Pool safety barriers
All swimming pools and spas capable of containing water to a depth greater than 300 mm (30 cm) must have a compliant safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area by young children (under the age of five). Barriers are required for:
- in-ground pools and spas.
- above-ground pools and spas, including relocatable and inflatable pools that are capable of holding more than 300 mm (30 cm) depth of water and require assembly on site.
- indoor pools and spas.
- bathing and wading pools capable of containing more than 300 mm (30 cm) depth of water.
Barriers aren't required for:
- inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) that cannot contain a water depth greater than 300 mm (30 cm).
- small inflatable pools that do not consist of multiple components and do not require any assembly. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.
- bird baths.
- water supply/storage tanks.
- fish ponds.
- baths used for personal hygiene and emptied after each use.
- spas inside a building (e.g. in a bathroom) used for personal hygiene and emptied after each use.
- pools or spas that cannot contain a water depth of more than 300 mm.
If you already have a pool or spa
As a pool or spa owner, you have an obligation to maintain the operation of your swimming pool or spa barrier to prevent access to the pool or spa.
The following checklists will help you assess the safety of your barrier. The checklists are based on the relevant barrier standard associated with the date that the pool or spa was installed.
- Checklist 1 (for pools and spas installed before 8 April 1991) (PDF, 674.37 KB)
- Checklist 2 (for pools and spas installed between 8 April 1991 and 30 April 2010) (PDF, 595.22 KB)
- Checklist 3 (for pools and spas installed from 1 May 2010) (PDF, 3341.21 KB)
If you are having any work done on an existing safety barrier, a permit may need to be issued to alter the barrier. Work to alter an existing barrier will need to comply with the current Regulations. Check with your local council or building surveyor for advice.
If you are planning to get a pool or spa
In Victoria, the design, construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and safety barriers are subject to strict requirements under the Building Regulations 2018 (the Regulations).
Swimming pools, spas and safety barriers must comply with several requirements, including:
- being constructed by a builder registered in an appropriate category or class, or an owner-builder who has an owner-builder certificate of consent.
- have self-latching and self-closing pool gates.
- safety barriers must comply with AS1926.1-2012.
Property owners and occupants are responsible for making sure pool barriers are maintained, repaired and kept in working order. A new outdoor pool or spa area must not be directly accessible via a building.