, but it’ll also act as a protective barrier that would stop them from slipping and falling.

The rules and regulations

Different Australian states and territories have varying fencing rules and regulations. However, across most states, the Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012 is followed, and swimming pool fences have to adhere to it. Not adhering to the legal standards can result in the local law enforcement authorities taking action against both homeowners and fence installers. According to AS1926.1-2012, swimming pool fencing should comply with the following:

  1. A fence should be at least 1.2 m high from the ground and boundary fences should be at least 1.8 m high.
  2. Support struts or vertical bars shouldn’t have gaps measuring more than 100 mm.
  3. The gap between the start of fencing and the ground can’t be more than 100 mm.
  4. Certain fencing designs feature holes, but those holes can’t be larger than 13 mm.
  5. Horizontal bars should be placed at a minimum distance of 900 mm from one another.
  6. Unintended holes in the fencing must be repaired.
  7. Gates have to be fitted with self-latching systems and unidirectional self-closing mechanisms.
  8. Latches must be at a height of 1.5 m from the ground.
  9. Gates must open away from swimming pools.
  10. Windows must not open more than 100 mm and should have secure locking mechanisms.
  11. There should be a well-marked ‘non-climbable zone’ to restrict humans and animals from climbing over the fencing easily. The zone should be arc-shaped and should at least cover 900 mm.
  12. A distance of 300 mm should be maintained between the pool and the fencing and warning signs should be posted.
  13. No items can be present in the defined ‘non-climbable zone’ that can be used to climb over the fence as footholds or handholds.

Once the fencing is installed according to the directives of the AS1926.1-2012, you can either hire a private certifier or ask an inspector of your local council to examine the pool and issue a certificate of compliance. If the inspector finds that certain guidelines haven’t been met, he will first advise you to ensure that the necessary changes are made, following which he will conduct his inspections again.

Apart from having the fencing installed correctly, you should also place CPR signage in an area where it is visible and most importantly, readable. It’s recommended to create the signage based on the DRSABCD system, which stands for:

  1. Danger
  2. Response
  3. Send for help
  4. Airway
  5. Breathing
  6. CPR
  7. Defibrillato

Fencing tips and tricks

Invest in a temporary fence

If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t want a permanent fence to affect how your pool looks, you can consider installing a temporary mesh fence. These fences are lightweight and when they’re not required, they can be removed easily. Mesh fencing is installed along the edge of the swimming pool, which means that they need less footage and hence, they’re more affordable.

However, it’s important to choose high-quality mesh fences and avoid the cheapest ones. The cheap ones tend to snap and break easily and if your children lean or fall into them, they may end up in the water. It’s recommended to look for mesh fences with high tensile strength.

Choose conventional fencing material wisely

Metal, wood, and vinyl are the three conventional construction materials for permanent fences but each has its pros and cons. Metal fences are easy to install and even though they may not look the most attractive initially, they can be decorated to maintain visual aesthetics. However, if metal fences are damaged, a large section may have to be replaced, which needs additional expenses.

Wooden fences add a touch of class and sophistication to swimming pools and you can choose from numerous styles and designs. However, you’d have to invest a considerable amount of money to maintain wooden fences. Suppose you’re looking for a low-maintenance solution that’s durable as well. In that case, you can consider vinyl, even though it’s more expensive and takes significantly more time than metal and wood fences to install.

Glass fencing

If money is no object for you, there’s no reason why you can’t have glass fencing for your pool. Some of the advantages of glass fencing include durability, beauty, and an overall luxurious look and feel.

However, if glass fences are damaged, you’ll have to shell out a lot of money to get them repaired and there’s a lot of investment required when it comes to maintenance as well.

So, that’s about it for this post! We’ve covered every aspect of swimming pool fencing that applies to Australia in general. For more detailed information regarding rules and regulations in your area, you should contact your local council representatives or visit the local council website for relevant information. Here’s hoping that you do all that needs to be done to make your swimming pool a safe space not just for your family and friends, but for yourself as well. For more Pool Accessories visit our friends over at Barrier Reef Pools Perth for more information on fencing options and other devices.

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