Life saver – Things to consider when building a pool fence
Pool fencing is one of the most important safety features in your backyard. For everyone’s safety, be it your child’s or yours, pool fencing is essential for anyone who has a pool on their property – a house or a commercial space. Studies show that in Australia alone, almost half of the drowning incidents happen to kids who are aged 1 – 5 years. This is the age group in which kids start to wander. Hence, drowning incidents for these kids are common.
This is the very same reason why pool fencing is very important to be installed in your pool areas, to prevent unnecessary, tragic, incidents. Now mandatory in all states in Australia, adequate pool fencing should be among the top priorities of every homeowner in the country.
What are the things to consider for pool fencing installation?
First of all, you should make sure that the pool fence you are building is in compliant with the rules and regulations of the Australian Standard 1926.1. This regulation specifies the requirements for the design and construction and performance for fences, retaining walls, windows, gates, and balconies to form a barrier that will restrict the access of young kids to the swimming pool area.
This is a standard meant to be followed by everyone who wishes to build a private pool in their backyard. If you are having problems as to what the regulations are in your area, contact your local council to help you out. By doing so, you are making sure that every step on your pool fencing is right and safe.
- You should note that when building a pool fence, it should be able to fully isolate the pool area from the house and the neighbourhood. Pool fencing should be able to define what the pool area is and what is not.
- Make sure that the gap or space of the fence from the ground is no more than 10 cm, so that even toddlers cannot enter the pool area without a guardian by crawling under the fence.
- When putting up a gate, make sure that it automatically shuts and latches to prevent kids from entering the area without permission and guardian.
- The vertical railings to be installed in the pool area should not be more than 10 cm apart. More than 10 cm provides a higher risk of children entering the area by squeezing through the railings.
- Note that when installing a gate, the gate release mechanism should be situated above the ground, usually at 1.5 meters, or should be located inside the gate and covered by an approved shield with a height of 1.2 meters.
- While vertical railings should not be 10cm apart, the horizontal railings should be at least 90 cm apart. This prevents the smaller kids from getting a foothold to climb over the fence and enter the pool area without supervision.
- Make sure as well that the positioning of the fence should be kept at least 1.2 meters clear from any objects such as trees, shrubs, rocks, etc, that could help the children climb over the fences.
- Once your fence is up, it is essential that you conduct a thorough check every year, especially before summer starts, to make sure that everything is in place and safe for everyone. Some councils conduct regular inspections to make sure that the pool fences in their area are correctly installed and well maintained. If you hire a professional fence installer, make sure that they offer inspection services regularly if your budget permits. By doing so, you are sure that the materials used for fencing are sturdy and safe, and that the fence to be installed is compliant to the rules and regulations of the Australian Standard 1926.1.
- When choosing a design for your pool fencing, it has been found out that the fences with a loop design, those with tubular sections of pipe are bent through the upper rails, are much safer compared to those fences with a flat top design, those with tubular bars that are fixed and spot-welded inside the upper and lower rails of the flat horizontal). The loop design is said to be more sturdy and stronger, stopping even the most determined kids from squeezing through to enter the pool area.
There might be quite a number of things to consider when installing fences to secure your pool area, but it is always better to prevent accidents than pick up the pieces when something happens. From positioning the horizontal and vertical rails, to keeping in mind the recommended gap between the rails, to having the right mechanism for the closing of your gates, it is necessary to keep everything in mind every step of the installation process to ensure the maximum security of your kids and your pool area.
If do-it-yourself fencing is not your thing, or if you want the assurance of a professional installation, you can contact and hire professional service providers to help you out build a fence around your pool area. These professional service providers can even conduct regular inspections to make sure that the security around your pool area is well kept and security is up-to-date.