Summer is nearly here and that means pool season for those lucky enough to have a swimming pool at home. But before you let family members and friends dive in, it’s vital you understand the current regulations around pool safety. This information is equally important for landlords to be aware of. In fact in Western Australia, statistics show that tenants are at greater risk of experiencing a backyard pool drowning than homeowners.
With evidence suggesting that a large number of drowning deaths in backyard pools are the result of inadequate fencing (pool fencing that is faulty or non-compliant with Australian Standards), a campaign has been launched to shine the spotlight on pool safety.
The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has joined forces with the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of WA and the Royal Life Saving Society WA to develop a Guide to Backyard Pool Safety for real estate industry professionals, including sales agents, property managers and landlords, as part of a broader campaign that focuses on this important issue.
The key points addressed in the guide are:
- All residential swimming pools and spas in WA with a depth greater than 30cm (300mm) must be fenced. Pool owners and landlords have a legal obligation to install and maintain fences and gates that meet current Australian standards.
- Pool and spa barriers (fencing) must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure there has been no damage from wear and tear etc.
- It is recommended that tenants regularly undertake checks of pool and spa fencing themselves and, if a fault/non-compliance issue is detected, they should ensure children are unable to gain unsupervised access to the area and contact their landlord or property manager for urgent repairs. The owner must arrange to address the issue immediately.
The top 5 issues that cause pool and spa fencing to be non-compliant are:
1. Gates and doors that are no longer self-closing.
2. Gates and doors that are no longer self-latching.
3. Gates that are propped open.
4. Ground movement, which may have caused parts of the fence, including the gate, to shift – this has the potential for the gate to no longer shut or latch properly.
5. Climbable objects, such as BBQ’s, chairs and pot plants, near the fence.
Visit www.spasawa.com.au/industry/pool-safety to download a copy of Rules for Pools.