Every state in Australia has regulations in place to prevent children from drowning in residential pools and spas, and in this article we are looking at how to make your pool safety compliant if you live in New South Wales, and other states might have slightly different guidelines.
Swimming Pool Act
The Swimming Pool Act states that every property that has a swimming pool or spa must either have a pool safety compliance certificate, or a non-compliance certificate, and whenever such a property is sold, the certificate is transferred to the new owner. In the case of a pool safety compliance certificate, the new owner has nothing to do until the 3-year expiry date arrives, when they will have to have the pool re-inspected, and when a property is sold with a non-compliance pool safe certificate, the new owner must have the pool compliant within 90 days of the transfer.
Safety Compliance Guidelines
The safety guidelines are as follows:
- Pool Fencing – The fencing around the pool must be at least 1200mm high and be in good working order with no rust or signs of corrosion. There must be no gaps larger than 100mm and that includes the space between the bottom of the fence and the ground. In order to obtain your swimming pool safety certificate in Sydney, the pool area must be inspected by an approved pool certification company, and fencing is just one area of the inspection.
- Pool Gating – The gate must be opening outwards with a self-closing mechanism, and the latch must be at a minimum height of 1500mm. The gate should never be propped open, especially on the day of the inspection.
- Inside the Pool Area – The items that can be located inside the pool area are, pool filtration and cleaning equipment, fixed shading and a fixed water slide. Everything else, including BBQs and outdoor furniture must not be located inside the pool area. There must be a CPR sign that can be read from any location within the pool area that shows in diagram and text format, how to resuscitate a person.
- No-Climb Zone – This is an area that encompasses the perimeter of the pool fencing, and any objects/vegetation that could assist a child in climbing over the pool fence must be a minimum of 1200mm from the actual pool fencing.
In the event there was an accident in your pool and it was deemed that safety requirements were inadequate, you could be sued by affected parties, plus your home insurance would not cover you if the pool is non-compliant.
Prior to contacting the pool certification company, you are advised to check that your pool conforms to the above standards, and once that has been done, you can book the pool inspection. In the event the inspector fails the pool, you will receive a pool safety non-compliance certificate, which means you must carry out the recommended amendments, after which you can have the pool re-inspected.
Don’t take any chances with your swimming pool, and with a little preparation and a pool inspection by an approved pool certification firm, you will receive your pool safety compliant certificate, which will cover you for a period of 3 years.