With the warm weather and summer approaching I thought that it would be a good time to talk about pools and pool safety. Who doesn’t love a swim … well I know that I do and so do my kids. Swimming in backyard pools just seems to be one of those things that is linked with summer and Australia … but is your pool safe? Does it comply with the current regulations?
Did you know
- Drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in children under five in Australia.
- Every year over 35 Australian children under the age of five drown.
- According to a report earlier this year by Royal Life Savings Society up to 85 per cent of home pools are not compliant with pool safety standards (Reported in SMH).
In 1991 mandatory pool fencing legislation was introduced. Since that time there has been a decrease in preschool drowning. However each year many children under 5 continue to drown in backyard pools. Most of these deaths can be attributed to the fact that the pool fencing did not comply with legislation.While each State and Territory’s laws may differ, if you are a pool owner it is your responsibility to make sure that your pool complies with the state government pool fencing legislation.
And this is not just an issue for people who have kids. If you have a pool you could be held responsible and charged with manslaughter if someone dies and you haven’t maintained your pool or fencing that complies with the regulations. Seriously … this year a man was charged with manslaughter in NSW when a neighbours child drowned in the pool because he failed to keep his fencing in a proper state. Could this happen to you?
There are several things you can do to prevent drowning:
- Fence the pool/spa with a four sided fence in accordance with government guidelines This means that access to the pool/spa is via a self-closing, self-latching gate, not the house.
- Ensure that you have signage around your pool giving instructions on how to perform CPR.
- Any equipment not related to the function of the pool/spa must be securely stored outside the pool area. The gate to the pool/spa should never be propped open.
- Regularly inspect your fence (a quick check once a month) using the Home Pool Safety Checklist (downloadable from www.homepoolsafety.com.au) to ensure your fence and gate are in good working order.
- Get your pool inspected at least every 2 years by a professional to ensure that you are keeping your pool safe.
Great Resources on Pool Safety
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net