Research conducted on child drownings in backyard swimming pools indicates that the most common contributing factors are inadequately fenced pools and human error (for example; gates being left open – not self closing, fencing and gates not adequately maintained and checked).
People choosing to have a pool have a responsibility to ensure that pool safety barriers and gates are installed, operating 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.
Swimming Pool Requirements - What you need to know
Tamworth Regional Council has an obligation under the Swimming Pool Act 1992 to ensure that your swimming pool meets compliance or actions are being undertaken to bring your pool into compliance to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your family and the community.
As a pool owner you must
• Register your swimming pool on the NSW Governments Swimming Pool Register https://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/
• ensure that pools are surrounded with a child-resistant safety barrier that separates the swimming pool(s) from any residential building and any place adjoining the property
• keep closed the doors and gates that provide access to the swimming pool
• ensure that fences surrounding pools are designed, constructed, installed and maintained to comply with the relevant Australian standards.
• cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) signage to be displayed and visible near your pool.
Note: from 1 September 2019 signage is required for pools under construction or renovation – “this swimming pool is not to be occupied or used”.
People who are selling a property with a pool must have
• A certificate of compliance; or
• A relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration; or
• A certificate of non-compliance
Purchasers of a property with a non-compliant swimming pool have 90 days from the date of settlement to resolve any non-compliance matters.
Leased properties with a swimming pool must have
• A certificate of compliance; or
• A relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration.
Landlords and Real Estate Agents must provide the tenant with a copy of the above. Non-compliance certificates are not acceptable where a residential tenancy agreement is in place.
• develop and implement a swimming pool barrier inspection program in consultation with their communities
• inspect pools associated with moveable dwellings, tourist and visitor accommodation at three-year intervals
• at the request of a pool owner, inspect a swimming pool or spa pool prior to the sale or lease of the property
• issue either a certificate of compliance or non-compliance after an inspection
• investigate complaints about breaches of the Swimming Pools Act 1992
• where necessary, direct pool owners to take action to ensure that legislated pool barrier requirements are complied with
• make publicly available a relevant extract of the Building Code of Australia, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Guideline and applicable Australian Standards
• report annually on the number of pool inspections undertaken and the level of compliance with the requirements.
Inflatable/portable pools capable of being filled with water to a depth of more than 30 centimetres require the same child proof fence standards as a normal backyard swimming pool. Use the following checklist as a guide:
- Is the pool at least 1200mm high all the way around, measured from the outside of the pool?
- If a boundary fence forms part of the pool fence, is it at least 1800mm high measured from the inside of the pool area?
- Is the gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground no more than 100mm?
- Are all the fence rails vertical and less than 100mm apart?
- Are there any potential hand holds or foot holds within 900mm of the top of the pool fence in any direction?
- Is there a 300mm clearance from the barrier inside the pool area?
- If perforated or mesh fencing is used, are the holes 13mm or less?
- Is your pool fence well maintained, in a good state of repair with no holes, broken rails or pailings?
- Is the gate self closing and latches by itself from any position?
- Does the gate latch work well so that when the gate closes it can't be pulled open?
- Does the gate open outwards, away from the pool area?
- Is the gap between the vertical barriers of a gate no more than 100mm?
- Is the gate latch: 1. 1500mm above ground level? Or, 2. if located inside the gate, 1200mm above ground level and at least 150mm below the top of the gate?
- Did you know it is dangerous and against the law to the prop the gate open?
- Is there an appropriate warning sign with details of resuscitation (CPR) techniques in the immediate surrounds of the pool area, which can be easily read from a distance of three metres?
- Is your pool fence clear of any objects such as barbecues, trees, rocks, shrubs and deck chairs that can be used by a child to climb over the fence?
Fees will be incurred for all inspections and certificates from Council.
For further information regarding the selling, leasing or your obligations as a pool owner please visit following websites.