Owning your own pool is a privilege, especially in the summer, but it also comes with responsibilities.
Many regulations exist regarding pool safety, and a number of these apply to pool fencing. All pool and spas are required to have them, and these can be metal or stylish glass pool fencing, but here are a few of the essential laws that you need to know before enjoying your pool:
- Drowning is the most common preventable cause of death for children under five in Australia, A fences pool reduces the risk of drowning to only a quarter.
- Any body of water over 300mm in depth is considered to be a pool, and has to be fenced. The gates must be kept in good working order, and not propped open by anything, such as a chair.
- Some common issues with pool fencing include doors that do not close by themselves, faulty latches and unstable ground around the fence. Failure to address any of these issues is counted as an offence.
- All pools are spas are now required to have four-point fencing; that is, they cannot be backed up against a wall or fence. They must be entirely enclosed within the fence. This is to stop climbable objects being used to enter the pool from the other side.
- It is possible and recommended to have an inspection of your pool fencing, to make sure it complies with safety standards and is completely safe. Pool fences in Melbourne are regulated by local councils. Be aware that fines will be imposed if pools are found to be inadequately fenced after they have been used.
- Finally, while fences prevent a majority of drowning incidents, they are no substitute for proper supervision. Use fencing as an aid, not a way of preventing accidents completely.
Always keep an eye on little ones when they’re swimming in the pool. Never assume just because they know how to swim that they don’t need supervision.