The term ‘effective height’ is referred to in the Pool Safety Standard. For example, section 2.1 of Australian Standard 1926-2007 part 1 (AS1926.1) provides that ‘the effective height shall not be less than 1200 millimetres...’. The Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 3.4 also requires that if the barrier is less than 1800 millimetres high and the non-climbable zone is located on the outside of a barrier, an additional clear area must exist immediately adjacent to the fence to maintain the effective height of the fence.
The Pool Safety Council has been asked to clarify the applicability of the term ‘effective height’ in the context of an 1800 millimetre high barrier, where the non-climbable zone may be on the inside of the barrier. The barrier acts as a deterrent for a young child trying to gain access to the pool area and serves two purposes depending upon the location and height of the barrier and the location of the nonclimable zone on the barrier.
When the non-climbable zone is located on the:
• outside of the barrier, the effective height of the barrier and the non-climbable zone act as a deterrent for a young child to climb into the pool area by being difficult to climb and, in some instances, due to the height of the barrier
• inside of the barrier, the effective height and the non-climbable zone deter a young child from wanting to jump or climb down into the pool area.