Under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) the owner of a swimming pool has the responsibility to ensure that the pool is at all times surrounded by a complying child-resistant pool fence or safety barrier. This legislation provides that owners may be fined if the pool fence or other appropriate child resistant barrier does not meet the legal requirements. Pool fences must be maintained in a good state of repair as an effective and safe barrier restricting access to the pool.
- All pools, including pre-fabricated self-installed pools, require approval prior to installation. Council or another approval authority is required to inspect and approve the child-resistant barrier system prior to filling the pool with water.
- Pools must be separated from residential buildings and adjoining public or private properties by child-resistant barriers in accordance with the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW), Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 and AS1926.1-2007 Swimming Pool Safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools.
- Gates must be self-closing and self-latching and open outwards from the pool.
- No door access from a residential building into an outdoor pool is permitted.
- Walls of above-ground pools or self-installed prefabricated pools are not accepted as a child-resistant barrier.
- Only structures associated with the pool (filter housing, etc.) are permitted within the enclosed pool area.
NSW Government SafeWaters has created a series of Home Swimming Pool Safety Checklists which can be obtained from the NSW Government SafeWaters website. The Home Swimming Pool Safety Checklists, developed by the NSW Water Safety Taskforce are designed to assist pool owners determine whether their pool fence or other barrier complies with the legislation.
Fencing and Gates
Legislative requirements for Child Resistant barriers around pools:
- Barrier Gates must be self-closing and self-latching and must be closed at all times.
- Gates must open outwards from the pool area.
- No double gates are permitted.
- Latch release mechanism must be 1.5 metres above the ground, except where a shield is used. If a shield is used the latch is positioned on the pool side near the top of the gate. The shield makes it necessary to reach over the gate to release the latch mechanism.
- The latch release must be positioned a minimum 1.5 metres above ground level & 1.4 metres from highest lower horizontal barrier member.
- Gate width is to be kept to a minimum (no more than 1 metre) to minimise the possibility of the weight of the gate causing the gate to drop with the self-latching mechanism failing.
Pool fencing must comply with AS1926.1-2007. The requirements in general are:
- Minimum height 1200mm.
- Minimum 900mm separation between the upper and lower horizontal members to maintain non-climbable zone.
- Maximum 100mm gap under the fence.
- Maximum 100mm gap in vertical members including any flex in material.
- Non-climbable zone extends from the barrier 300mm into pool area and 900mm outside pool area.
- Boundary fence to be 1800mm in height.
Resuscitation Warning Sign
All pools require a resuscitation chart or warning notice to be displayed in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of the pool.
The following warning statements must be contained within the resuscitation sign:
- Young children should be supervised when using this swimming pool.
- Pool gates must be kept closed at all times.
- Keep articles, objects and structures at least 900 mm clear of the pool fence at all times.
The resuscitation sign must be:
- legible from a distance of at least three metres
- maintained in a clearly legible condition.
Resuscitation/warning signs are available for purchase from the Council’s Customer Service Centre.
It is recommended that signs more than three years old be replaced, due to changes in best practice resuscitation techniques.
Spa pools are required to meet safety regulations including fencing or lockable covers.
Spa pools are also covered by the legislation and should be separated by a child-resistant pool safety barrier in accordance with Australian Standard AS1926.1-2007.
Alternatively, the spa pool must be covered and secured by a lockable child-safe structure (such as a door, lid, grille or mesh). Such lockable structure must be able to be removed/installed and locked by a single person.
Exemptions exist for some existing pools based on the age and location of the pool, however, Council recommends all pools be upgraded to comply with current requirements.
Pool Certificate of Compliance
For a fee, Council will undertake a swimming pool safety inspection and issue a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate. To arrange an inspection, complete an application form available on Council’s website or contact Council’s Development Services Branch on 9978 4000.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guideline
The Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 requires that the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guideline be available for viewing on Council’s website. A paper copy of the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guideline will be made available for public inspection on request at the Civic Centre.
- Paper copies of Building Code of Australia and AS 1926.1—2007 Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools will be made available for public inspection on request at the Civic Centre
More information regarding swimming pool safety is available at: