With hot weather across the state, pools are a hot topic. Most people would be aware that an approval is required to install a swimming pool. Concrete, fibre-glass, or liner pools all need approval, as well as above-ground and temporary pools. The reason for the need for a Building Permit for swimming pools is not necessarily to check structural or other building compliance requirements, but to ensure the pool has suitable safety barriers in-place.
Before the pool is filled with water, an approved safety barrier must be in place. The Local Council approves the installed barrier. If the barrier is insufficient or found to be non-compliant, the pool cannot be filled with water, so it is best to get the barrier right the first time. Read the requirements carefully (available from your Local Council), or engage an experienced contractor to ensure the installation meets the minimum standards.
Some common compliance issues include:
- Stabilisation under the fence i.e. the ground must be grassed or paved to ensure the allowed gap under the fence is maintained.
- Climbable items (including furniture or BBQ’s) inside and outside the fence that can be used to breach the barrier by a child.
- Incorrect height of the fence or latch – the fence must have a minimum 1200mm height and the latch must be no less than 1500mm from the ground.
- Gate latch must self-latch. The gate may self-close, but must also self-latch without slamming the gate shut.
These are only a few of the most common queries, as there are many more factors that can affect the compliance of your swimming pool barrier.
Another important thing to note is that spas are also required to have a barrier installed so access is restricted to young children – regardless of whether or not children reside or visit the home. Is your spa approved? Check with your Local Council, they are required to inspect pools and spas regularly. Find out when your next inspection is scheduled, but don’t wait for that to check your barrier is still compliant with the requirements.