​Safety Regulations Around the Home

​Safety Regulations Around the Home

Brush fences

A brush fence is a fence or gate that is primarily constructed of brush such as broombrush.

Building requirements for brush fences

Brush fences in close proximity to dwellings are fire hazards that pose a risk to the safety of occupants.

There are safety requirements 796.1 KB for new homes, home additions and new brush fences to prevent the spread of any brush fire to a home.

These include:
a new brush fence, or a rebuilt existing brush fence cannot be erected within three metres of an existing or proposed dwelling, unless the dwelling materials meet certain fire resistance measures
dwellings cannot be erected within three metres of an existing brush fence, unless the dwelling materials meet certain fire resistance measures.

Development plan consent is not required for the construction or alteration of a brush fence, but building rules consent is.

Existing brush fences

These requirements do not affect existing brush fences or existing dwellings if no changes are being made to the fence or dwelling. Existing brush fences can be repaired, but not replaced with another brush fence unless the new conditions are met.

Pool and spa safety

As a swimming pool or spa pool owner you are responsible for safety.

Drowning is the biggest cause of accidental death for young children. Most occur in private backyard swimming pools. You can reduce the risk of accidents occurring in your swimming pool or spa pool by adequately fencing your pool and ensuring young children are supervised at all times.

In a life-threatening or urgent situation phone the emergency services on 000.

Fencing

All swimming pools or spa pools must have a continuous safety barrier maintained by the pool owner that restricts access by young children to the pool.

If you are a property owner and are selling a property with a swimming pool or spa pool built before July 1993 you must make sure that the safety barrier meets today’s standard for new pools. Fencing must be constructed in such a way to make sure that:

  • The fence is an effective barrier to young children
  • It is permanent
  • Young children can’t crawl under or climb over it by using foot and hand holds
  • It is at least 1.2 metres high
  • Any boundary fences used as part of the child-safety barrier are at least 1.8 metres high on the side that faces the pool, with a 900 millimetres non-climbable zone at the top inside of the fence; a boundary barrier may be climbable on the neighbour’s side.

Gates to the pool area must:

  • Swing outward from the pool area
  • Be self-closing from any position
  • Be fitted with a latching device, out of reach of small children, at least 1.5 metres above ground level.


Hard covers on spas

Child-resistant hard covers cannot be used as safety barriers in place of a fence for above-ground spa pools because:

there are no current regulatory standards for spa pool covers
when the cover is off the spa pool there is no barrier.

Filtration

In-ground or above-ground swimming pools and spa pools must have a water recirculation and filtration system that complies with Australian standards. This is to reduce the risk of a young child being trapped by suction or hair entanglement.

Maintenance

As a swimming pool or spa pool owner you must make sure that all required pool safety features are maintained in working order at all times. Gates should never be propped open and it is very important that a gate closes and latches every time it is opened.

Supervision

Children can move quickly and may not recognise the dangers of a swimming pool. Close child supervision will help to reduce the number of drownings in private swimming pools.

In a life-threatening or urgent situation phone the emergency services on 000.

Resuscitation

Resuscitation skills are crucial because they save lives – make certain that someone on the property has these skills.

In a life-threatening or urgent situation phone the emergency services on 000.

Development approval for a new pool

Development approval is required for a new swimming pool, spa pool and safety fencing. Your local council will check:

  • The details and location of safety barriers
  • The  safety of the pump
  • The  adequacy of structural support for the swimming pool or spa pool.

Fencing must be installed before a new pool is filled with water.

Above-ground or inflatable pools and ‘portable’ spa pools

If the swimming pool or spa pool has a filtration system you will need to:

The sides of an above-ground pool can be a suitable safety barrier if:

  • They are non-climbable and are at least 1.2 metres high, and
  • A barrier is placed around the ladder (even if it is removable), and
  • A barrier is placed around anything else that can be climbed on.

Installing a portable pool or spa on a deck

You should seek the advice of an engineer or from your local council if you are thinking about installing a portable swimming pool or spa pool:

  • on a deck
  • on a balcony
  • on a suspended floor
  • near a retaining wall.

They are able to check that the deck or wall can safely take the weight of the swimming pool or spa pool.

Legal obligations when selling a house with a swimming pool or spa pool

Pools built before 1 July 1993

If you are selling your property with a swimming pool or spa pool, you are responsible for making sure that current safety requirements for swimming pool safety are met. This may mean you have to upgrade fencing or barriers.

If the property where a swimming pool or spa pool is located is not for sale, the pool can continue to comply with the old Swimming Pools Safety Act 1972. The Act requires a swimming pool or spa pool owner to ensure that the pool is enclosed by a fence, wall or building to restrict access by young children.

If the property is sold after 1 October 2008, the child-safety barriers must comply with Minister’s Specification SA 76D before settlement. This means that barriers must be installed to separate the pool area from the house where ever possible.

The revised Minister’s Specification SA 76D took effect on 15 May 2014 by notice in the Government Gazette and only applies to prescribed swimming pools and spa pools as defined in section 71AA of the Development Act 1993.

Pools built on or after 1 July 1993

Swimming pools or spa pools built on or after 1 July 1993 must comply with the rules that were current when the application for construction was submitted. This includes the provisions of the Development Act 1993 and the Building Code of Australia to restrict access to the pool from the house, garage, street and any adjoining properties.

Getting a pool inspected

You are not required to have a swimming pool or spa pool inspected when selling a property with an existing pool.

Should you decide to have your pool inspected it is recommended that you use a private certifier to undertake the inspection of pool safety barriers and certify (or otherwise) compliance as they possess the appropriate qualifications, experience and professional indemnity insurance to perform this function. Private certifiers subject to Condition C cannot perform this function.

Only council officers have legislative authority under the Development Act 1993 to enforce requirements for swimming pool and spa pool safety.

​Source: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing-property-and-land/building-and-development/residential-building-regulations/safety-regulations-around-the-home/pool-and-spa-safety​

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