Let's Talk Gates

The Number 1 Failure to Comply

Let’s talk Gates – the No. 1 Failure to Comply

Over the years I’ve seen all sorts of non-compliances relating to the Pool Gate. What I’ve discovered is that not enough attention is paid to this critical component, despite it being the No. 1 failure to comply and the leading reason for child drownings or near drownings in the backyard pool.  Whether you have one pool gate or four, all of them are required to comply. Let’s have a look at some of those issues so that maybe you will be more aware of the risks relating to the Pool Gate.

No.1   – and the most dangerous Non Compliance for any Pool gate – the Propping of the Gate – often a brick or a pot or more concerning is the fitting of a device for the purpose of propping the gate and I’ve seen dozens of devices fitted!  

No.2   – the failure of the gate to self-close and self-latch from any opening position

No.3   – the binding of the gate on long grass, raised ground levels, vegetation and retaining walls 

No.4   – the shielding of the gate release mechanism or the height of the gate release. https://www.poolcertify.com.au/is-your-glass-gate-latch-correctly-shielded/

No.5   – the fact that many pools have two, three or even four gates and in a number of cases, not one of the gates was found to be compliant.

No.6   – the inward opening gate.  This is an immediate failure to comply even if the gate self-closes correctly

No.7   – the secondary gate, often that leads directly to the street, that by design is incapable of self-closing and self-latching

No.8   – the gate without a Boundary Fence that leads into the neighbouring property – quite often found to be a public area such as a lane-way or park.

No.9   – the gate that is constructed from a non-compliant material with gaps within the rods that exceed 100mm

No.10  – the gate with gaps exceeding 100mm below the gate.

No.11 – the gate with horizontal components that is installed within NCZ5, the 900mm Non Climbable Zone of the boundary fence

No.12 – the gate installed directly across an opening in the Residence

No.13- the gate with no landing – contrary to BCA requirements


The gate to this derelict pool on a vacant property was found to be propped open with a brick. This intentional defect is a significant risk to public safety.

Like too many pool gates, this one has a hook fitted for the purpose of holding the gate in the open position.











These double gates open inwards and are incapable of self-closing and self-latching. The fact that they are padlocked shut does not make them compliant. They open onto a public area and directly into the yard, the whole of which is being utilised as the pool enclosure.


This inward opening gate is an immediate failure to comply as it has never complied with any Standard. Not only that, it binds on the ground so can be held in an open position. Notice the pool area contained play equipment – another breach of the Swimming Pools Act. 


Adjacent to this gate is a doggy door that is held open by a hook. Clearly the gap exceeds 100mm in height and width and as such is not compliant. The dog kennel was found inside the enclosure, hence the reasoning to install the doggy door, however dog kennels must be kept outside the pool enclosure.

The fact that this Gate leads directly to the street and the hinges are not designed to self-close and self-latch is not only a concern but a significant risk to public safety.












The design of this secondary gate in the side accessway is not suited to this location where the horizontal components intrude with NCZ5, the 900mm Non Climbable Zone of the Boundary Fence. A different style is required.

Here we see a rural gate with large latching mechanism abutting the pool barrier. The object is installed within NCZ2 and the 500mm Exclusion Zone of the pool barrier, allowing the barrier to be scaled.
















The owner altered the fencing of this previously compliant enclosure to include a childs’ play area. They identified the roller door as an issue but decided to simply install a gate across the opening. This provides direct access into the garage when the roller door is open. As such, there is insufficient separation of the Residence from the Pool.

A pool gate must be outward opening with a minimum landing depth of 750mm where there are more than 3 risers or more than 570mm for the overall height of the steps. This configuration does not meet the BCA requirements for safe access of a pool enclosure.












So reach out to our  Pool Compliance Inspector at Pool Certify

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to offer accurate and up-to-date content, it is not intended to replace professional advice. The publisher of this article cannot be held liable for the creation of any new non-compliances, a failure to comply issued by this or any other inspector,  that may have resulted after reading and acting on the general information contained herein, or any damages, injuries, or losses that may result from the application of the information provided where the pool owner has not sought appropriate professional on-site advice prior to taking action.

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