TopicsRelated documents of interest
|The brochure and checklist are now available in 15 community languages. To download a brochure or checklist in another language click here Swimming pool safety information in 15 community languages.|
To order copies of these publications, complete the form and fax it to Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions Pty Limited on 02 9311 1076.
Importance of supervision, pool barrier maintenance and CPR
It is important to remember that while fencing may assist in reducing drownings in backyard pools, the most effective way to prevent drownings is for children to be adequately supervised by a parent or other responsible adult.
Research on child drownings in backyard swimming pools indicates that the most common contributing factors are inadequately fenced pools and human error (for example, people leaving the gate open, or fences not being maintained in good condition).
People choosing to have a pool have a responsibility to ensure that pool safety barrier(s) and gate(s) are installed, operated and maintained to the Australian Standard referred to in the Regulation.
It is also important that parents and others responsible for supervising children know how to administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The Royal Life Saving Society of NSW and Surf Life Saving NSW conduct CPR courses. All supervising adults are encouraged to undertake CPR training.
Further information for councils is available in the Directory of Policy Advice for Councils under ‘Swimming pools (backyard)’.
Portable and Inflatable swimming pools
Young children are in danger of drowning in all pools, even those with very shallow water.
It is therefore crucial that young children are supervised at all times in and around portable and inflatable pools.
When not in actual use, inflatable and portable pools should be emptied and stored safely away from young children.
Portable and inflatable pools capable of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more are required by law to be surrounded by a swimming pool safety barrier.
From 30 March 2014 all portable swimming pools will be covered by a new mandatory standard called the Consumer Goods (Portable Swimming Pools) Safety Standard 2013. Under this standard, portable swimming pools and their packaging must carry warning messages to remind purchasers, pool owners, parents and others of their safety obligations in and around these pools. For details on the new Standard visit www.productsafety.gov.au.
Other guidelines on portable and inflatable pools are available on the NSW Fair Trading website at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au include: Inflatable swimming pools - Safety guidelines for consumers and Portable swimming pools - Safety guidelines for suppliers.
- Children's Hospital at Westmead - provides a Protect your Pool, Protect your Kids video produced by the Children's
Hospital at Westmead which visually demonstrates the basic pool fencing requirements in the Swimming Pools Act and provides other key water safety messages. This website also contains other resources on pool safety.
- Office of Fair Trading - provides further information on pool fencing requirements.
- Swimsafe - Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation information regarding the availability of swimming lessons.
- Keep Watch – Royal Life Saving Society information including a checklist, fact sheets and other resources
The Swimming Pools Act
In NSW, private or ‘backyard’ swimming pool safety is legislated by the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (the Act) and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 (the Regulation). The legislation also applies to moveable dwellings, hotels and motels.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 prescribes the fencing requirements of backyard swimming pools in NSW. Some other safety requirements are prescribed including the requirement for a CPR sign to be displayed near the pool.
The Swimming Pools Regulation
The Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 was re-made on 1 September 2008. It calls up AS1926.1-2007 Swimming Pool Safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools, which includes new requirements for non-climbable zones, mesh sizes for fences, retaining walls that form part of a barrier and balconies that project into the pool area.
On 1 May 2011 the Swimming Pools Regulation was amended to replace certain references to the Australian Standard 1926.1-2007 Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools (the standard) with references to the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The BCA in turn will refer to the Standard.
The Regulation also requires that councils and the Division have the following documentation available for public inspection at no cost:
- Guideline 8 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - This Guideline is available at the Australian Resuscitation Council website at www.resus.org.au. By registering at the website visitors can access and print the guideline free of charge. Councils and others should consider subscribing as this will allow them to access an extensive range of related material.
- AS1926.1-2007, Australian Standard Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools - This Standard (as amended 5 May 2008) is available for purchase at www.saiglobal.com.
- Building Code of Australia - the Division and councils are required to make available a copy of the BCA for free public inspection.
The Australian Standard
For copyright reasons, the Division cannot make copies of the Australian Standard, AS1926.1-2007 Swimming Pool Safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools, available to councils or other persons or bodies.
It is important to note that the maximum requirement of the clause as it relates to the Standard is that the Division and councils allow members of the public to attend any of their respective offices, libraries or outlets to look at (but not print or take any copy away of) the Standard during ordinary business hours.
If any body or agency exceeds this maximum standard, this may raise serious copyright implications for that agency or body.
If councils or others wish to allow public inspection of the Standard in any way other than by personal inspection at offices, branches or outlets, they must first contact SAI Global’s copyright section for further information to ensure that copyright of the Standard is not breached. SAI Global may be contacted on (02) 82066355.
The Regulation refers to AS1926.1-2007 as published on 12 July 2007 as the relevant Standard. The 5 May 2008 version may be used for reference purposes as it corrects typographical errors and makes minor clarification to the 12 July 2007 version of the Standard.
Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010
Amendments made to the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 mean that from 1 September 2010 contracts for the sale of land must include a warning in relation to a land owner's obligations under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 which states that:
"An owner of a property on which a swimming pool is situated must ensure that the pool complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992. Penalties apply. Before purchasing a property on which a swimming pool is situated, a purchaser is strongly advised to ensure that the swimming pool complies with the requirements of that Act."
Residential Tenancies Act 2010
Section 52 of the Residential Tenancies Act provides that a landlord must comply with a landlord’s statutory obligations relating to the health or safety of the residential premises. Section 52 includes the following note:
“Note. Such obligations include obligations relating to swimming pools under the Swimming Pools Act 1992.”
This note makes it explicit that, in accordance with the Swimming Pools Act, a landlord must ensure that a swimming pool situated on a tenanted premises must be at all times surrounded by a child-resistant barrier that separates it from any residential building on the premises and from any public or private place adjoining the premises. The barrier must be designed, constructed, installed and maintained to the standards prescribed in the swimming pools legislation applicable at the time the pool was constructed or installed, unless it has been substantially altered. In this case, the standard applicable at the time the barrier was altered applies. Landlords should contact their local council in relation to the appropriate barrier standard that applies to their rental property pool.
Tenants are urged to notify landlords immediately of any damage they detect to any barrier surrounding a pool on a residential property that they are renting. Tenants are also reminded that section 64 of the Act enables tenants to carry out urgent repairs and be reimbursed up to $1,000 for any fault or damage that causes the premises to be unsafe under certain circumstances, including if the landlord or agent cannot be contacted or does not carry out urgent repairs within a reasonable time.