Safety standards and regulations
Regardless of when a pool or spa was built or installed, the following laws apply:
- child-resistant safety barriers/fences are required for all swimming pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water over 300mm, including inflatable swimming pools
- you must obtain a building permit for the construction or installation of all pools (including those above ground) and spas that are capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300mm
- you must obtain a building permit for installing and altering all swimming pool and spa safety fences and barriers
- you must complete the child-restraint safety barriers within 6 months of building work starting on swimming pools and spas
- doors that provide access from any building to an outdoor swimming pool or spa area, are not allowed to form part of a safety barrier for new swimming pool or spa installations
- walls and child-resistant windows can be used as part of a safety barrier to an outdoor swimming pool or spa area
- doors may form part of the safety barrier for new indoor swimming pools or spas, as long as the door opens away from the indoor pool area
- any swimming pool or spa safety barrier must be maintained in good working order
- all access points to a swimming pool or a spa must have self-closing and self-latching devices, regardless of when they were built
Heavy penalties apply to swimming pool and spa barriers that don't comply with the legislation.
We may issue on-the-spot fines for breaches of the regulations, or up to $70,000 fines for failure to adhere to the Building Regulations, under the Building Act 1993.
New property owners
If you are purchasing a house with a swimming pool or spa that does not comply with the regulations, be aware that as the new owner you are responsible for ensuring that the safety barrier is provided.
If you own, or are purchasing a home with a swimming pool or spa, and are not sure that the swimming pool or spa fence or barrier complies, contact a Private Building Surveyor or Inspector to arrange an inspection.
Building permit to construct or install a swimming pool/spa
You will need a building permit to construct or install a swimming pool/spa - including those above ground - that is capable of holding a depth of water over 300mm.
You will need a building permit to install or alter swimming pool and spa safety fences and barriers including walls, windows, doors, screens and gates that provide access to the pool or spa area.
Therefore we strongly recommend you get a building consultant (such as an architect and/or draftsperson) to prepare the building permit documentation.