Gold Coast Home Builders

Maintaining The Safety Of Your Pool Saves Lives!

Pool Fence Featured

Swimming pools should be fun, but before pool safety laws were introduced, drowning was one of the leading causes of death in Queensland for children under the age of 5. Supervising young children, teaching them to swim at a young age, and effective pool fencing can save lives.

Follow these simple and cost- effective ways to make your pool safer and help you comply with the pool safety standard laws.

Surrounding garden beds and ground levels

  • A pool barrier (fence) must be a minimum 1200 millimetres above the ground level. The ground level or garden beds surrounding the barrier may reduce this height if they have been raised or grown over time.
  • A high garden bed provides easy access to the pool area.

To Maintain safety you should:

  • Remove garden beds adjacent to pool fences.
  • Do not plant garden beds adjacent to pool fences.

Climbable pool barrier (fence)

The pool fence itself may be climbable and provide foot or hand holds for a child to access the pool area. For example:

  • An intersecting fence with horizontal cross rails within reach of the top of the pool barrier.
  • Lattice or another climbable material on the pool barrier.
  • Climbable vegetation.

To maintain safety you should :

  • Shield any lattice or other climbable material with a non-climbable material such as flat polycarbonate sheeting or vertical palings.
  • Trim any climbable vegetation on the barrier.
  • Remove any vegetation into the pool area.

Damaged pool fence

A fence in disrepair can lower the effective height of the barrier or provide a gap for a child to enter the pool area.
Gaps in a fence over 100 millimetres can provide easy access to the pool area.

To maintain safety you should:

  • Repair, replace or adjust fence palings.
  • Add non-climbable bracing to the barrier to provide greater stability.

Pool gates

Non-compliant pool gates can give a child access to a pool area. Common problems include:

  • Gates not self-closing and self-latching from all positions.
  • Gates with semi-functioning or non- functioning hinges or closing mechanisms that stop the gate from closing completely.
  • Gates that open inward towards pool.
  • Gates that can be propped or tied open.

To maintain safety you should:

  • Ensure the gate swings outwards away from the pool area.
  • Install a striker or latch to make the gate self-latching.
  • Adjust the self-closing mechanism or replace the hinges to make the gate self- closing.
  • Tighten the hinges to ensure they are capable of holding the gate.
  • Oil the hinges if the gate is not closing properly.
  • Ensure the gate is regularly maintained.

Fixed, climbable objects

Fixed, climbable objects can give a child access to a pool area. For example:

  • Taps or light fittings on nearby walls.
  • Branches of nearby trees or shrubs which are below the height of the pool barrier.
  • A tap fitting is a climbable object and must be shielded or removed.
  • Other climbable objects such as bracing on a deck near the pool area.

To maintain compliance you should:

  • Shield any climbable objects with a non- climbable material such as flat polycarbonate sheeting, vertical palings or a shield that has an angle of 60 degrees or more.
  • Trim any branches within 900 millimetres of the pool barrier – if there are branches overhanging from an adjacent property, you may need to negotiate with your neighbour to remove them.

Moveable, climbable objects

A child can use moveable, climbable objects to access a pool area. Common objects include:

  • Pot plants
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Step ladders
  • Toys
  • Sports equipment

To maintain safety you should:

  • Remove all climbable objects within 900 millimetres of the pool barrier
  • Secure all moveable objects near the pool area.

Windows that access the pool area

A building with windows that open more than 100 millimetres and directly into a pool area can provide a child with access to the pool. Installing window locks is not acceptable as they can be easily left unlocked.

  • Louvres with a gap of more than 100 millimetres do not comply.
  • Windows that provide easy access to the pool area must be fixed permanently closed or have fixed security screens.

To maintain safety you should:

  • Fix a rivet or screw in the tracks of the window to stop it opening more than 100 millimetres
  • Insert a permanent window chock to stop the window opening more than 100 millimetres
  • Install permanently fixed security screens on windows that open into the pool area.


Remember that maintaining safety standards in your pool area is not only a legal requirement of owning a pool, but a social responsibility. You should always supervise your children when they’re around a pool, but by following the above tips you can feel safe knowing that children are safe when not using the pool.

If you require further information contact your Local Council.

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