New pool fencing laws came into effect in December 2019 to improve the safety of private swimming pools and spas in Victoria. The Victorian Government introduced legislation that makes it mandatory for property owners to register their pool and to have safe pool fencing or barriers.
Pool fencing safety is paramount for keeping your loved ones safe. There is a wide range of pool barriers available in Australia, which can make choosing a safe one a challenge. Here are our top 3 tips for choosing the best fence for pool regulations, that is also functional and stylish.
Consider the material, style and colour options available
While pool fencing and barriers are there for safety, you don’t have to compromise on looks – you can integrate functionality with design. When choosing a new fence for pool regulations, here are a couple of popular materials and styles:
- Aluminium and steel fences – Tubular fencing is made from metal balusters, with aluminium and stainless steel being the preferred metals. Tubular fencing is a classic style that is elegant, strong, cost-effective, durable, easy to maintain and easy to customise, e.g., with automatic gates. Compared to other pool fencing options, tubular barriers are very economical.
- Safety glass – Glass panels are attractive but can be very expensive. They provide a glamorous and modern sense of style to a pool area. Glass panels are held in place by posts and spigots which are secured into place by being bolted or core-drilled into the concrete. You can choose from frameless, framed, semi-frameless or in-ground glass panels. Be aware that posts and spigots, which are vital for panel stability, are usually purchased separately. They can be pricier than the glass itself! Glass panels can be a great choice for pool fencing safety, because solid sheets mean that there are no gaps for a child to squeeze through (assuming proper installation).
- Brush fencing – Brush fencing lends a natural vibe to your pool area, as it is made from natural brush timber material. A homeowner interested in sustainability can have this fence made to blend in with their lush garden – the brush fencing must be tightly packed to prevent gaps, so that it complies with Victorian pool fencing laws.
- Timber fencing – Timber is strong, durable and pleasant to the eyes. A wood fence can be permanent or semi-permanent structure and it’s easy to build, paint, maintain and dismantle. You can build a wood fence affordably from repurposed wood. Feel free to change the colour of your wooden fence as often as you please!
Once you’ve chosen the material and style that suits your needs, you’ll also need to choose the right colour.
The colour of your fence should complement the style of your house and backyard. Using glass balustrading will provide you with a clear view, while tubular fencing with dark colours will blend into the background. You can also plant hedging shrubs to hide a tubular fence over time, especially if your fence is black or dark green. It’s best to avoid light coloured fences because they stand out.
Research installation and maintenance costs
Once you’ve chosen the style, design and colour of your fence, you’ll need to think about installation. If you’re handy, you can install your own barrier, but remember to apply for building permits from your local council. You’ll also need to make sure that your DIY installation meets pool fencing laws and regulations. If you’re not confident about understanding pool fencing safety regulations, you might be better off getting a professional installer. If you do decide to use professional installers, it’s a good idea to get a few quotes so you can compare. Installation costs can be high depending on your locality.
Once you’ve got your pool fence or barrier in place, don’t forget regular maintenance. Maintenance costs can vary depending on the materials you choose for your fence. For example, glass fencing needs regular cleaning to maintain its polished look.
To ensure that your fence remains safe, remember to check it periodically for the following:
- Loose panels or bars
- Faulty self-closing and self-latching mechanisms
- Any wear and tear that provides handhold and foothold possibilities
Make sure that your fence complies with pool fencing laws and standards
If you’re getting a new fence for pool regulations, make sure that the fence is compliant with Victorian safety standards. There are strict requirements, including:
- Fencing must be at least 120cm high from the ground
- Fencing must not have any gaps larger than 10cm
- Pool gates must be self-closing and outward opening
According to the new Victorian regulations, it’s mandatory to get your pool barrier inspected and certified every four years by a registered building surveyor or inspector to make sure that it’s safe. If your pool fence is non-compliant, you could be fined.
If you’re unsure how to meet pool fencing laws, check with a professional.
For professional advice on pool safety, fencing regulations, and other pool compliance questions, contact our friendly team now. Contact us here.