Pool and Spa owners in Victoria are
required by law to comply with government
standards and regulations, including
the installation and maintainance
of pool fences, self-closing and self-latching
gates and other safety measures covering
the entire pool enclosure area
no matter when the swimming pool or
spa was built/installed.
is a Pool or Spa?
Swimming pool means
any excavation or structure containing
water and used primarily for swimming,
wading, paddling or the like, including
a bathing or wading pool, or spa.
The definition of a swimming pool
does not include a dam, or tank used
on properties, nor watercourses such
as streams or rivers nor ornamental
ponds or fountains. Paddling pools
and domestic spa baths emptied after
each use are also excluded.
I Need a Building Permit for a Swimming
Pool or Spa?
It is essential that all work done in a pool enclosure area is constructed properly. That is why, when putting in a pool, spa, safety fence or barrier, or renewing a safety fence, a Building Permit must be obtained. This Permit must include details of the type and location of the pool and its barriers, fences, gates, doors, windows, latches/catches, self-closing devices and permanent flyscreens.
A Building Permit is required for
a pool or spa exceeding 300mm in depth.
This also applies to above ground
pools and indoor pools. A pool safety
fence or barrier is required before
the swimming pool is filled with water.
If you own a property on which a swimming
pool or spa exists and it was built/installed
before 8th April 1991, it is a requirement
that a safety fence or barrier be
constructed to isolate the pool area.
Fencing for Swimming Pools and Spas
Under controls in
the Building Regulations 2006, it
is a requirement that all swimming
pools and spas have a pool safety
barrier to ensure pool safety. However,
there are different requirements as
to how the barrier is constructed
depending on when the pool was built.
ie. If your pool or spa was constructed
before 8th April 1991, or if your
pool or spa was constructed after
8th April 1991.
Specific Pool Safety fencing must
comply with Australian Standard AS
1926-1993, which requires a minimum
1.2 meter high fence; with gates that
open outwards, fitted with a self-closing
and self-latching device, with the
latch a minimum 1.5 meters above ground
level, and to which provides no footholds.
Your typical boundary fences can only
be used when a child cannot gain access
under, over or through the fence,
from the outside of the pool enclosure.
Non-manufactured and Standards approved
fences must be a minimum 1.5 metres
high. A Dwelling can be used as a
barrier, or part there of, however
all doors and windows leading into
the pool area must be child-resistant.
Note: sheds, garages, barbecues,
clothes lines and the like should
not be contained within the fenced
area, nor within 1.2 metres externally.
Trees, garages or the like should
not overhang the area or provide footholds
to facilitate climbing over the fence.
after 8 April 1991
Building Code of Australia
(BCA) requires that all pools constructed
after 8th April 1991 must comply with
or have barriers that are installed
to comply with Australian Standard
1926, Part 1 Fencing for Swimming
Pools and Spas.
Regulations provide a number of options
for the location of pool safety fencing.
One option consists of inclosing the
pool with safety fencing, completly
seperating the pool area from any
other part of the allotment and any
appurtenant buildings. Alternatively
the pool area can be protected with
complying barriers that may include:
- Boundary Fencing
- Exisitng Dwelling
these would need to be checked for
compliance with the BCA and AF 1926.1.
Safety Fencing must be located in
accordance with one of the options
- The effective height of fencing
must be not less than 1.2m