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How safe is your pool?

Kids standing at pool fence.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Did you know that swimming pools is the leading location for drowning deaths in young kids?

If you have a backyard pool or you’re thinking about installing one, don’t forget you need to comply with a number of laws to make sure it is safe.

“A backyard pool is a wonderful place to cool off over summer but there are strict requirements that people may not be aware of,” said Jeffry Amy, Coordinator Community Safety and Amenity, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

All spas or swimming pools deeper than 30 cm must be fenced and require a building permit. A permit is required regardless of whether the pool is inflatable or can be dismantled.

“Most pools are deeper than 30 cm so it’s essential that you understand your responsibilities to ensure the pool is safe,” said Mr Amy.

“You’ll need to contact a private building surveyor to arrange a building permit and ensure the fencing meets requirements,” he said.

There are many other things you can do to keep your pool safe. Take a look at the free Home Pool Safety app by Royal Life Saving Australia. It includes checklists for pool fencing, supervision, pumps, chemicals and more.

Tips on backyard pool 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.

Council enforces pool fencing regulations across the shire and responds to pool safety complaints. Residents who fail to comply with the mandatory safety requirements may receive an infringement notice of $322.

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

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