All swimming pools and spas on residential properties in Victoria with a depth greater than 30cm (300mm) are required to be surrounded by a safety barrier (e.g. a pool fence). There are currently 3 sets of requirements for pool/spa barriers in Victoria - these are based on when your pool or spa was constructed:
- Before 8th April 1991
- Between 8th April 1991 - 30th April 2010, and;
- After 30th April 2010
Below are some important points to help explain the current requirements for pool barriers. Please note that the information below is not exhaustive and is a guide only.
Pool Fencing Laws
- If a Victorian residential pool or spa has a depth of 30cm or more (300mm), it is required to be surrounded by safety barrier. This includes inflatable pools.
- All pools and spas built after 2010 require a four sided barrier (isolation fence), with no direct access from the house or any other building to the pool or spa.
- Safety barriers must be a minimum of 1.2 metres high.
- Barrier gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
- It is illegal to leave a pool or spa gate propped open.
- Climbable objects such as pot plants, eskies, pool pumps and chairs must be moved away from the barrier.
- A building permit is required before installing a new pool, spa, or barrier.
- This permit needs to be issued by registered building surveyor.
- Building work must start within 12 months of the date that the building permit was issued.
- During construction, if a new pool is filled with more than 30cm of water it must have a temporary safety barrier put around it.
Remember that safety barriers such as pool fencing are no substitute for active adult supervision of children around water.
Review of Victoria's Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Laws
The State Government is currently undertaking a review of Victoria's swimming pool and spa barrier laws as part of the Building Regulations Sunset Review.
Kidsafe Victoria, as a member of the Victorian Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Committee (VSPSSC), have advocated for a number of changes to be introduced to assist in reducing drowning rates in backyard pools. Please click here to read more.
For more information on the requirements for pool barriers, please visit the fact sheets below: