The short answer is ‘Yes’, you do need a pool fence around your spa. But let’s dive deeper into the reasons why.
Three pieces of legislation regulate pool and spa fencing: Building Act 1993, Building Regulations 2018, and most recently, Building Amendment (Swimming Pool and Spa) Regulations 2019.
In accordance with legislative amendments passed on 1st December 2019, all pools and spas need to be registered with the local council before the 1st November 2020. To complete the registration, fencing, pools and spas must pass a safety inspection. For more information regarding registering your pool or spa go to our about us page. There is a logo of your local council with a direct link to the registration page.
In the last 20 years, there have been 27 pool-related fatalities, resulting in death. Correct fencing around pools could have prevented twenty of these incidents.
Although there is a general rule that pools and spas deeper than 30cm must be fenced, standards for fencing are based on when the pool or spa was constructed.
When considering fencing standards for your spa, consider the age of the spa and to which standard your fencing needs to comply. The three date ranges are:
- Before 8th April 1991
- Between 8th April 1991 – 30th April 2010, and;
- After 30th April 2010
If you are unsure about the build date of your pool when you register your local council will search their records to find this information for you. You will most likely incur a search fee from your council, which will not likely exceed $47.24*.
So, the answer to the question, ‘do I need a pool fence around my spa?’ Is a little more in-depth than a simple one-word answer.
Since 1st November is coming around quickly, what do you need to do to ensure that your spa is fenced and ready to use come summer?
In the process of registering your pool or spa with your local council, certain safety checks will need to be carried out before registration is complete. A pool safety inspector does the final safety check; however, before you book in your inspection, you can do a quick check yourself. Here are three main areas to consider when doing a self-assessment:
1) Fencing and gate requirements
Firstly, if there is a body of water more than 30cm (300mm) deep, or capable of being 30cm deep, on your property, you are required to have it fenced. This is also including inflatable pools and spas.
The minimum required height for pool and spa fence is 1200cm (1.2m). All gates in the pool fence must be self-closing and self-latching, with a top latch that is out of reach of children at least 1500mm from ground level. Pool gates should never be propped or tied open which can incur a $8110 fine from the responsible authority.
2) Look for potential hazards
The pool barrier should be installed by a professional or if being installed by the owner a building permit is required. Note a permit from a licensed building surveyor is required for any pool or spa barriers is installed or modified. When installing it is important there is sufficient space between the spa fence and any other object that may be used to climb over the fence, including trees, shade structures and furniture. It is recommended that all possible objects that could assist in climbing over a fence are kept at least 1.2m from the fence. Spa enclosures should also not be in direct access of a building or dwelling. Your spa enclosure needs to be separate from other structures.
3) Inspect the condition of existing fences
The last thing you need to consider is the age of the fence, whether it is in good repair and all panels, screws and palings are fit for use. If you have any doubts or concerns about the safety of your fence, it is better to repair or replace before the fence falls into major disrepair and becomes a safety issue.
After completing a self-assessment of your spa fencing, a certified pool fence safety inspector needs to inspect the fence and issue a certificate of safety. A pool fence safety inspector is engaged from a private company and is authorised to issue a safety certificate. This safety certificate needs to be submitted to the council when you register your pool. The inspection needs to be completed again once every four (4) years, to ensure optimum safety.
Upon completion of your safety inspection, in the process of registering your spa, there is a fee payable to the council which will not likely exceed $31.84*. The penalty for non-compliance to fencing laws are fines up to $1,652.20*.
So, when considering the question, ‘do I need a pool fence around my spa?’ Consider that fences around spas are not only essential for the registration of your spa with your local council, but also an important safety feature of your home. Although your spa may be small, there is still a responsibility to ensure the highest standards of safety for you, your family and visitors to your property.
For further information, visit review our website and information blogs https://www.poolbarrierservices.com.au/
*Current as of 3rd October, 2020. Subject to change.
For professional advice and assistance with safety and pool inspections, contact our friendly team today.