Install pool fencing that meets safety requirements without compromising design
Growing up as a kid, if you had a pool or knew someone with a pool then I’m sure you can agree that your summer holidays were awesome. It is quite clear that Australians love their swimming pools, with research showing that 13% of the Australian population own a swimming pool, and with just under a fifth (19%) of West Aussies owning a pool.
However, with an increase in swimming pool ownership, came a greater need for pool safety. In 2014-2015 there was a 20% increase in home swimming pool drownings, which prompted tighter fencing rules and regulations to make our backyards safer.
Pool fencing regulations are constantly being revised to increase safety around your swimming pools and decrease the risk of possible drownings. For those who are thinking of installing a pool or changing your pool fencing, here are the current regulations you need to consider.
What are the current Australian pool fencing regulations?
All private swimming pools and spas that contain water that is more than 300mm deep are to have a compliant safety barrier installed that restricts access by young children to the pool and its immediate surrounds.
- Pools built before May 2016: Pool fences must comply with regulations and Australian Standards AS 1926.1 – 1993 as the minimum standard. This means compliance with existing requirements.
- Pools built after May 2016: Pool fences should comply with the regulations and Building Code of Australia, with reference to Australian Standard AS 1926.1- 2012 and AS 1926.2 – 2007.
What does this mean for you?
- All new pools require a building permit before installing.
- Compliant pool fencing is required for all pools filled with a depth of water that’s more than 300mm.
- There musn’t be a door anywhere that can be used to access the pool, unless its permanently sealed.
- Pool fencing must be made with durable materials.
- Fencing must be at least 1200mm tall above ground level.
- The gates must open away from the pool area and close automatically with self-locking latch.
- Nothing climbable placed within 1100mm of the fence, including trees, furniture, BBQs, pots, etc.
- All boundary fences used as pool safety barrier must be erected vertically or leaning no more than 15 degrees.
With all these safety regulations in mind, it’s now time for the fun part, Design.
Pool fencing, landscaping and design
Unlike pool fencing regulations, when it comes to landscaping and design, your choices are limitless. From being able to choose your fencing material, to choosing your flooring around the pool, to the finer details of pool edging and bull nosing, you can customise your pool area into an oasis.
Choose your pool fencing material
First step is to choose your pool fencing material. The beauty of pool fencing is that it can be customised to suit your environment and stay within your budget. If you want glass but can’t afford it entirely, you can opt for PVC in less visible areas and go for glass in more visible areas such as your patio. Some popular pool fencing materials to consider:
PVC fencing comes as a cost effective option that lasts a lifetime. It requires far less maintenance and repair, as it never chips or fades, and can be easily washed with a quick hose down. It comes in a wide range of styles and colours, allowing you to customise fencing panels for privacy and aesthetic. Modern PVC is up to 5 times stronger than timber and is flame resistant with a flashpoint of over 480 degrees celsius. From safety to landscape design, It is a great option for those seeking the best of both worlds.
Tubular steel and aluminium
Steel and aluminium fences are usually made with tubular upright bars that are joined by upper and lower rails. They come in a variety of styles each with their own unique design, including flat top, loop-top, double-top, and wirebased. Tubular fencing can be installed in various sizes and is a low maintenance option that is built to last, so you can tick that regulation off the list.
Arguably one of the most aesthetic pleasing pool fencing options available. Glass offers an unobstructed view of your pool area, allowing you to monitor your kids or pets from metres away. This also enhances the overall look for your yard by opening up the space as well as providing a modern and chic finish that can add value to your home. Glass is extremely easy to clean and can be done with some detergent and water, but needs to be done on a regular basis to maintain that crisp visible look. However, if you are leaning towards glass fencing, be prepared to fork out a little bit more.
The type of fencing material you choose goes hand in hand with overall design of your backyard. Apart from meeting rules and regulations, you also have to think about visual appeal, budget, and does it add to your homes overall value. This is where you will need to pair your fencing with other landscaping design options.
A popular choice to consider for pool edging and bullnosing is liquid limestone, as it pairs well with frameless glass fencing to achieve that contemporary, chic, and modern look. If liquid limestone isn’t on your shopping list, you can consider exposed/honed aggregate which also works very well with PVC and tubular fencing.
Just chosen your fencing material and need some landscape design advice? Contact the professionals at Integrity Concreting and save yourself the time and hassle. It’s time to start enjoying your pool. If you are thinking of installing a new pool, why not read our article on pool design trends?