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Different Australian Standards for Pool/Spa Safety Barriers

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Different Australian Standards for Pool & Spa Safety Barriers

The legislation for all new and existing swimming pool and spa safety barriers is determined by the date that your swimming pool or spa is constructed:

Before 8 April 1991 – Part 9A, Division 2 of the Building Regulations 2018

8 April 1991 – 31 October 1994 – AS 1926.1 – 1986 (Amendment 1).

1 November 1994 – 30 April 2010 – AS 1926.1 – 1993.

1 May 2010 – 30 April 2013 – AS 1926.1 – 2007

After 1 May 2013 – AS 1926.1 – 2012.


The above will be mentioned on your Council letter that must be provided to our team prior to our inspectors attending to your site. 


The key differences between the different Australian Standard of AS1926.1 over the years. (Please note: these are not all the changes, but a summarized approach):

The Australian Standard AS 1926.1 relates to swimming pool safety, specifically the fencing for swimming pools. Over the years, it has been updated to reflect evolving safety standards and technological advancements. Here’s an overview of the changes across the different versions:

  • AS 1926.1-1986: This version set the foundation for pool barrier requirements, focusing on minimum heights and the strength of barriers to prevent young children from accessing the pool area unsupervised. The standard required pool fences to be at least 1.2 meters high, with no gaps exceeding 100 mm.


  • AS 1926.1-1993: The 1993 update introduced more stringent measures, reducing the allowable gap under the fence from 100 mm to 50 mm to prevent children from crawling underneath. It also addressed climbability concerns by specifying that horizontal climbable bars should be at least 900 mm apart.


  • AS 1926.1-2007: This revision incorporated changes to further reduce the risk of a child climbing over or through the barrier. It introduced the non-climbable zone (NCZ) concept, extending it around the entire barrier and requiring a 900 mm NCZ free from climbable objects. It also mandated self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward, away from the pool.


  • AS 1926.1-2012: The most recent version before 2021, it retained the NCZ concept but included more detailed requirements for gate latching mechanisms and heights. It also provided clearer definitions and testing methods for determining compliance with the standard, ensuring that barriers are effective in preventing young children’s access to the pool area.


Each revision of AS 1926.1 has aimed to address vulnerabilities in pool barrier designs and enhance safety features to prevent accidental drownings. The standards have become more comprehensive over time, reflecting an increased understanding of how children interact with pool barriers and the types of measures needed to prevent accidents.

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