Safety First: How Safe Are Pool Fences, Really?

Drowning continues to be one of Australia’s biggest killers. According to a report commissioned by the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia, 249 people died in Australian waterways in 2018. While this has reduced by 14% from 2016/17, that’s still 249 people too many. Of the 249 deaths, 33 occurred in a swimming pool. In another alarming statistic, 29 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned in 2016/17.

Pools, while lovely and gloriously refreshing during summer, are also dangerous. Which is why Australia has strict pool fencing laws and regulations. It’s vital that you ensure that your pool fencing meets these criteria and standards – otherwise, you might be putting your family in danger without even knowing, especially if you have young children at home who are still learning to swim.

Choosing the right fencing for your pool

Appropriate and safe barriers go a long way to when it comes to preventing drowning occurrences. When it comes to pool fencing, it is possible to have something installed that’s safe, functional and looks pleasing to the eye. Glass pool fencing is sleek and modern, and exceptionally durable and safe, making it the perfect pool fencing option. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to protect your family without hindering your view of the pool.

Factors to consider

Of course, when deciding whether glass pool fencing is the right option for you, there are some factors to consider.

  • Child safety: From a child safety perspective, there needs to be nothing for a child to grab on to and use to climb, such as posts. Panels also need to be fitted closely together so that it’s impossible for a small child to squeeze through. Also remember that your gate must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Breakability: While many people will associate glass with breakages, pool glass fences are not made of your average glass material. Glass pool fencing is made from toughened safety glass. This means it’s at least 10mm or 12mm thick and it’s very (we repeat – very) difficult to break the glass. As an added safety and durability bonus, if for whatever reason the panel does break, it will not shatter into a thousand tiny sharp shards as assumed. It will actually break into small cubes without sharp edges, making it a much safer option for if an accident does occur.
  • How will you maintain it?: Maintenance is all part of the safety and durability package. Even though your pool may not be used in the colder seasons, the safety and durability of your fence relies on your ability to maintain it. If not checked, how will you ensure the gate is always working, the latch is always closed and that there are no breakages?

Check it off your list

To ensure your glass pool fence is safe, durable and abides by all regulations, check what your individual state requires.

However, for a quick checklist, you’ll need to make sure:

  • The fence is at least 1200mm high
  • The gaps at the bottom of the panels are no more than 100mm
  • The pool gate must be self-closing and self-latching
  • The pool gate must swing outwards and the latch must be on the pool-side of the gate
  • The latch must be impossible for children to reach
  • Fence must not be climbable
  • Gaps between the glass panels must not be wide enough for a child to fit through
  • If the pool can be accessed from a building, children must not be able to access windows or doors to open nearby, giving them access to the pool.

While it may come with a slightly higher price tag, glass is not only the most aesthetically-pleasing pool fence option, but it’s also considered one of (if not the) safest and most durable options. It can be personalised to suit the landscaping and surroundings of the pool’s environment, and will ensure you can look out on from your verandah or balcony onto your sparkling backyard pool. Glass pool fencing is also easy to clean from smudge marks, water marks and grime. Just give it a quick wipe down and you’re done – no fiddly segments or annoying crevices to deal with!

Keeping your family safe in summer and throughout the year

Ensuring your pool fence meets the fencing laws and regulations designated in each state across Australia is Trade Glass Depot’s top priority. On top of this, we aim to provide you with the highest quality, durable glass fencing available in the country. Contact us now for more information!

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