Choose the right fence for safe summer swimming
The weather’s warming up and if you’re a pool owner that means it’s time to roll back the cover and get ready for another season of swimming. We love our backyard pools in Australia. It’s where we socialise, we exercise and we play. But there’s a serious side to pool ownership and that’s making sure everyone who uses your pool is safe.
Royal Life Saving Society – Australia recently released its 2017 National Drowning Report which showed that, tragically, swimming pools accounted for 45 per cent of all drowning deaths in young children in 2016/17.
“For pool owners it’s not just about being compliant, it’s about the safety of your family,” says Craig Turner, Landscape Designer and Co-Director of The Garden Planners.
“Regardless of whether you have an existing pool or you’re building a new one, you need to ensure you comply with the safety guidelines in your state or territory.”
The design, construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and their safety barriers are subject to strict building requirements. Pool owners also have ongoing legal obligations to maintain their safety barriers at all times.
“Designing the pool fence can be sometimes be overlooked but it really is the most important safety device for pool owners,” says Craig.
There are two basic options for pool fencing
A fence around the yard itself can serve as a pool safety fence, but only if it conforms to the height and gate requirements set by the safety code.
A fence that encloses the pool area leaving the rest of the yard open to general use.
Finding the right style of fence for your pool
Choosing the right pool fencing can be hard. Do you base your decision on cost or appearance? Ultimately it’s a personal decision. As long as your fence meets the relevant Australian Standard, it should reflect your personal style and blend well with your landscaping and home design.
At The Garden Planners we only recommend using Australian made products that conform to Australian Standards 1926.1-2012. We also recommend you contact a professional installer and ask for a Form 15 to be provided prior to installation.
Option 1: Aluminium
The main reason most people choose aluminium pool fencing is because it’s cost-effective. It’s not the cheapest of all pool fence solutions; but compared to glass it’s definitely going to be kinder on your pocket.
Aluminium fences are typically made with tubular upright bars joined by upper and lower rails.
Option 2: Glass
Glass pool fencing gives the most premium feel. With most installations the fence can hardly be seen, so you can enjoy looking at your beautiful pool not a fence.
Glass pool fence panels are made from safety glass of various thicknesses. Panels can be frameless, semi-frameless or channel set and are held in by posts and spigots which are drilled or bolted into the concrete, brick or paving.
Making sure your pool fence is safe
Pool fences need to be maintained. You’ll need to check for loose bars or panels, rust and other signs of wear and tear. You’ll also need to test latches regularly to make sure they’re working correctly. Keeping items like chairs and pot plants away from fences so children can’t use them to climb over the fence is also essential.
Royal Lifesaving Society’s home pool safety checklist is a great resource for pool owners to conduct a self-assessment.
There’s no better place to be than by a backyard pool on a scorching day. Make sure yours is safe and let the long summer days roll!