Swimming Pool Safety Checklist Tips
“How do I ensure my pool fence is compliant?”
This is a question we are often asked by many of our clients. Whilst we endeavour to provide as much information as we can to anyone in need of a safety certificate there can be areas of non compliance which are not as obvious as others.
That is where a swimming pool safety checklist can come in handy. A good swimming pool safety checklist should clearly demonstrate most if not all the areas your pool barrier needs to pass in order to ensure you will be issued a pool safety certificate in the fastest time possible, avoiding the additional costs of re-inspection fees and unnecessary delays which may hinder the sale or lease of your property.
How To Ensure Your Pool Fence Gate is Compliant:
The pool fence gate is one of the most critical aspects of the overall compliance of your barrier. A non compliant pool gate can lead to fines which may exceed $20,000 or worse still the drowning of a young child.
The most important aspect is that the gate is self closing and self latching from all positions. This includes fully open to simply resting on the latch. That’s right resting on the latch. The good new is that most gate hinges are adjustable so you can easily increase the tension with a flat head screwdriver in order to get the gate closing properly from all positions.
The next thing to check is the hinges. The distance from the top of the top hinge to the top of the bottom hinge must be a minimum of 900mm. Unless the bottom hinge has an angled safety cap which can usually be purchased from Bunnings separately or are sold included with a set of new hinges. Hinges are very easy to be relocated on aluminium pool barriers and usually should not take more than 5-10mins to do this if obtaining an angled safety cap to make it non climbable proves difficult for you. As long as they have the minimum 900mm distance apart you are good.
The following diagram is provided courtesy of the QBCC Queensland Building & Construction Commission.
You will notice from the diagram above that the bottom of the knob of the pool latch must be a minimum of 1500mm from the ground level. So its not 1500mm to the very top of the latch.
If this is not the case you should be able to relocate the latch to a higher position by removing a screw which is generally used to hold it in position. This may require you to also repositon the latching mechanism which may know be out of alignment.
Pool Safety Certificate Inspections
As of December, 2015, every swimming pool in Queensland, Australia is required to be inspected and have a Pool Safety Certificate. This safety certificate is an official document that ensures that a pool complies with all the safety regulations and standards for pools in Queensland and must be provided by a licensed pool safety inspector.
The following article provides a detailed overview of the current pool safety standards in place across Australia. This information will give our readers a better insight into what constitutes non compliance which include diagrams to provide a clearer explanation of the current pool safety laws currently in place. This information is kindly provided by he SPASA website and we trust you will find this information helpful in assessing your own pool fence for compliance.
Australian Pool Fencing Rules – An Overview
Australian Standard AS1926.1 – Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools
The current Australian Standard AS1926-2012 (the standard) is in place as the standard in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT. In these jurisdictions, the standard is called up by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and in many cases, there are local variations effected under legislation. Northern Territory operates under AS1926.1 – 1993.
There are few accidents more tragic, nor more preventable, than a child drowning. As such, this is one area in which too much diligence and caution is not enough.
Many of the tips below may seem obvious on their own. Only when compiled together does it become clear just how much can – and should – be done.
Most of the following are very simple and cost-effective. Others may seem excessive, but will pay for themselves in peace of mind.
Once in a while we come across some helpful pool safety tips online that we like to share with our readers. The following article has some good information regarding pool drowning statistics and some good pointers on how to help avoid them.
Pool Safety Tips – Important Lessons
With the weather warming up and summer fast approaching we are about to enter the most dangerous months for kids around the pool.
The recently released Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2011 found that 42 children aged 0-14 years drowned in Australia between 2010/11. Of those deaths 16 of them occurred around family and public swimming pools. This is an alarming figure when the majority of these deaths could have been avoided.
It is not surprising that 41 percent of all drowning deaths in Australia took place in summer and peaked in January. As a nation we live in the water, from surfing to swimming, Australians can’t get enough of it and most kids are in the water before they can walk or talk. But how do we avoid losing our kids to the Aussie summer lifestyle?
For over 15 years Royal Life Saving’s Keep Watch program has been educating parents and carers on strategies to keep their children safe when in, on, or around the water by promoting the 4 Keep Watch actions:
– Supervise Your Child – Always be within arms’ reach.
– Restrict Access to Water – Provide barriers to water locations.
– Be Water Aware – Introduce your child to water through water awareness classes; discuss hazards and put rules in place at aquatic locations.
– Learn Resuscitation – Resuscitation is a skill for life. A rapid response is the best response in an emergency.
Without a doubt the most effective way to keep your kids safe around the pool is active adult supervision. Nothing beats keeping your eyes on your kids and even if you think they are excellent swimmers, accidents still happen. In 46 percent of all drowning deaths around swimming pools falls occurred immediately prior to the drowning. The effectiveness of active adult supervision cannot be underestimated.
But don’t let that deter you from teaching your children to swim. It is still the best way to equip your child for a life around the water. In many cases knowing how to swim can make the difference between losing their life and keeping it.
As Christmas fast approaches one of the most popular items on the wish list will be a swimming pool and many families are turning to inflatable pools as a cheaper alternative to in-ground ones. But what many people aren’t aware of is that these pools are just as dangerous as other types and need fences and barriers put in place to keep kids safe. Check with your local council on what safety restrictions are required before you decide to purchase.
Pool toys and products can also pose a threat to young children drawn to colourful toys left floating in the pool. Be sure to put all toys away after your time in the pool with the kids has come to an end. While floaties and noodles are great products for kids to use as their confidence in the water is developing it can sometimes give parents a false sense of security in regards to their child’s swimming ability. Adult supervision is still vital even when your child is wearing floaties. For more information you can print off the Royal Life Saving Pool Toy Safety checklist.
Another great resource for summer safety is the Royal Life Saving Home Pool Safety Checklist which is a comprehensive list of checks from pool chemicals to faulty gates.
Drowning is preventable. If parents and carers put simple safety measures in place it is possible to radically reduce the number of young lives lost around the pool this summer.
Always be mindful that we need to do our part in maintaining the safety of young children in any way we can.
Article source: http://www.essentialkids.com.au/life/home/pool-safety-pointers-20111103-1mwn3