Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in Queensland for children under five, and compliant pool fencing, along with active supervision and learning to swim, can save lives. This is why pool safety laws were introduced.
 

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help ensure your pool fence complies with safety standards.

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Frequently asked questions

General

What are the minimum pool fencing requirements in Queensland?


The requirements are detailed in the Queensland Development Code. Minimum pool fence requirements include: (Check out our handy interactive drawing below)

  • 1200mm in height
  • for fences less than 1800mm high an area of 900mm on the outside of the fence that is free from climbable objects (called a non-climbable zone)
  • no gaps greater than 100mm below the barrier
  • no gaps of greater than 100mm between vertical components (i.e. posts and palings)
  • windows that open into the pool area must be protected by bars or metal screens if, the sill is located 900mm or less from the floor. Alternatively, a window may be permanently fixed so that it doesn’t open more than 100mm.
  • the gate must self-close and self-latch when released from any open position without the application of force and open away from the pool area
  • the gate latch must measure at least 1500mm from the finished and stable ground level and also be located 1400mm from the top of the lowest horizontal rail
  • a compliant CPR sign must be displayed either attached to the pool fence or displayed near the pool, so that the sign is easily visible to anyone near the pool
  • no direct access from a building into an outdoor pool area i.e. door from a building into the pool area




Do I need to register my pool or spa?


Yes, every private pool and spa in Queensland must be registered. You can easily check if the pool has been registered in the Pool Safety Register. If your pool isn’t registered, simplyenter the property details online. If you need assistance registering your pool, please call us anytime on 0477 044 017 and we will be more than happy to help you with it over the phone.




How do I know if my pool is compliant?


You can complete a free self-assessment using the QBCC’s simple checklist atqbcc.qld.gov.au/pool-checklist. There are lots of different check lists out there but this one is from the Qld Govt. and covers most things to check on your fence.




Do I need a pool safety certificate?


You only need to have your pool inspected and receive a pool safety certificate when selling or leasing your property. Keep in mind that if you’re not selling or leasing, you still need to make sure your pool is compliant with the current pool safety standard by 1 December 2015.




Who will be checking that a pool complies with Queensland’s pool safety standard?


Local government authorities have the power to conduct compliance checks and may penalise pool owners for failing to have a compliant pool. The QBCC will also be checking that pool owners have registered their pool and may issue fines for failure to do so.




If I rent a property with a pool, who is responsible for making sure the pool fence complies?


The pool owner is always responsible for ensuring that the pool complies with the pool safety standard and all barriers are kept in good condition. When a property is rented this is usually the property owner, however if the tenant purchases a pool they are responsible for compliance. Tenants are responsible for ensuring climbable objects are not placed against the fence. If it is a shared pool and the property is managed by a body corporate, the responsibility generally lies with the body corporate.





Maintenance

What should I do if my pool fence is damaged or needs repair?


If a small part of the safety barrier has fallen into a state of disrepair (for example, where palings, hinges or latches need to be replaced) the barrier may be repaired to meet pool safety standard.
We can help you here with either free advice over the phone, onsite consultation or we can take care of the repairs for you!




How far back do I trim climbable trees around the pool area?


900mm from the pool barrier. However, climbable branches may be permitted within 900mm from the top of the fence if a child cannot reasonably access them.




How do I report an unsafe pool?


If you are concerned about a pool, we recommend making a written complaint to your local council. If a local council receives a pool safety complaint notice, they are obliged under the Building Act 1975 to conduct an inspection.





Shared fencing and pool barriers

Can a door open onto the pool area if it is self-closing?


No, doors no longer meet the pool safety standard even if they are self-closing.




What do I do if I already have a door that enters the pool area?


There are several ways you can make your door compliant again so give us a call and we can give you ideas based on your circumstances.




Can there be a window or louvres between a building and a pool area?


Yes absolutely, as long as it is protected by a security screen or restricted to open less than 100mm.




Can I use my boundary fence as a pool fence?


Yes, the boundary fence is often used as a pool barrier in many residential backyards, however it must meet the pool safety standard.




My neighbour has a pool. Do I have any obligations because we share a fence?


Pool fencing is always the pool owner’s responsibility, so it is up to them to contact you if there are any concerns about compliance for example, trees on your side or climbable objects you have on your side of the fence.





Wading Pools

Do I need to register or fence my wading pool?


Yes, the laws do apply to wading or ‘blow-up’ pools if they can be filled with water to a depth of 300mm, can hold more than 2000litres of water and have a filtration system.





Laws

Do the pool safety laws apply to spas and portable pools?


Yes, the pool safety laws apply to pools and spas capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm. It is irrelevant that the pool or spa is permanent or temporary.




Who needs to comply with these laws?


If you own a pool or spa located at a home, short or long-term accommodation premise, you are responsible for ensuring it complies with the Queensland pool safety standard. This includes pools at houses, unit complexes, hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and caravan and holiday parks.




My pool fence is 20 years old. What has changed in terms of compliance?


There are only minor differences between the current pool fencing standard and those that have applied since 1991. A pool barrier that complied when it was built and has been kept in good condition will generally only need minor upgrades if any at all. These may include prohibiting direct access from a building into the pool area (doors/windows etc), installing a compliant CPR sign, shielding or moving climbable objects that are near the barrier, raising panels to increase the height of the pool fence to at least 1200mm, or reducing any gaps in or under the fence that are greater than 100mm.





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We Service All Cairns & Surrounding Suburbs 6 Days A Week

Pool Inspections in the entire Cairns region from Palm Cove to Gordonvale and all suburbs in between.

Tel: 0477 044 017

hello@tropicalpoolinspections.com.au

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