Under the current Standard a Non Climbable Zone is located in the upper 900mm quadrant of the fence height. This is measured in a downward arc from the top of the fence. Within any of the five Non Climbable Zones there shall be no handholds or footholds, objects or plants that will facilitate climbing.
The exception to this requirement is that NCZ 5 is not invalidated by the intersection of a compliant internal fence provided the width of the top rail or surface of the intersecting barrier is not more than 50mm at any point within the Non Climbable Zone.
Let’s talk about how this impacts the compliance of many pool enclosures. The ideal boundary barrier fence would have a smooth surface in the upper 900mm with no open apertures, climbable points or other objects. Many pool owners are unaware of this basic requirement to remove any scalability from within this Non Climbable Zone. Below we can see some examples of a failure to comply with this requirement.
Example 1 – A product available from hardware stores is the fake vine. This product is no more suitable in this location that a living vine. Both create climbable points when placed in NCZ 5.
Example 2 – Horizontal rails. We see them with large and small spacings, sturdy or flimsy however when your Certifier must determine whether they do create a handhold or foothold and these clearly do.
Example 3 – Brushwood fencing that has not been secretly wired. This type of fencing is often seen in a deteriorated condition, not to correct height and with exposed wires that are spaced less than 900mm apart. 2 – 3 rows of wires are typically evident within NCZ 5.
Example 4 – Another popular product that pool owners install, often at some expense, is a screen which owners attach onto the Boundary Fence. Bamboo screens can be flimsy or substantial however they all have one feature in common – the wires or strings create a handhold or foothold within NCZ 5. Additionally, a screen cannot be used to extend the height of a low Boundary Barrier. As you can see this screen is flexible and flimsy and the boundary fence does not achieve 1200mm in height, let alone the required 1800mm for this enclosure.
Example 5 – A structure such as a pool filter enclosure where its height does not match the height of the Boundary Barrier Fence. The surface of this pool filter enclosure is clearly within NCZ 5 where it creates a large landing place that contravenes the requirements of this clause.
Example 6 – the 1200mm high pool barrier that has been constructed from a material that is wider than 50mm. At the intersection in each of these photos, a landing place is created within NCZ5 since the height of the wide pool barrier does not match the height of the intersecting boundary barrier fence.
The resolution for each of these examples is essentially the same. Remove the object or surface from within NCZ 5. Remove the fake (or real) vines, remove the screening material and increase the height of the boundary fence accordingly, cover the wires of the brushwood fencing and increase the height of the 50mm+ wall for 900mm out from the intersection.