New Qld pool fence laws prompt electrical safety warning

Master Electricians Australia Chief Executive Malcolm Richards makes the following comments regarding pool safety.

The passing of new pool fence safety laws in the Queensland Parliament last night has prompted a warning to households about the risk of electric shock or electrocution if the upgraded fence is not earthed correctly.

Master Electricians Australia Chief Executive Malcolm Richards warned many homeowners could be unaware of the risk of electrocution posed by an unearthed pool fence.

“The combination of water and electricity is dangerous, and it is not uncommon for electrical current to leak into swimming pools, but people don’t get electrocuted because of the safety system in place.”

“All metal reinforcing in pool and surrounds is earthed so that if there’s a fault with the pool electrics, there’s no danger.”

“But if the pool fence itself is not earthed it can become electrified and people can die from that,” he said.

Mr Richards said modern glass pool fences were particularly problematic as they often had several metal fittings that all required individual earthing.

It is more difficult to properly earth pool fences after the pool is built.

” To bond the conductive elements to the bonding grid, electrical contractors need to access to the ground around the swimming pool and underneath structures such as pool fences .”

” If an electrician is brought onto site to complete the electrical safety requirements after the tiles and cement have been laid, this hampers the bonding process considerably.”

Mr Richards said it was important that Council inspectors check correctly during the construction process and after upgrades to ensure fences are earthed.

“Pool owners who are unsure of the safety of their pools should have them inspected and tested by a Master Electrician.”

More information on electrical safety checks