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Pool fences save lives

Pool fence kids

If you're thinking about getting a pool or spa make sure you understand your fencing responsibilities.

Thursday 9 November 2017

If you’re thinking about splashing out on a pool or spa keep in mind you’ll need to make sure you have secure fencing in place.

In Victoria, swimming pools and spas with a water depth of more than 30cm must have safety barriers around them. A building permit is required for the barrier regardless of whether the pool is inflatable or can be dismantled.

“A backyard pool can be a great place for all the family to enjoy, but some people purchase them without understanding the strict fencing requirements,” said Jeffry Amy, Coordinator Community Safety and Amenity, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“More young kids drowned in backyard swimming pools than any other location last year, which is why secure fencing is so important,” he said.

Council is responsible for enforcing pool fencing regulations across the shire and responds to pool safety complaints. Fines of up to $79,285 can be issued to property owners who do not have a lawful barrier.

Royal Life Saving Australia has a pool safety app checklist for your home swimming pool which covers pool fencing, supervision, pumps, chemicals and more.

Top tips for backyard pools and spa safety:

• Install a pool fence that meets legal requirements
• Regularly check the safety latch
• Keep items away from the pool fence so children cannot climb over the fence
• Don’t leave floating toys in the pool as children may try to reach for them
• Empty wading pools immediately after use
• Remember that safety barriers such as pool fencing are no substitute for active adult supervision of children around water.

Find more information about building permit requirements at the Victorian Building Association website www.vba.vic.gov.au.

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