Time Running Out For Pool Owners
With warmer weather arriving and a deadline fast approaching, anybody who owns a swimming pool must ensure they comply with NSW pool fencing laws.
From 29 April 2015, property owners who list their properties for sale or lease must have their swimming pools certified as compliant under the new regulations. This also applies to units that are part of a body corporate. Compliance certificates are valid for three years.
Under changes in the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 all pools must be surrounded by a child-resistant barrier that meets certain standards. According to some reports up to 95 per cent of the estimated 300,000 backyard pools in NSW fail to comply with the new safety standards.
Merrill Phillips, licensed conveyancer at Stacks Law Firm, said owners should be asking themselves the simple question: “Is my swimming pool kid-safe?”
“As an owner of a swimming pool you are responsible for the safety of everyone who uses your pool,” she said offering this check list:
- Could a young child easily climb over, under or through your fence to get to the pool? If yes, FIX IT.
- Do all the gates in your pool safety barrier close and latch properly, so that they can’t be opened by a small child? If not, FIX IT.
- Could a child get access to a swimming pool through a window in your house? If yes, FIX IT.
- Is the pump mechanism safe? All filtration systems must have two suction points that are at least 800 mm apart to reduce serious injury.
- Are there any objects that could be used for climbing over the pool fence? If yes, MOVE THEM.
- Always supervise young children in and around the pool area.
- Keep the pool clear of toys or other floating objects as these attract a child’s attention.
- Refresh your resuscitation skills. St John Ambulance, The Royal Life Saving Society, and Australian Red Cross all have regular classes.
If pool owners are still uncertain as to whether their pool complies then they should contact their Local Council for further information.
All of the above should be in place before a property owner arranges for a Council Inspection for a compliance certificate. If you plan on selling or leasing a property with a pool, get cracking now as some councils are reporting long delays in getting inspectors to check pools. Even if you are not planning to sell or lease a property, this does not take the obligation off you, as the owner, to ensure your swimming pool complies with the current regulations, including registering your pool with the NSW Government. To register your pool and for more information about the regulations, visit www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.