Swimming Pool Safety – Help Save Lives

Swimming Pool Safety – Help Save Lives

Drowning is the most common, preventable cause of death in children between 0-5 in WA. For every drowning death, it is estimated that a further 10 toddlers have a near-fatal experience.
Legislation states that when a property is sold, the swimming pool or spa barriers must be compliant with the relevant Australian Standard. This means that the seller should pay to rectify any defects associated with the safety barriers. If you purchase a property with a swimming pool, it is best to have the barriers inspected by a suitably qualified inspector, even if the seller holds a compliance certificate from the local shire/council.
 Why would I have the swimming pool/spa barriers inspected if the seller already has a certificate from the local council?
Firstly there may have been a change to the barriers making them non-compliant within the date the certificate was issued and the date the current owner obtained the certificate. Defects are not always directly related to the pool fencing; common defects also include gates that are not self-closing, unstable ground, climbable areas, non-compliant door-sets, openable windows and balconies.


Secondly if you have ever had your swimming pool inspected by the local council you will note that you do not always have the same representative inspect. Some inspectors may pop their head in the garden and have left your property within 5 minutes. Others may identify every last possible defect to the barriers. For this reason it is important to have an independent inspector issue you with a full report referencing the Australian Standard to prove areas of compliance and clearly state non-compliance if applicable. Your inspector should also give you recommendations on the best way to rectify any defects noted.

I don’t have children – it is not overly important that my swimming pool is compliant
WRONG! You may not have children or any other persons at risk of drowning living in your home but what about visitors? How would you feel if your friend or family member popped by with their toddler and they managed to get into your swimming pool area whilst your back was turned? What if young children are playing in the street and they manage to get into your back garden? It is better to be safe than sorry.

Inflatable and removable swimming pools
Some people consider inflatable and movable swimming pools to be more of a risk than in-ground swimming pools since many people CONSIDER them to be less of a threat. Just because these items are smaller and look more “kid-friendly” there is still plenty of water for a child to drown. A children’s hospital in New South Wales are drafting the idea of portable swimming pools to be sold with inbuilt barriers in an attempt to decrease death as well as the amount of children being sent to hospital with non-fatal injuries related to drowning.

Cap-It-All Building Inspections Perth find that 8/10 swimming pool barriers are non-compliant with Australian Standard 1926.1 (1993). Not only are you likely to save the cost of rectifying defects associated with the barriers if you undertake a Pre-Purchase Swimming Pool Safety Barrier Inspection, you could also save the life or injury of a child by ensuring the home you’re purchasing has compliant barriers.
Cap-It-All offer great prices on these inspections when bundled with a Building and Timber Pest Inspection. Contact us now to book.

This article was written by Charlotte Flatt of Cap-It-All Building Inspections Perth.

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