Swimming Pool Fencing
Every three years, council is required to inspect pool fencing for compliance. It is the responsibility of all pool owners to ensure that regulations are met.
A pool is a great asset for the home and family, but pools can also be a potential danger for young children. Private swimming pools are the single most significant water danger for pre-schoolers according to Water Safety New Zealand drowning statistics.
Where must the fence be situated?
The fence must only surround the pool and the area immediately around the pool. This area can only include things used in association with the pool, for example, changing sheds, filter shed, pump house, seating, decking and paving. It should not include the clothes line, vegetable garden, driveway or area used for other outdoor activities.
General pool fencing guidelines
Pool fencing should prevent children up to six years old from climbing over, under or through it to gain access to a pool. Check that:
- All fencing is at least 1.2m above ground level and there is a 1.2m wide unobstructed clear area around the outside (so for example, if there is decking within 1.2m of the fence, then the fence must be at least 1.2m above the level of the decking).
- No space under the bottom of the gate or fence is greater than 100mm at any point.
- There are no holes or gaps between fence pickets or bars in excess of 100mm that may provide children access to the pool area.
- Horizontal support rails on the outside of a fence are at least 900mm apart. (Council recommends that there be no horizontal braces on the outside of a fence).
- Gates open away from the pool and automatically close and latch from an opening distance as small as 150mm.
- Gate hinges, automatic closing devices and latches work properly at all times.
- Any windows in walls forming part of the pool fence that are less than 1.2m from the floor do not open more than 100mm.
- Any doors in walls forming part of the pool fence are fitted with a self-closer capable of latching the door shut from a distance of 150mm from the closed position. The latch must be at least 1.5m above finished floor level.
- There are no objects close to the pool fence or otherwise accessible that could assist young children climbing the fence particularly where the property boundary fence forms part of the pool fence. Check that:
- Horizontal supports on the neighbour's side of the fence are no less than 900mm apart, (or ask your neighbour to remove the braces).
- There are no climbable objects like compost bins, firewood stacks or similar that could assist young children climbing the fence.
- There are no trees within 1.2m of the outside of the fence with horizontal branches that could assist young children climbing the fence
- Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
- Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987
- Residential Pool Safety (MBIE)