Swimming and spa pools
The Building Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) requires safety barriers to be provided around private swimming or spa pools for the protection of young children who may enter that area with or without the knowledge or consent of the owner or occupier of a property.
The rules for safety barriers are changing and will introduce a different set of requirements for new swimming and spa pools. Safety barrier requirements are not changing for old swimming and spa pools.
Pre-May 2016 swimming and spa pools continue to require barriers which comply with the Regulations and Australian Standard AS 1926.1-1993 (incorporating Amendment No. 1 only) as the minimum standard for swimming and spa pool fencing (existing requirements – no change).
Post-May 2016 swimming and spa pools will be required to have barriers which comply with the Regulations and Building Code of Australia (BCA), which references Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 and Australian Standard AS 1926.2-2007 (incorporating Amendment Nos 1 and 2).
The Building Commission has produced the following publications to assist swimming pool and spa owners to understand the barrier requirements for swimming and spa pools:
- Thinking of installing a swimming pool or spa?
- Rules for pools and spas
- Industry Bulletin 64 – Changes to swimming pool barrier laws
- Industry Bulletin 67 – Building Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2016 (swimming pool barriers)
Please note: The ‘Rules for pools and spas’ publication is currently being reviewed in line with recent changes to the legislation. Currently it only provides advice regarding pre-May 2016 swimming and spa pool bariers.
For specific advice as to whether your swimming or spa pool barrier complies with the requirements, please contact your local government. Contact details are available on the Department of Local Government website.
The BCA is now freely available via the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website.
The Building Act 2011 and the Regulations contain laws related to swimming and spa pools and can viewed on the State Law Publisher website.
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