In NSW, an average of 11 children under five drown every year. A further 62 children are admitted for hospitalisation due to near drowning.
If you are a resident of NSW and you own a backyard swimming pool, here is a safety checklist to visit and revisit throughout the year to ensure all family members are safe while swimming. This way, you get to avoid deaths by drowning within your home as much as possible.
Safety checklist for pool fence or barrier
- Your pool fence’s height should be at least 1.2 metresfrom the ground.
- The gap from the fence’s bottom to the ground should measure no more than 10 centimetres.
- The vertical bars’ gap should not be more than 10 centimetreswhile the horizontal bars’ gap should be at least 90 centimetres apart (this stops children being able to climb over the fence).
- If you’ve used perforated or mesh fencing, the barrier holes should be 13 mm or less.
- More importantly, no rust, holes, or broken rails should be found in the pool fence. It should be in good working condition and well-maintained.
Safety checklist for pool gate
- A self-closing gate is a must. It should latch by itself from any direction.
- The gate should open outwards, away from the pool, and its latch should be secured enough that once it’s closed, it can’t openaccidentally.
- The gate latch’s release should be inside the fence. It should be 1.5 metresfrom the ground and must be surrounded by a 45 centimetre This way, it can only be accessed from reaching over the fence. Alternatively, you can have a latch access point built. Just be sure that it is 1.2 metres from the ground.
- From the latch shield access point, the height of the gate latch should be 15 centimetres.
Other Crucial Safety Reminders
- The area surrounding the pool fence should be clear of objects like rocks, shrubs, trees, chairs, or tables, as these can possibly be a way for a child to climb over the fence when not under an adult’s supervision.
- Warning signs including CPR techniques and details should be present within the pool’s vicinity. They should be clear and legible within three metres from where the person reading is standing at.
- Windows which are near the swimming pool should be covered by mesh screens or built with bars so children cannot go through them when left unattended. If windows do not have any of these barriers, they should open up to a maximum of 10 centimetres
Keep these crucial reminders in mind and you’ll be on your way to making your backyard swimming pool accident-free.
The statistics say it all
Within all age groups, children who are five years old and younger have the highest mortality rate. Around 70 per cent of deaths from this age group is due to drowning which occurred in swimming pools.
In the last decade, around 330 children throughout Australia tragically drowned, with 50 per cent of deaths occurring in home swimming pools. There are about 300,000 backyard swimming pools NSW-wide, making swimming pool safety a crucial issue not just for pool owners but for the entire community.
Make pool safety your priority. Schedule an inspection with EBI today.
Meeting the NSW swimming pool fence regulations is a must for ensuring your children’s safety. While you can use this safety checklist we’ve created as your guide, we still recommend that you go through a proper swimming pool inspection. EBI can carry out the inspection on your backyard swimming pool to ensure that it is compliant with NSW Government regulations.
Be a responsible pool owner. By this, we mean that your eyes should always be on your children so that unsupervised access to your backyard swimming pool leading to drowning can be prevented.