When was the last time you checked your pool gate? Pool gates are one of the main items that we identify issues with during pool safety inspections. Every time you go through your pool gate, check that the pool gate is functioning as required. If you do find your pool gate will not close on its own, it is usually a pretty easy fix with a few turns of a screwdriver. YouTube is an excellent source of information on adjusting your gate so that it closes and self-latches.
Pool Gate tips
- Swimming pool gates must not open inwards to the pool area and must self-close and self-latch from all positions. Pool gates must not get stuck in the open position. This occurs when the bottom of the gate becomes wedged on the ground when wide-opened. Each situation will need to be assessed as to the best course of action to fix the problem. Solutions may be as simple as adding a stopper or removing the build-up of soil that is causing the gate to remain open.
- Latches on the gate must be at least 1500mm high from finished ground level (a permanent, stable surface) and at least 1400mm above the highest lower horizontal member. If not, the latch must be located inside so that it is necessary to reach over or through the fencing at the height of not less than 1200mm above finished ground level or at least 1000mm above the top part of the highest lower horizontal member. It must also be 150mm below the top of the gate or the edge of any hand hole opening and, if necessary, covered with a 450mm radius shield with no gaps greater than 10mm. Pool gates must not be able to be key locked in the open position.
- Pool gate hinges thicker than 10mm must be at least 900mm apart, or the lower hinge must have a non-climbable (at least a sixty degree) safety cap fitted to prevent climbing. Hinges should be correctly tensioned, lubricated and not missing any fixings.
The steps you take to monitor and maintain your pool gate may be the steps that save a child’s life.