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Backyard Pool Safety
Drowning is one of the major causes of death for NSW children under the age of five. Each year on average 10 children under 5 years old drown in backyard swimming pools and many more suffer brain damage and other serious injuries associated with near-drowning experiences. With an estimated 340,000 backyard swimming pools in NSW, swimming pool safety is an issue that affects the whole community.
What is a Swimming Pool?
Swimming pool means an excavation, structure or vessel:
that is capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300 millimetres, and
that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used, for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity,
and includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath. Anything that is situated within a bathroom or anything declared by the regulations not to be a swimming pool for the purpose of the Act.
The Swimming Pools Act requires the owner of premises on which a swimming pool is located to ensure that the pool is at all times surrounded by an approved child resistant barrier.
It is the responsibility of the occupier to maintain the barrier in a state of good repair, and to ensure that all gates or doors providing access to the swimming pool are kept securely closed and latched at all times when not in actual use. The Act also requires the occupier to display a warning notice in the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool, detailing resuscitation techniques together with a supervision warning.
Provisions exist under the Act for on-the-spot fines to be issued without warning by Council, particularly if the required child resistant barrier is not properly maintained in accordance with the Act and Regulations and a warning notice is not displayed.
Did You Know?
Pool covers are not a child resistant barrier.
Warning notices are compulsory for all swimming pools and spas.
Above ground swimming pools constructed since 1st September 2008, must be surrounded by a child resistant barrier.
Pool gates must open outwards, away from the swimming pool
A dividing fence can be used as part of the barrier.
Council can issue Swimming Pool Compliance Certificates for compliant swimming pool barriers.
Pool Safety Tips
It is important to remember that while fencing may assist in reducing drowning incidents in backyard pools, the most effective way to prevent drowning incidents is for children to be adequately supervised by a parent or other responsible adult.
It is also recommended that children are taught to swim from an early age and adults undertake training in resuscitation techniques so they have the required skills to handle an emergency situation should it arise.
Always keep your fence, gates, doors and windows locked, secured and in good condition. Check these items regularly.
Always keep your gate and door latches and self-closing mechanisms in good working order.
Always close your gates and doors when not in actual use. Never prop gates open.
Never leave climbable objects near the fence.
Always keep trees, shrubs and creepers trimmed well away from the fence.
Always leave your filter covered so small children can’t get into it and keep chemicals out of view and reach.
Always supervise children around the pool at all times. A fence is no substitute for responsible supervision.
Teach your children to swim from an early age.
Undertake resuscitation (CPR) training for emergency situations.
Further information on Swimming Pool Safety is available at:
DISCLAIMER: This service is provided by Goulburn Mulwaree Council. Council provides this information with the understanding that it is not guaranteed to be accurate, correct or complete. Conclusions drawn from this information are the responsibility of the user. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy however, Council assumes no responsibility in the event that any information is incorrect. Council assumes no liability for damages incurred as a result of incomplete, incorrect or omitted information. The user of this information assumes all liability for their dependence on it.