Swimming and spa pools
The Building Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) requires all private swimming and spa pools that contain water that is more than 300mm deep to have a compliant safety barrier installed that restricts access by young children to the pool and its immediate surrounds.
The requirements for safety barriers have changed over time. 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; and
- Pre 1 May 2016
- for new private swimming pools (that is post 1 May 2016) the safety barrier requirements are those of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2016. 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; and
- existing private swimming pools (that is pre 1 May 2016) can continue to comply with their existing requirements under the Regulations or alternatively comply with the new requirements (that is the BCA).
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:
- Rules for pools and spas – May 2016
- Thinking of installing a swimming pool or spa? (options for obtaining building approval)
- Industry Bulletin 64 – Changes to swimming pool barrier laws
- Industry Bulletin 67 – Building Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2016 (swimming pool barriers)
- Industry Bulletin 72 – Notice of completion - inspections and tests
In March 2018 Consumer Protection published the following information on the recall of unsafe pool gate latches:
In April and May 2016, the Building Commission held a number of information sessions on the changing requirements for swimming and spa pool safety barriers. An adaption of these presentations is available to view online:
Online information session:
Swimming and spa pool safety barriers – changes to the rules (Part 1)
Amendments to Building Regulations 2012
Building Code of Australia 2016
Online information session:
Swimming and spa pool safety barriers – changes to the rules (Part 2)
AS 1926.1-2012 Safety barriers for swimming pools
AS 1926.2-2007 Location of safety barriers for swimming pools
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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