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According to the 2017 Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) Drowning Report, 291 drowning deaths occurred from 2016-17. Of the 44 drownings in swimming pools, this accounted for half of all drownings for children aged 0-4.
Providing a safe environment for pets, children and other vulnerable people is vital to preventing drowning in residential swimming pools. For homeowners and builders, there are council requirements for pool fencing that apply to each state, territory and city council.
Let’s take a general overview of the basic rules and guidelines that apply to most regions across Australia.
Keep in mind this information should only be intended as a guide. Please refer to your local council for more information about rules that are specific to your area.
Having the right measurements for your fence will prevent pets and children from squeezing underneath or between the gaps or climbing over it.
In Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Sydney, the following guidelines must be met:
Depending on where you install, there may be nearby objects that could be used to climb over the fence such as tree branches, barbecues, pot plants, rocks and furniture.
To prevent this from happening, the council requirements for pool fencing states a ‘non-climbable zone’ must be established around the installation. This zone is measured in an arc form that extends from the top level down to the ground.
Your licensed fencing installer will provide this service for you to help establish a safe and compliant zone.
A gate that doesn’t close on its own increases the risk of unwanted access, personal injury and drowning.
To ensure your pool fencing gate is safe, reliable and compliant, you must follow these guidelines: