Pool Barrier Compliance

image of toddler girl holding on to pool gate and looking at pool


Here in Western Australia we have a climate and environment that encourages a lot of activity in, on and around the water. With more than 170,000 home swimming pools across our state it’s vital that all pool owners understand the importance of ensuring their pool’s safety barrier complies with all relevant regulations.

Last financial year Royal Life Saving Society WA conducted more than 7000 home pool barrier inspections, as part of our contract with a number of local governments across the metro and regional areas of WA. During these inspections our staff witnessed a range of barrier compliance issues, with home pool owners often not fully aware of all the regulations relating to their pool.

What are the top three faults with pool barriers in our state?

1. Gate performance

A pool gate must self-close and self-latch, without any application of force from any position, including when it is resting on the latch. In many cases when a pool fails in inspection the gate is found to be faulty. It’s also vitally important that pool owners never prop a pool gate open. On average here in WA, pool gates that are propped open or not correctly closed or latched account for almost 40% of backyard pool drownings in children under the age of 5.

2. Climbable objects and structures

Permanent or moveable structures with a horizontal surface exceeding 10mm in depth are considered climbable. Climbable structures must be more than 1200mm (in a downward arc) away from the top of your pool barrier. These structures can include items like trampolines and other toys placed too close to a pool fence, pot plants, and planter boxes.

3. Window structure

Windows under 1200mm from the ground that lead directly to the pool must be able to open no more than 100mm. Windows must be permanently sealed with fasteners that can only be removed with the use of a tool and what many owner’s don’t realize is that key locking devices are not acceptable.

If you’re unsure whether your pool barrier complies with all relevant WA legislation please download our complete pool compliance checklist below.

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