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The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act was introduced to protect young children from the danger of drowning.
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As of 1 January 2017, responsibilities for pool owners changed.
Pool safety barriers are now regulated by the Building Act 2004 and the new Building Code Clause F9 - Restricting Access to Residential Pools, which took effect from 1 January 2017.
This clause has the requirement to prevent unsupervised access by children under five years of age to residential pools. It requires barriers around pools to restrict unsupervised access by children. Barriers can include gates and suitably constructed doors. Some small heated pools may have a removable cover rather than a surrounding barrier.
F9/AS1 provides the Acceptable Solution for swimming pool barriers in general.
F9/AS2 provides the Acceptable Solution for covers which may be used on above ground small heated pools.
The Building Act now requires residential pools to be inspected every three years by territorial authorities or independently qualified pool inspectors (IQPIs).
It is now a legislative requirement under the Building Act 2004, for all residential pools to be inspected at least once every three years.
We will let you know in writing when an inspection is due.
Components of pool fencing, such as self-closing and self-latching devices, can deteriorate over time and stop operating as required. The inspections will ensure these components continue to operate to the required level of compliance.
See Building Act 2004 section 162D periodic inspections of residential pools.
No, as long as we can access the area where the pool is located. We will notify you of the outcome of the inspection, and if we identify any problems, we'll give you time to fix them and work with you to get the pool compliant.
Pool inspections in the Waimakariri District are free.
No. If your pool is within the following criteria, you do not need a pool safety barrier.
Residential pools, including indoor swimming pools that can hold 400mm depth of water or more, are required to have compliant physical barriers that restrict access to the pool by unsupervised children under 5 years of age. See F9/AS1 Residential pool barriers.
The legal requirements are:
Where a building forms all or part of an immediate pool area barrier:
Failure to meet compliance with the Building Act 2004 will mean the Council can issue pool owners with a Notice to Fix (NTF). A NTF is issued for disregarding or failing to comply with the Building Act (for example failing to restrict access to a residential pool; failing to obtain a building consent).
If you don’t contact us to arrange an inspection or refuse access, a Notice to Fix will be issued and an Infringement Notice and fine may follow.
Building Code Clause F9 - means of restricting access to residential pools provides more information about pool fencing requirements.
For additional guidance refer to the safety guidance for pool owners.
If you have any questions around inspections or regulations under the Building Act, please contact us on 03 311 8906.
After completing the online swimming pool registration form, our team will be in touch to arrange for a building inspector to check and confirm that the pool and/or fencing are compliant.
In the event that a barrier has horizontal structures, such as bars, rods, wires or bracing, which are accessible from outside, they must be at least 900 mm apart and there must be no other support or structure (apart from a vertical rail) between them which might make climbing possible for a young child.
Steel wire mesh with square openings may be used as an alternative to the solid panel shown in (e) in Figure 1 F9/AS1 provided the openings do not have a side dimension greater than 13 mm. Panels with steel wire mesh having openings measuring between 13 mm and 35 mm on a side shall be not less than 1800 mm high but may have a gap at the base of not more than 100 mm.
Gates and doors which provide access to pool areas are treated as barriers and must be constructed to comply with the rules given to the barriers (see above). They should be mounted so that:
When a door or window in a wall forms part of a pool fence
Where a door or window in a wall forms part of a
pool barrier, the door must not be readily opened by
children and must either emit an audible warning or close automatically after
use. Window openings must be constructed or positioned to restrict the passage
The latch must be positioned so that it cannot be reached by a child from outside the pool area. This can be achieved by
The maximum allowable gap under a gate or fence is 100 mm.
There must be no ground features or objects outside a pool barrier within 1200mm of the top of the barrier that would assist a child in climbing.
Any projections or indentions on the outside face of a pool barrier shall not have a horizontal projection from the face of the pool barrier greater than 10mm unless they are at least 900mm apart vertically.