Here we are in the swing of summer and balmier days are upon us. Those lucky enough to have swimming pools in their back gardens will likely be looking forward to lazy days in the sun spent lounging by the pool. But with drowning the leading cause of accidental death in children under 5 in Australia, it’s crucial that you ensure your swimming pool is up to safety standards. Recent research carried out by CHOICE reported that more than half of pool fences tested did not meet the Australian safety standards for pool fencing.
We spoke to leading pool service brand Poolwerx to find out what you can do to make sure the safety of your pool is up to scratch.
The pool fence
There are various factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure your pool fence is adequate when it comes to safety. Firstly, the fence must be at least 1.2 meters tall; secondly, if it’s a slated fence, it can’t have gaps wider than 100mm. If you have objects around the fence that can be deemed climbable – such as chairs, tables or even bushes and trees – it’s essential these are removed/carefully put away to avoid the chance of young children climbing on them and gaining unsupervised access to the water.
There are several safety requirements for your pool gate that you may not be aware of. Check your gate to ensure it’s both self-closing and self-latching and isn’t propped open at any time, not even when you’re using the pool or its surrounding area. And, as with all areas of both a house and garden, it’s also important to make sure the gate is regularly maintained and serviced.
Assess the entire pool area
Remove toys from the pool when you’re not using it: anything left lying around – however harmless it may seem – such as pool toys floating in the water, may entice kids to try and enter the pool area. Keeping toys stored away and out of reach of kids will help avoid unnecessary danger.
Do you have a CPR chart on your fence? These instructions could help save a life in an emergency. They’re available from many sites online, though the St John’s Ambulance one is a great option, which you can buy here: shop.stjohn.org.au/cpr-chart-for-pools.