Each year on average 10 children under 5 years of age drown in backyard swimming pools and many more suffer brain damage and other serious injuries associated with drowning accidents.
Swimming pools can have a fatal attraction to young children so there are certain mandatory safeguards in place which are required by the Swimming Pool Act.
The safeguards required in urban areas include the following:
- The pool must be entirely enclosed with a safety fence built to an Australian Standard
- It must have a self closing and self latching gate that opens back against the direction of entry
- The fence must be at least 1.2m horizontal distance away from any external structure to prevent them being used as foot or hand holds to climb over the safety fence, for instance a BBQ, tree, verandah post or adjoining fence
The legislation further requires “child safe measures” be applied to windows and doors. These may include
- No direct access from the house to a swimming pool
- A fixed metal security grille
- A self-closing door with latches up 1.4m above any adjacent window or internal furniture
- A permanently locked window opening
- A width or apperture no greater than 105mm diameter
Rural properties in excess of 2 hectares have different requirements. If the pool does not have a safety fence it must have “child safe” measures fitted to all external doors and windows from the house and garage (if attached) to prevent access of a child from the house or buildings to the pool. This recognises that rural properties may have dams or rivers in existence.
For further information view the Balranald Shire Council Pool Inspection Policy.
Depth markers showing the depth of the water is required upon the perimeter of the pool to indicate the variable depth of the swimming pool. This may assist in the prevention of injury from diving into the shallow end of the pool.
Electricity and water do not mix! Be cautious with electricity and electrical appliances in or around the pool. Ensure appliances are appropriately earthed or insulated to prevent electrocution. Underwater lighting, in particular, may be a hazard.
Some pool chemicals are hazardous and should be handled with extreme care. Be safety conscious at all times and remember
- Chlorine in a powdered form is a safety hazard
- Chemicals should be kept out of reach of children
- Lawnmower fuels and chlorine if mixed will spontaneously combust
- Powdered chlorine when exposed to extreme temperatures will ignite
- Wear protective aprons, goggles and gloves when handling chlorine
- Add powdered chlorine to water. DO NOT add water to powdered chlorine as it will cause an explosion
Swimming Pool Certificates
Council is required to issue certificates of compliance on swimming pool installations under Section 24 of the Swimming Pool Act.
Swimming Pools & Spas
Pool fencing laws apply throughout the Balranald Shire. For safety regulations and the standard of safety precautions and what they mean to you as a pool owner, visit www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au