Typically, each year on average 10 children under the age of five drown in backyard swimming pools. Many more suffer serious injuries or permanent damage as a result of near drowning experiences. These incidents could have been prevented by ensuring that adequate fences were surrounding the pool. Home owners and occupiers are urged to ensure that their backyard swimming pool and spas are safe and secure at all times, especially in the lead up to summer. When summer is approaching and many of us are thinking of beating the heat, relaxing by the pool or in the spa and spending some quality time with the family and kids always comes to mind.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires that the owner of the premises on which a private swimming pool is situated, including spas, indoor pools, and above ground pools are surrounded by a child-resistant barrier:
Pool owners are also required to display an approved resuscitation poster that contains the warning "young children should be supervised when using this swimming pool" this poster also contains the details of resuscitation techniques. These measures are designed to help protect children from the risk of drowning and ensure that the backyard swimming pools are is safe.
In addition, the Swimming Pools Act 1992 now requires owners as of the 29 October 2013, to notify the Council of their swimming pools (including spas) in the area, either in writing or by completing the Notification and Registration Form (on the Division of Local Government’s website) and forwarding it to Councils Regulatory Services Department.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires that the occupier of the premises on which a private swimming pool is situated, including spas, indoor pools, and above ground pools is provided with a child-resistant barrier that is maintained in a state of good repair, and that all gates or doors providing access to the swimming pool or spa are kept securely closed at all times when not in actual use. The Act also requires the occupier to ensure that the warning notice is displayed in the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool, detailing resuscitation techniques together with supervision warnings.
Should you wish to install or build a new swimming pool, then you are requested to contact Councils Planning Services on 9716 1800 with the objective of discussing the lodgement of a Development Application with details, specifications and fencing arrangements with Council for approval.
Pool fencing must comply with AS1926.1-2007. The requirements in general are:
All pools require a resuscitation chart or warning notice to be displayed in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of the pool.
The following warning statements must be contained within the resuscitation sign:
To check if your pool meets the requirements, you can apply to Council for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate. If the pool does not comply, Council will provide you with a reasonable period of time in which to comply with the relevant requirements.
In 2012 the Swimming Pools Act 1992 was amended by the NSW Government with a number of changes -
Please note the new requirements for Pool Owners:
As part of these changes, Ashfield Council will be:
The Home Pool Safety Checklist, developed by the NSW Water Safety Taskforce in consultation with local councils, has been designed to assist pool owners determine whether their pool fence or other barrier complies with the legislation.
Parents are encouraged to introduce their children to water safety at an early age and to attend swimming classes. There are a number of learn to swim classes available at the Councils Aquatic Swimming Centre. The centre is open Monday to Friday 6am to 7.45pm and Saturday/Sunday/Public Holidays 6am to 5.45pm, and is contactable by calling 9797 8420 daily.
Parents are also encouraged to learn resuscitation techniques in case of an emergency. Resuscitation training is available through the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia
For additional information and to assist you as a pool owner, the following websites provide information and resources (just click on the links) -
Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate (Ashfield Council Certificate of Compliance)