Pool Fence Regulations
Pool fence regulations are part of the measures put in place by the Queensland government to enhance pool safety. Safety barriers and pool fences contribute to a greater extent in controlling access to the pool area especially by young children who are the susceptible group when it comes to drownings and immersion injuries in swimming pools.
In line with the pool safety laws, pool owners are required to maintain pool barriers that meet the stipulated safety standards and regulations. Any fencing or barrier that is damaged ought to be fixed immediately so as to create a safe pool environment.
Components of the Pool Fence Regulations
Pool fencing is not the only concern when it comes to these regulations, but rather a lot of things are included all geared towards pool safety. Below is a brief discussion on each of the components that makeup the pool fence regulations.
This is the major portion of the regulations. Pools must be enclosed by a barrier that has been approved and meets the safety legislation as prescribed in Chapter 8 of the Building Act 1975. A pool barrier includes the following:
• The fencing around the pool
• The walls of any building enclosing the pool
• Any other form of barrier as provided for under the pool safety standard
Responsibilities of Pool Owners and Tenants
The pool fence regulations in qld also touch on your obligation as the owner of a property that has a pool. Whether the pool is shared or non-shared, the law requires that you ensure it is compliant with the safety standard and the barriers are in place as stipulated. The tenants to properties that have a pool are expected under the regulations to:
• Keep the access gates to the pool area closed at all times
• Ensure that the non-climbable zone is free of any objects which would otherwise aid children in accessing the pool area thus outing them in line of danger.
Pool owners must register their swimming pools. This is a directive that took effect as from 4th November, 2011. The Queensland government established a state-wide pool register that documents all pools within its jurisdiction and their compliance status. Having a pool registered does not mean that it is fully compliant, but rather it helps the government to know of the existence of your pool in Queensland.
Pool Safety Certificates
The pool fence regulations require property owners, agents, and body corporates to have their pools inspected and based on the findings either be issued with a pool safety certificate or a non-compliance notification. Apart from showing that your pool is compliant with the law, pool safety certificates are necessary when leasing or selling your property. They are valid for one year in the case where your pool is shared and two years for private pools.
In a bid to assist pool owners in finding licensed inspectors, the Queensland government came up with an online-based register of licensed pool safety inspectors. These inspectors are the ones accredited by the state to undertake inspections. It is upon you as the property owner to request your inspector to show you his license before starting the project.
Exemptions to Pool Barriers
The pool fence regulations also have a provision for those seeking exemptions because of unique circumstances. There are a number of exemptions that you can apply for and be granted.
Disability Exemption – When applying for this exemption, you will be required to state the form of disability and its extent and whether the party in question is mobile or wheelchair bound. The pool fence regulations also require extra information on whether the person requires a full-time career.
Impracticality Exemption – This exemption considers the circumstances around the pool location and verifies whether some pool fence measures cannot be practically put in place. For instance, it may not be practical to change the size or location of the pool, demolition or move a section of a building or the whole of it, or remove vegetation that is protected under local law or an Act.
Any exemption that was issued before the current pool fence regulations is supposed to be reviewed and where the conditions under which the exemptions were granted still hold, the exemption will not be scrapped off.
The regulations also contain the enforcement aspect where the Queensland government through the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) provides for fines where pool fencing standards are not met or have been violated. It is therefore important to look for a licensed pool fence inspector so that your pool can be inspected and any anomalies corrected to bring it in line with the pool fence regulations.