Pool Safety Standards Overview
Queensland’s pool safety laws introduced in 2009 applied to all new and existing pools. The purpose of the new pool safety laws is to reduce the number of young children drowning in swimming pools by requiring all pools to be isolated by a complying pool fence.
From 1 December 2015, all pool fences must comply with the one new Pool Safety Standard. The new laws also introduce a single standard for pool fencing across the State, replacing numerous State and local government standards, this includes removing many previously permitted exemptions such as direct access from a house to a pool.
Required Pool Fencing Standard
The required pool fencing standard is the Queensland Development Code MP3.4 which also references Australian Standard AS1926.
- The Australia Standard AS1926 is available for viewing at most Council libraries.
Definition of a Pool
The legislation defines swimming pools as being excavations or structures:
- capable of being filled with 300mm or more of water; and
- capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or other human aquatic activity; and
- solely or principally used/designed/manufactured/adapted for the purposes above.
Pools that meet the definition of “swimming pool” must be fenced in accordance with the fencing standards. Spa pools, spa tubs and wading pools are also deemed to be swimming pools. Fish ponds, dams, watercourses, portable pools, spa baths in bathrooms and birthing pools are not deemed to be swimming pools.
Portable pools are readily available to purchase, however you should be aware that some of these pools will require pool fencing and a building approval before they can be used.
Pool fencing legislation does not apply to a portable pool if the pool:
- can only hold less than 300mm water; and
- has a volume of less than 2000L; and
- has no filtration system.
All 3 criteria above must be met to be exempt from the fencing legislation.
This means that if the portable pool has any one of these characteristics, then it is not considered to be a portable pool and requires compliant fencing installed (i.e a portable pool of any size but with a filtration system would need to comply with the fencing standards).
If you are considering purchasing a portable pool from a department store, it is also wise to consider the dimensions of the pool and whether it will require fencing & approval.
Spa pools and spa tubs need to be fenced in accordance with the fencing standards. Spa covers are not an acceptable substitute for pool fencing. Spa baths in bathrooms that are not continually filled with 300mm or more of water do not need fencing.
Indoor pools need to be fenced in accordance with the fencing standards. Pools on decks/rooftops also need to be fenced in accordance with the fencing standards.
A shared pool is a pool where residents of 2 or more dwellings have the right to use the pool. An example of a shared pool is a communal pool in a unit complex. Shared pools need to be fenced in accordance with the fencing standards.
If in doubt or need more assistance, Contact Pool Safety First for more information.