4 Ways Your Pool Fence May No Longer Be Compliant

pool fence non-compliance

Not too bothered about pool barrier safety and compliance? Well, here’s a couple of alarming statistics for you:

  • Drowning is among the leading causes of death in children.1
  • In 2019 – 2020, 50% of all child drownings were in swimming pools.2

However, some 30 years after Australian governments moved aggressively to mandate pool safety barriers, the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia reports that children continue to drown in backyard pools – but not necessary because there was no pool fence at all. No: many of these incidents are occurring because of barriers that are non-compliant.

The Victorian government, however, is on the case. Tougher new laws are just now coming into force, requiring land and business owners to register their pool with their council. Not just that, safety barrier inspections and certificates of barrier compliance are mandatory – and penalties are severe.

Non-compliant barriers will:

  • Be deemed non-compliant
  • Be re-inspected within 60 days
  • Be subject to penalties and fines.

In our busy lives, however, it can be hard to keep track of your pool safety barrier’s official compliance – especially if everything still looks basically ok and you’re keeping up with general maintenance.

Here at Pool Compliance Victoria, we just want to help keep your family safe – so we’ve whipped up a quick checklist of how to ensure any non-compliance issues haven’t crept into your pool safety barrier setup. Let’s (safely) dive in:

1. Gaps

A gap below your pool fence of more than just 100mm could make it non-compliant.

Heavy rain or erosion may have washed some soil away, the land may have shifted or settled, or a feisty puppy may have been doing some digging.

2. Gates

A gate that doesn’t swiftly and properly close and latch isn’t a compliant gate.

Don’t forget, hinge springs lose their tension or become worn out, latch mechanisms can go out of perfect alignment, and grass can grow where it didn’t grow before and get in the way.

3. Degradation

People get old, but so do pool safety barriers.

Just like people, older fences and gates also get a bit dented and damaged over the years – to the point where the smallest and most vulnerable kids squeeze through the bars. Pool barriers that constantly get splashed also rust, and screws and brackets drop off over time.

4. Exclusion zones

Your pool safety inspector won’t be happy if you’re routinely using objects to prop open those gates.

But they’ll also talk about ‘exclusion zones’ in your setup, which must be strictly unimpeded and non-climbable. Kids are prone to climb over barriers if a tree branch has grown too close, while the placement of chairs, pot plants and raised garden beds can effectively lower barrier height. Even a bit of mesh installed along the fence to keep a small pet out could actually allow a child to more easily climb up and over … and in.

Ensure your pool compliance with Pool CV

Have we made you think? Keen to pop out and give your pool safety barrier a quick check? If you’re really worried about compliance, penalties and fines – not to mention the wellbeing of children all around your property – the highly qualified team at Pool Compliance Victoria are here to help with pool safety inspections! Ensuring the compliance of your pool barrier setup could not be simpler – all you have to do is give us a call today.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html
  2. https://www.royallifesaving.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/33861/RLS_NationalDrowningReport2020LR-FINAL.pdf

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