Swimming, spa and portable pools
The Building Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) require all private swimming, spa, and portable pools that contain water that is more than 300mm (30cm) deep to have a compliant safety barrier installed that restricts access by young children to the pool and its immediate surrounds. This webpage contains general information as well as useful publications and links for consumers and local govenrments.
Safety campaign: Don't duck out, make if safe
In Western Australia, there are two sets of safety barrier requirements depending on when the private swimming pool was installed or when plans for the installation of the pool were submitted to the permit authority for approval.
- Post 1 May 2016 private swimming pools are required to have safety barriers that comply with the edition of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) currently in effect. The BCA references AS 1926.1:2012 (Safety barriers for swimming pools) and AS 1926.2:2007 (Location of safety barriers for swimming pools) incorporating amendments 1 and 2;
- Pre 1 May 2016 private swimming pools can continue to comply with their existing requirements under the Regulations or alternatively comply with the new requirements (that is the BCA).
Building and Energy has produced the following publications to assist swimming pool and spa owners to understand the barrier requirements for swimming and spa pools:
Publications for consumers
- Rules for pools and spas – May 2016
- Rules for portable pools – August 2018
- Thinking of installing a swimming pool or spa? (obtaining building approval) – September 2016
- Swimming pools and spas: electrical bonding – August 2018
- Danger – Swimming pool under construction – November 2018
- Do not pin the gate open - December 2018
- Simple pool safety checklist for residents - March 2020
Publications for practitioners
- Industry Bulletin 158 - Building Amendment Regulations 2023
- Industry Bulletin 123 – Gate hinges in private swimming pool safety barriers
- Industry Bulletin 110 – Applicable building standards: Safety barriers for post-may 2016 private swimming pools
- Industry Bulletin 72 – Notice of completion - inspections and tests
- Industry Bulletin 67 – Building Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2016 (swimming pool barriers)
- Industry Bulletin 64 – Changes to swimming pool barrier laws
- Progress Report - Local Government periodic inspections of private swimming pool safety barriers 2022–23
- Progress Report - Local Government periodic inspections of private swimming pool safety barriers 2021-22
- Progress report – Local government’s four yearly inspections of private swimming pool safety barriers 2020-21
- Decision paper – Swimming pool and safety barrier control
- Progress report - Local government's four yearly inspections of private swimming pool safety barriers 2018/19
Please note: The figure on page 7 of 8.3% for the City of Nedlands should be 0%
- Progress report – Local government’s four yearly inspections of private swimming pool safety barriers 2017/18
- Ombudsman WA Investigation into ways to prevent or reduce death of children by drowning – November 2017
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, Sport and Cultural Industries website.
The BCA is now freely available via the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website.
The Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012 contain laws related to swimming and spa pools and can viewed on the Parliamentary Counsel's Office website.
Copies of Australian Standards related to swimming pools and safety barriers that are directly referenced in the Building Regulations 2012 are available to view free of charge in the reserve section of the State Library of Western Australia.
Reader Room is an initiative by Standards Australia which provides limited, no-fee access to many Australian Standards for non-commercial purposes.
Copies of Australian Standards can be purchased and/or accessed via paid subscription from Intertek Inform (formerly SAI Global Standards), Techstreet Store and Standards Australia.
Specific information on portable pools can be found on the 'Portable swimming pool safety' webpage.
Consumer Protection 'Don't Duck Out – Make it Safe' campaign
Product safety recalls from ACCC – Product Safety Australia.