Updated March, 2023

Armed with a tape measure, we all can join the fight for pool safety. And it starts with understanding The NCZ Non Climbable Zone.

The ultimate defences against children drownings around the pool relies upon

  • correct CPR signage
  • compliant locks and latches
  • the pool fences and barriers, and
  • the NCZ Non Climbable Zone

Easy Click Through Table Of Contents

What Is The NCZ Non Climbable Zone?

The NCZ Non Climbable Zone around the pool barrier was born when the Australian Swimming Pool Act 1992 was introduced (incidentally, right there with Sir Mix-A-Lot and Boyz II Men).

The NCZ Non Climbable Zone successfully keeps children from accessing the pool area by forbidding any climbable objects, trees or shrubbery to exist within 900mm of the pool, fences and barriers.

The NCZ looks at

  • design, construction, installation and maintenance of child-resistant barriers
  • restricting access to pools for pool safety
  • pool inspections, and
  • pool safety certificates as well as the NSW Certificate of Non Compliance, QLD Form 26 Nonconformity Notice and VIC Form 24 certificate of pool and spa barrier non compliance.

How Does The NCZ Non Climbable Zone Work?

Drowning remains one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Australian children. Statistics from Australia’s National Drowning Report by the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia shows the top locations for children drownings 0-4 were in swimming pools, bathtubs and spa baths.

The NCZ Non Climbable Zone sets rules and regulations preventing access to the pool through climbing the barrier or using climbable objects near the pool barrier with a non climbable zone around the pool fence and barrier.

  • This zone extends outwards, upwards and downwards in a 900mm arc from the top of barrier
  • 300mm within the pool area from inside must be kept free from potential horizontal hand and footholds
  • Horizontal climbable bars on your pool barrier must be spaced at least 900mm apart
  • For boundary or dividing barriers 1800mm or more in height, the NCZ Non Climbable Zone is located from the inside of the barrier
  • For pool fences 1200mm or more in height, the NCZ Non Climbable Zone is located on the inside and outside of the fence



What Objects Are Allowed Within The NCZ Non Climbable Zone?

In a nutshell, none.

This means no horizontal surfaces, levels or steps, projections or indentations more than 10 mm. Essentially, anything a child can use as a hand or foothold to climb into or access the pool area is not allowed. 

If the pool area has climbable objects within the NCZ Non Climbable Zone, there are 3 solutions to correct this.

  1. Adjust and raise the barriers to 1800mm so it is clear of the object,
  2. Remove it, or
  3. Contact us for expert advice

Removable climbable objects can include

  • climbable trees
  • pool filter
  • horizontal rails
  • pot plants
  • planter boxes
  • shrubs
  • outdoor furniture
  • BBQs
  • taps
  • toys
  • ladders
  • lattice
  • trellis, and
  • retaining walls

If a bush, shrub or tree has a thick branch with 10mm or more in width to offer a hand or foothold, rather than removing the entire bush, shrub or tree, the branch can be cut off to essentially be a trunk. 

While foliage is viewed as a deterrence to access the pool area, cut back and exposed stumps and bushes can be a climbing aid.

When bushes, shrubs or trees remain inside a NCZ Non Climbable Zone, owners are responsible for trimming them frequently and monitoring them for exposed branches. Regular NCZ Non Climbable Zone maintenance prevents children finding clever ways to access the pool area.

Prefer To Watch? Enjoy Our Video

Happy Pool Safety



Disclaimer: PoolSS Checklists are a guide only, and does not constitute acknowledgment or approval of compliance or safety. If you check “No” to any of our questions, we recommend you Book An Inspection with a pool safety inspector to carry out an inspection confirming your pool is safe. 


Got Questions? We've Got Answers.


? Put The 'Fun' into Fundamentals

Learn Up
? Pool Fences & Barriers
NCZ Non-Climbable Zone
? Pool Gate Latch

Pool Signage



? Get out the measuring tape

DIY Pool Safety
? The Ultimate PoolSS Safety Checklist 

? Achievement unlocked 

All The Free Stuff
PoolSS Safety Resources

PoolSS Legal Centre

error: Content is protected !!