Certified pool safety inspections in Victoria can only be conducted by a qualified building inspector or building surveyor whom holds a valid licence issued by the Victorian Building Authority.
You can rest assured that the Dr. PoolSafe team of qualified building inspectors are not only qualified but also highly experienced at conducting Victorian pool inspections and spa inspections to satisfy the Victorian pool fence regulations across all of the applicable barrier standards.
In Victoria, there are five key applicable barrier standards which can apply. The relevant applicable barrier standard for your property is based on the original date of construction of your pool or spa. In circumstances where there have been material changes to your safety barrier, the date of construction will be updated to the relevant date the changes were made or a building permit was obtained to make those changes. To read more about the differing applicable barrier standards that can apply, please refer to this link.
Since 1 December 2019, property owners in Victoria have been required to register their pool or spa with their local council. Once a pool or spa has been registered with your local council they will provide you with a confirmation of registration, which will include two key pieces of information:
1. The date of construction of your pool or spa; and
2. The applicable barrier standard for your pool or spa.
In order to ensure we assess your pool or spa safety barrier against the correct applicable barrier standard, we need to obtain a copy of this correspondence from your local council prior to commencing an inspection.
On the day of your inspection, you will receive email and SMS correspondence confirming your inspection, and the time of arrival of your building inspector, with live GPS tracking information whilst they are on route to your property.
Onsite inspections typically take around 45 minutes to complete, depending on the complexity of your pool or spa safety barrier, and to the extent your barrier is compliant. Pool and spa safety barriers can take many forms, and can include various features of your property such as boundary fences, walls of buildings, retaining walls, balcony balustrades, walls of above ground pools or spas, windows, gates, internal fences and doors depending on the applicable barrier standard.
During the course of a pool fence inspection or spa fence inspection, a qualified building inspector will inspect your safety barrier to ensure it meets the dimensional and operating requirements for your applicable barrier standard. Whilst there are five key applicable barrier standards that can apply, they all share common minimum requirements which will be inspected amongst other applicable barrier standard specific requirements, that being:
- 1200mm minimum height required when measured on the APPROACH SIDE (side that faces away from the pool or spa);
- Maximum vertical gaps below the fence and finished ground level of 100mm;
- Stable surface below the fence (loose soil or objects that could easily be removed by a child are not compliant)
- Maximum horizontal gaps between adjacent members of the fence of 100mm;
- Strength and rigidity requirements to be structurally secure and to stand vertically upright;
- For fences with horizontal gaps greater than 10mm, there are non-climbable zone requirements which require up to 300mm on the INSIDE of your fence (side that faces towards the pool) to be clear of all climbable objects that could be used for climbing;
- All gates to swing outwards away from the pool or spa area;
- All gates must independently self-close and self-latch from any position including when resting on the latch;
- Gates must have the underside of the release device on the self-latching mechanism located at a minimum 1500mm effective vertical height when measured on the APPROACH SIDE (side that faces away from the pool or spa) OR on the INSIDE (side that faces towards the pool or spa) of the gate, where to access the release device on the self-latching mechanism, a person is required to reach over the gate (minimum 1200mm height requirement), and downwards 150mm. The release device and the latch must be shielded for a minimum of 450mm in all other directions, and the horizontal gap on the closing side of the gate cannot exceed 10mm.
- All doors must independently self-close and self-latch from any position including when resting on the latch;
- Doors must have the underside of the release device on the self-latching mechanism located at a minimum 1500mm effective vertical height when measured on the APPROACH SIDE (side that faces away from the pool or spa).
- All windows must be either shielded or restricted from opening beyond certain dimensions (generally 100mm); and
- For internal fences, on the APPROACH SIDE (side that faces away from your pool or spa) there are also non-climbable zones which require up to 1200mm from the top of your fence to be clear of all climbable objects that could be used for climbing. Depending on the applicable barrier standard for your property, there are differing dimensional requirements. To read more about non-climbable zones, please click on this link.
- For boundary fences, there are differing minimum height requirements and non-climbable zones depending on the applicable barrier standard for your property.
Please refer to the self-assessment checklists published by the Victorian Building Authority should you wish to review the specific requirements as they relate to your property according to Victorian pool fence regulations.
Your building inspector will carefully document, photograph and where applicable video (operating aspects of gates and doors) various aspects of your safety barrier to demonstrate it is compliant with the applicable barrier standard for your property.
Following the conclusion of your safety barrier inspection, your building inspector will provide you with a comprehensive report via email on the same day detailing all of the aspects of your safety barrier which were inspected, together with all photos, videos and recommendations that may apply.
Should you safety barrier be found to be compliant, we will also issue you with a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance via email on the same day for lodgement with your local council.Please ensure you lodge your Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance within 30 days of issuance.
In circumstances where one or more issues are identified which renders your safety barrier non-compliant, we will also provide written recommendations on the most cost-effective solutions to render your safety barrier compliant, together with trades who may be able to assist you.
You will have up to a maximum of 60 days from the date of your Initial Inspection to make the necessary repairs before we are required to re-inspect the property with a Follow-up inspection to verify it has been rendered safe and compliant with the applicable barrier standard. The 60 day requirement is specified under Victorian pool fence regulations, for which we have no discretion to amend.
If you need a little extra time to complete your repairs, we can provide a further seven day extension under Victorian pool fence regulations in addition to the initial 60 days where we are able to conduct a Follow-up inspection at your property to assess the progress of your repairs.
Please note in some circumstances your local council may grant an extension of time for the lodgement of your Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance. Any extension of time provided by your local council only extends your lodgement deadline, and does not extend the 60 day 7 day timeframes once a certified inspection has taken place where repairs are required.
For material items of non-compliance, which relates to barriers less than 1000mm high, and gates and doors which cannot be locked, or if we are unable to verify your property has been made compliant within the above timeframes, we are required to issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-Compliance to both you and your local council.In these circumstances, your local council can charge a lodgement fee of up to $397.54 to process a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-Compliance.
Please refer to our frequently asked questions should you require further information, otherwise lease see the detailed Council and Practitioner Guide issued by the Victorian Building Authority should you be interested in reading more about the requirements.
Otherwise please feel free to give us a call on (03) 4158 0000 if you have a question or would like to make a telephone booking. Alternatively, please click here to make a booking online.