Whitehorse City Council

Pool & Spa Safety Barriers

Pool SafetyDrowning is the most common cause of preventable death for children under five years of age in Victoria. To improve child safety, the state government has introduced pool and spa safety regulations. All pools and spas must now have safety barriers. If you don’t comply with the regulations, you risk the lives of family and friends as well as fines of up to $5000.  

A fully compliant barrier system can never be considered childproof. Therefore, proper adult supervision is essential to ensuring the safety of children around a swimming pool or spa area. 

A safety barrier restricts children’s access to the area containing a pool or spa. ‘Safety barrier’ refers to a fence, wall, gate or screen, and includes doors, gates, windows, locks, latches, hinges and self-closing devices attached to them. 

Safety barriers are required for in-ground swimming pools, jacuzzis, indoor swimming pools, above-ground swimming pools, spas, bathing and wading pools and hot tubs. 

Swimming pool and spa owners are required by law to meet government standards and regulations. Some of these laws include:

  • All swimming pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water exceeding 300 mm (30 cm) must have suitable child resistant safety barriers
  • A building permit is required for the construction of all pools (including those above ground) and spas that are capable of containing a depth of water greater than 300 mm. The permit must be issued by a municipal or private building surveyor
  • A building permit is required for installing and altering all swimming pool and spa safety fences and barriers including windows, doors and gates that provide access to a pool or spa area
  • Suitable child resistant safety barriers must be completed within six months of building work starting on swimming pools and spas
  • Any swimming pool or spa fence, barrier, gate or door must be maintained in good working order
  • All gates and doors providing access to a swimming pool or a spa must have self-closing and self-latching devices, regardless of when they were built
  • It is an offence to prop open any gate or door providing access to a swimming pool or spa.

For more information on pool safety and fencing, download the pdf icon  Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Information Sheet (634.27kB) or call Council’s Building Unit on 9262 6333.