In April of 2016, the New South Wales government amended the Swimming Pool Act to include safety provisions aimed at preventing children from drowning in residential swimming pools, and in order to sell or lease a property with a pool, you must have either a pool compliant or a non-compliant certificate. In the event you sell or lease the property with a non-compliant certificate, the new owners or tenants have 90 days in which to conform to the pool compliance regulations.
The Pool Compliance Process
Prior to trying to obtain a swimming pool fence compliance certificate in Sydney, you are advised to check that your pool area complies with the following guidelines:
- Pool Gate – The gate to the pool area must open outwards (away from the pool) and must be self-closing with an automatic latch that closes when the gate is shut. The latching device must be at least 1500mm from the ground and under no circumstances should the gate be propped open.
- Pool Fencing – The fencing must be a minimum of 1200mm in height and the gap between the ground and the fence bottom must not exceed 100mm, indeed, any gaps in the fence must not exceed 100mm.The pool fencing must be in good working order, with no signs of rust or decay, and should any section of the pool fencing combine with perimeter fencing, that section needs to be a minimum height of 1800mm.
- Legible CPR Sign – Inside the pool area, there must be a CPR sign that has diagrams and text explaining how to resuscitate a person, and this sign must be legible from any location within the pool area. If the text is small and cannot be read from the furthest point, then the inspector will not issue a pool compliance certificate.
- Inside the Pool Area – The inside of the pool area cannot contain furniture, BBQ or any other movable objects, and the only items that can be inside the fencing are fixed shading, fixed slides and pool filtration equipment.
- Around the Pool Fencing – It is vital that there are no objects that a child could use to help them climb over the pool fencing, which include furniture, trees and shrubs and anything else that is solid enough to aid climbing. A no-climb zone of 900mm around the perimeter fencing will ensure that no child could manage to get over the pool fencing, so do make sure that this zone does not contain any items that could assist with a climb.
Indoor Pools and Spas
Any indoor pool or spa that does not have a lockable door must comply with the following:
- The latch must be at least 1500mm from the ground.
- There should be no opening larger than 100mm (including pet flaps).
- Windows can only open to a maximum of 100mm.
- There must be a CPR sign that can be clearly read from a distance of 3m.
Once you are sure that your pool complies, you can search online for an approved pool certifier who would be happy to make an appointment and inspect your pool area.