Part of a pool safety inspector’s role is to ensure the pool gate/s are working correctly and are compliant.

The first step is to measure the height of your pool gate and make sure it is at least 1200mm from ground level. If there is any objects near the gate, make sure the gate is minimum 1200mm above the objects. If not move the objects or raise the height of the gate.

On the aluminum rail pool gate the magna gate latch should be a minimum 1500mm above ground level or 1400mm above the highest lowest climb point on the gate or fence.

The pool safety inspector will then inspect the gate hinges to make sure they are good condition and working correctly. The hinges should be a minimum 900mm apart, although a sixty degree hinge cap can be fastened to the top of the bottom hinge to create a non climbable point. The sixty degree hinge cap is inadequate if the gap between the gate and hinge post is greater than 10mm wide, if this is the situation then the hinges need to be removed and refastened further apart to ensure a 900mm non climb zone is obtained.

There are several different types of gate hinges the pool fence inspector will come across.

Most gate hinges are tension adjustable and some are not adjustable and some have no spring or tension at all. The most important role of the hinge is to be able to self close the gate from any position, no matter how far or close the gate is open. Remember the gate hinges are out in the weather, get used hundreds to thousand of times and they do need replacing or retensioning from time to time.

Another important part of the gate is the gate latch, the most common gate latch is the magnetic pull top latch. The pool safety inspector will perform several tests to ensure the gate latch is working correctly every time.

The pool safety inspector will open the gate fully and let the gate close at full speed under is own weight and the gate must close and latch first time without the gate bouncing back open.  The gate will then be made to rest on the gate latch striker and the power of the hinge must pull the gate closed and secure every time.

If the gate bounces back open when the gate is closed from a full speed closing it normally means the gate latch requires adjustment. In most situations the pool safety inspector can talk you through the procedure of how to correctly adjust the gate latch.

Pool gates also require no gaps greater than 100mm on the gate rails or even under the gate.

The gate must be able to sustain the weight of a small child (25kg) and still operate.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is never wedge a gate open and don’t store light chairs or furniture near the fence or gate.

REMEMBER the gate is the most used part of the pool barrier and needs to be serviced and checked regularly.