Recent figures from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s National Drowning Report show that in 2017/18, a shocking 18 children aged 0-4 drowned; with the majority drownings having occurred in swimming pools. Although this is a reduction from the previous financial year, it highlights the important role pool security has to play in saving lives.
We’ve put together a brief checklist of basic pool security measures that both parents and pool owners should be aware of.
Get to know the pool security requirements in your state
The installation and maintenance of residential pool safety barriers are governed by state-based legislation in Australia. If you’re a pool owner, it’s important to ensure that your pool fence and pool lock meet the requirements set out in the legislation or standard that applies to your state. The Swimming Pool & Spa Association has put together a helpful overview of the various Australian Standards that apply to pool safety barriers, as well as a state-based breakdown of the pool safety barrier requirements.
Check all gates and doors leading to your pool are self-closing and self-latching
It’s important to ensure that your pool fence gate features a self-closing and self-latching action. This means that the gate must be fitted with a self-closing device that will return the fate to a closed position, without the use of manual force. A self-latching device should initiate on close, preventing the gate from being reopened without being manually released.
When it comes to compliant and easy-to-install pool fence gate locks, you can’t go past D&D Technologies. The Australian manufacturer has been a leader in pool security since the launch of the MagnaLatch® back in the early 1990s. The first of its kind, this magnetic child safety gate latch for swimming pools quickly gained international acclaim. Today, D&D Technologies continue to collect accolades for their innovative designs.
Keep climbable objects away from the pool barrier
This one is easy to forget, but it’s crucial that all climbable objects are kept away from your pool safety barrier. Think barbeques, pot-plants and outdoor lounge chairs.
Australian Standard AS1926.1 – 2012 (which is the standard in place in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and ACT) stipulates that a fence must have a Non-Climbable Zone (NCZ) of 900mm on the external side of the pool fence, for the full length of the fence.
Closely supervise children at all times around the pool
It’s a sad fact, it can take as little as 20 seconds for a child to drown.
Always keep your eyes on children around the water. Even if you’re at a public swimming pool, the safety of your own child is your own responsibility.