NSW swimming pool fencing requirements

In NSW there are over 300,000 backyard swimming pools and accidental drowning is a leading cause of death and serious injury for children under the age of five.  NSW legislation in regard to swimming pool safety has been introduced in an effort to reduce the number of deaths and serious injury sustained by young children in backyard pools.

To optimise the safety of backyard pools ensure that you:

Pool Barrier

Install and maintain a compliant swimming pool barrier

Pool Supervision

Supervision of children in or around water.  Although a well maintained and compliant pool barrier is key element to prevent the drowning of young children, a pool barrier is not infallible.  The most effective home pool safety measure is adult supervision.

Learning to Swim

Teaching children to swim at a young age is essential for child safety and to ensure their fun & enjoyment of water activities. Contact AlburyCity’s Aquatic Management for information on swimming lessons at the Albury or Lavington Swim Centres visit the Albury Aquatic Management website.

Swimming lessons may also be organised through NSW Sport and Recreation website.

Resuscitation Chart & CPR

Pools must have a Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Chart (CPR) in a prominent location in the immediate vicinity of the pool (facing the pool and not within any landscaped area). The notice must be legible from 3 metres away and well maintained.

CPR charts can be purchased from AlburyCity's Customer Service Centre, pool supply outlets, the Royal Life Saving Society, St John’s Ambulance or the Australian Red Cross.

Pool owner and parents of young children, should have the skills to respond in an emergency.  To competently know how to administer resuscitation and CPR could save a loved one’s life.

Electrical Hazards

Electricity around water can be fatal.  If you have an inflatable/portable swimming pool with an electric pump and filtration system with no protective housing take extreme care in its use.

Tips to increase electrical safety around swimming pools:

  • Ensure the pump and filter meet Australian electrical safety standards
  • Are suitable for outdoor use
  • Install earth leakage safety in your home
  • Install weather proof power outlets near the pool
  • Do not use extension cords

Child Resistant Barriers (Fencing, Gates, Non Climbable Zone & Boundary Fences)

In NSW pool safety barriers, such as fencing and gates, must be installed, operated and maintained to Australian Standard AS1926.1.It is the pool owner’s responsibility to ensure their pool complies with the standards.

Owners must also ensure that any gates or doors providing access to the pool area are kept closed at all times.

Pool Fencing

Requirements for swimming pool safety barrier include but are not limited to the following:

  • Must be 1.2 meters above the finished ground level with the height measured on the outside of the pool area
  • Gap at the bottom of the pool fence must not be greater than 100mm
  • Must not have openings between vertical bars greater than 100mm
  • Horizontal bars must be at least 900mm apart from each other so as to prevent climbing
  • Where a boundary fence is used as part of a pool barrier it needs to be a minimum 1800mm with the height measured from inside the pool area

Pool Gates

  • Gates must be self-closing and self-latching and remain closed at all times
  • Gates are to open outwards from the pool area
  • The pool latch release needs to be positioned a minimum of 1.5 meters above ground level
  • Where the latch release is less than 1.5 meters above ground level, a shield is to be used with the latch positioned on the pool side a minimum 150mm from the top of the gate. The shield makes it necessary to reach over the gate to reach the latch release mechanism (this type of latch release is typically used for glass panelled pool barriers).
  • Gate width is to be kept to a minimum (no more than 1 meter). The wider the gate the more weight that is applied which can result in failure of the latching mechanism.
  • Ensure you are supplied with the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions for your gate and the gate is marked with their registered trade mark.

Non Climbable Zone (NCZ)

Is the area/space on or adjacent to the pool barrier that must be maintained as not being climbable.  Trees, shrubs, pot plants, outdoor furniture, BBQ’s or any other object must not encroach on the NCZ.

The non climbable zone:

  • Extends 900mm measured in an arc shape from the top of the outside of the pool fence or gate towards the ground.
  • In the case of barriers with openings greater than 10mm, the NCZ extends 300mm inside the barrier.
  • Where boundary fences are used as part of a pool barrier the NCZ is located on the inside (pool side) and extends 900mm from the top and outwards from the barrier.
  • Landscaping, decks, retaining walls, steps, associated lighting and other fixtures or furniture are not to intrude into the non-climbable zone.
  • To maintain the required height of barrier steps, retaining wall, level changes are to be 500mm from the barrier.