Your pool gate is an essential part of your pool barrier, and it must be safe – to keep your family safe. So, it’s essential that you know how to ensure your pool gate meets safety standards.
The Australian Standard for pool gates is AS 1926.1 – 2012 for Pools and Spas built after 2013 AS 1926.1-2007 built between 2010 to 2013 and AS1926.1-1993 built prior to 2010. There is a range of regulations that apply specifically to your gate, so keep reading to get an indication of whether your fence is ready to pass a compliance inspection.
We’re taking you through the key aspects of pool fence safety requirements, from materials to height and swing direction.
There is no set material that your pool fence needs to be constructed from, which gives you a few options in choosing your preferred look. Ranging from the traditional powder-coated bars to glass and mesh options, whatever your fence is made from is also an option for your gate. There is a range of more modern-looking options available to keep your pool safe and stylish.
Gaps in your gate
Rules for the gaps in your gate are the same as for your fence. Vertical gaps are not to be more than 100mm wide. If you are unsure about your fence or gate’s safety compliance, it is best to speak with a professional.
Like your pool fence, your gate must stand at 1.2m high. You are welcome to increase the height of your fence; however, most standard fences and gates measure at 1.2m.
Non-climbable zone, aka NCZ
Have a look around your pool area and remove objects that can be climbed on. When considering these objects, remember that these objects do not need to be tall enough to climb over the gate or fence.
Climbable objects also include chairs and stools, and flowerpots, which can be used as a step to reach a gate latch.
Make sure to leave a 900mm arc from the top of the gate on the fence’s exterior clear of all climbable objects if your is built between 2007 and now but make sure it is 1200mm if your pool was built prior to 2010. The same need for an arc also applies to the inside of the gate but only measuring 300mm. If you are unsure about whether an object can be climbed, it is best to remove it.
When installing your gate, consider the direction your gate swings. Your gate must swing away from your pool or out of the pool enclosure. Double swing gates, which swing both in and out of the enclosure, are not safety compliant and will not pass a safety inspection.
Check the latch
One of the most important features of your gate is the self-closing and self-latching component – this means that if you open your gate and let go, the gate should swing back with enough force to cause it to re-latch. The gate is to be tested form fully open, half-open, one-third open and also importantly resting on the catch.
The self-closing component is achieved through springs in the hinges that pull the gate back into a closed position. If you have an older gate that does not have this feature, it is time to install a new gate.
The latch on your gate must also be at a minimum of 1.5m from the ground – this stops small children from easily accessing the latch. Most standard latches pull at the top to unlatch the gate and are a little bit heavy to unlatch.
Once again, this is a safety feature to stop small children from accessing the pool area without supervision.
Maintain your fence and gate
Your pool fence and gate are exposed to the elements every day, so ensure you maintain them well.
Check for loose screws, rusted bars or wobbly posts and replace or repair often. If you have a powder-coated fence, any chips in the paint can cause the metal underneath to rust. If you spot any rust on your fence or gate, make sure you seal the rust spot quickly or replace the panel. New panels are available from your local hardware store or a pool fence installer.
As your latch is made of plastic, ensure it doesn’t become brittle in the sun and rain. A broken latch is an unsafe latch, so replace as necessary.
Never prop the gate
Although it seems convenient to prop the gate open on a hot summer day for easy access to the pool, it is vital that you don’t prop or tie the gate back.
An open gate creates easy access for children to enter the pool area unsupervised.
Safety is the most important thing, and it is imperative that pool owners follow these rules precisely.
Safety is our number one concern, so if you are unsure about your gate or fence’s safety, please speak to one of our experts at the Pool Barrier Services team.
We can help you ensure that your fence is inspection ready so you can pass with flying colours. Remember to keep your pool fence and gate well maintained, and we will be happy to help you get your pool registered and ready to use all summer long.