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Last updated: 08 November 2018

Pool fence safety regulations mean you need a secure and safe barrier around your backyard pool, but are pool fences safe enough to keep up with changing standards? We safety-check a range of models to find out. Our buying guide will help you decide which pool fence you need.

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CHOICE bought more than 20 metal and glass pool fence panels, and tested them against key sections of the Australian pool safety standard AS1926.1. We can't cover the entire market, so we focused on a mix of manufacturers servicing Sydney and surrounds, as well as national suppliers.

Our expert testers give every pool fence panel a safety-check to find out if pool fence panels:

  • meet height requirements
  • pass the standard safety probe test to see whether the openings are strong and rigid
  • pass the barrier strength test.
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out whether models are meeting key requirements. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

CHOICE does not currently test pool fence gates, as we think their effectiveness largely depends on correct usage and installation. However, it's vital to monitor how well the gate is working as it is the weakest part of the barrier. Make sure the gate self-closes from any position and self-latches. According to pool fencing experts, gates last five to ten years, depending on weather conditions and how often they're used.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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    Rounded to the nearest dollar; price paid for each panel including GST in July 2014.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 49 and 186

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    Passed strength of barrier openings

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    For the panels, we apply a 330N (around 33kg) force to the bars to test the barrier strength. They must not permanently deform, break or come loose.

    We also apply a force to the middle of the glass panels to test their strength. All the panels passed this test.

      Strength and rigidity of openings

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      Whether or not the bars passed our probe test. Our tester tries to push a cylindrical steel probe through the bars at three locations at up to 150N (around 15kg) to see whether the bars are strong and rigid enough to stop a young child squeezing through.

        Material

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        All the fences were made of tubular aluminium, steel or safety glass.

          Test results

          Free of finger entrapment hazards

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          Although it's a minor issue, we check whether the metal fences have potential finger entrapment hazards. Most of them have open-ended tubes underneath the bottom rail which could trap a curious child's fingers. This field does not apply to glass panels.

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