It has now been almost a year since pool fence legislation changed and the deadline is creeping up quickly to ensure your pool or spa is compliant and registered with your local council. Now is the time to make sure your pool or spa is summer-ready and ensure your pool and fence are safe and secure for your friends and family. If you are unsure about what you need to know, here is a quick rundown of Victoria spa and pool fence compliance guide – top things you need to know.
Is my pool fence sufficient?
If you already have a fence installed around your pool or spa, ensure that it is at least 1.2m (1200cm) tall, with a self-closing and self-latching gate. There is an Australian product standard for pool fencing, so if you are in the market for a new fence, make sure that it meets Australian Standard AS1926-2012.
All pools and spas, as well as their fencing, must comply with safety standards. Depending on the age of your pool, one of three standards may apply. For more information regarding the safety standards and compliance dates of your pool, visit www.vba.gov.au.
When installing a new fence, or assessing your current fence, take into consideration what else is in your garden. Objects that can be used to climb over the fence need to be moved away from the fence. This may include removing trees or shrubbery or relocating outdoor furniture or play equipment. Check also that your pool or spa enclosure does not open directly from your house or dwelling and has its own fully closable enclosure.
You can install your fence yourself or have a professional install for you. Your local hardware store will be able to provide you with more information regarding the correct installation of your fence. Alternatively, you can engage a private pool fencing contractor who specializes in pool and spa fencing. This option may be more expensive, however, it will save you hours of your time and provide peace-of-mind. A specialist will be able to guide you in the correct safety standards required for your pool.
When do I need to have my fence ready?
It is advised that you have your pool or spa fenced as soon as possible, to ensure maximum safety. Due to changing legislation, there are three compliance dates for fencing to be completed with certificates lodged with your local council. See below for compliance dates and if you are unsure about the construction date of your pool, check with your local council.
|Construction Date||Compliance date|
|On or before 30 June 1994||1 November 2021|
|From 1 July 1994 until 30 April 2010||1 November 2022|
|From 1 May 2010 until 31 October 2020||1 November 2023|
For any pools or spas constructed on or after 1 November 2020, owners have 30 days to lodge their compliance certificates from date of issue with their local council, or face fines up to $1,652.20, depending on your local authority.
With your fence installed, it is time to book a safety inspection and register your pool with your local council. The safety inspection can be carried out by a pool safety inspector – either a registered building surveyor, a registered building inspector or a municipal building surveyor. These are private contractors that, upon passing your safety inspection, will issue you a safety compliance certificate. This certificate needs to be lodged with your local council to complete the registration of your pool. The inspection and certificate needs to be reissued every four (4) years. If your pool fence does not pass this inspection, your pool inspector will give you a list of things that need to be remedied before you book your next inspection.
If I don’t let anyone else use my pool, do I still need to fence it?
The answer here is a strong yes, you do need to fence your pool or spa still. Your property fence is not a substitute for an installed pool fence. Your property boundary fence can form part of your pool fence, however, cannot form all the fence. If your property fence forms part of your pool fence, it is your responsibility to ensure it is well maintained and secure.
Those who own a pool that is not adequately fenced are liable for large fines. Do not risk your safety or the safety of your friends and family.
Getting your pool summer-ready
With your pool or spa compliant and registered, you are ready to enjoy your pool or spa this summer. Why not set your reminder in your calendar now to have your next compliance certificate inspection and get a jump start on many summers of frolicking fun around the pool.
If you are still unsure about the requirements for fencing your pool or spa, contact your local council or the Victorian Building Authority, by visiting their website – www.vba.gov.au.
For professional advice and assistance with safety and pool inspections, contact our friendly team today.