Pool Fencing: Regulations and Your Responsibilities

glass pool fenceA pool adds beauty to your home, but it can be a threat to the safety of your family members, as well. Many drowning incidents take place when children are left alone in and around pool environments. Be aware of the regulations set by the government, and do your best to ensure your family’s safety.

Whether you own a swimming or a spa pool, Consumer NZ, Water Safety New Zealand and Auckland Glass noted that you’re responsible for installing the necessary features that will keep everyone safe from drowning.

Do You Need to Install a Fence?

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (FOSPA) of 1987 and the Building Act of 2004 are two legislations related to the safety of pools in every New Zealand household. The former is for the protection of young children from falling into swimming pools without a fence. It requires households to install any type of fencing around their pool with at least a height of 1.2 metres. The latter is for the construction of new pools and the renovation of existing pools. All work related to pools should comply with Subpart 4 of the Building Code, which includes the provision requirement of barriers.

Are There Any Exemptions to This Rule?

The Section 5 of FOSPA specified that exemptions are applicable for certain pools. The decision is up to the homeowners, whether they still see the importance of installing a fence of not.

  • Pools that need climbing — or with sides that are 1.2 m or higher — don’t need fencing. The stairs or ladder leading to it, however, needs a fence to prevent easy access. If the stairs are removable, then it’s okay not to install a fence so long as you remove the stairs when the pool is not in use.
  • Indoor residential pools are exempt, but safety measures should be in place. Children shouldn’t be able to access the area easily. The doors and windows need to have an automatic lock, a restrictor and many other features that keep entry points closed.
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Keep your family safe from accidents in your pool area by following the regulations set by NZ officials. As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to apply the rules they set to promote safety.