Pool compliance is a stringent code that needs to be taken very seriously. Sadly, there are too many deaths in pool-related injuries that could have been avoided each year, which is why pool fence safety compliance is so important.
Under current pool fencing legislation, you need to register your pool with your local council. Through this registration, your pool is required to have a compliance certificate issued regularly. If your pool is non-compliant and a compliance certificate cannot be issued, pool owners can be liable for large fines.
Some common mistakes occur while setting up your pool; however, you can easily avoid them. Here are five mistakes that you can easily avoid while ensuring your pool is compliant.
#1 Non-regular pool fence maintenance
All pool enclosures need regular maintenance. Depending on the type of fence you install, some fencing requires more than other styles. If you have a traditional metal fence, consider the age of your fence and whether it is starting to deteriorate. Metal fences are powder coated, so wear away over time, leaving the raw metal exposed to the elements to rust.
Make sure you regularly check screws, nuts and bolts are in good working order, and the gate self closes and latches. After time, screws and bolts come loose, leaving fences unstable and easily moved. Check and tighten every few months to keep your fence in working order.
If you use your boundary fence as part of your pool enclosure, this too must be in good repair. Wooden fences between neighbours are subject to the elements and termites. Ensure your fence is not rotten or falling apart, and has all palings; otherwise, it is a non-compliant fence.
#2 Old pool fence, old safety standards
Depending on the age of your pool, your fencing standards differ. New standards state that your pool fence is required to be 1500mm in height, with a self-closing and self-latching gate. Check when your pool was constructed to ensure you are compliant with the relevant safety requirements. If you are unsure, contact your local council for further information.
If you have an older pool, you do have the option of bringing your fence up to current standards. For further information, speak to the team at Pool Barrier Services to keep your pool fence to the highest standards of compliance.
#3 Rearranging your furniture without assessing the safety risks
Moving furniture around in your home or garden can be a breath of fresh air for your space. As you move furniture around your yard, make sure it is a safe distance from your pool fence and gate. Having furniture too close to the fence or gate renders your pool non-compliant. Remember, pool compliance is more than a functional fence; it is the area which surrounds the fence also.
Assessing the risk of furniture extends to more than chairs and tables, but also swing sets, slides and other play equipment. Take a good look around your garden, consider what is easily climbed upon to gain access to the top of the fence or gate latch. Remove these objects to ensure your area is compliant.
Make sure you trim back branches and bushes also, as large plants can be used to climb. Overhanging branches or climbable plants near a fence or gate cause a pool to be non-compliant.
#4 Over-decorating the pool area
Although it is tempting to create an outdoor lounge within the pool area to include the whole package for entertaining, consider certification standards. By including too much in your pool area, it lowers the chance of your pool fence and enclosure certification. A few well-placed deck chairs for lounging by the pool is acceptable, however, resist the urge to include your bar, TV, eating area and general recreation area within your pool boundary.
Anything that distracts from the supervision of children should be left outside the pool fence.
By keeping your pool area small, it reduces the risk of injuries and accidents when the pool is not in use. The only purpose of your pool area is for swimming and other pool-related activities, not dining or other purposes.
#5 A lack of correct safety signage
Do you and your family know CPR? Even if you do, are you going to remember all the steps in an emergency? All pool enclosures are required to have a CPR sign hanging within the pool area, easily visible from all locations. Taking a few minutes to secure a sign within your enclosure can make the difference between being compliant and non-compliant.
Make sure your sign is current and endorsed by a reputable first aid company such as St John’s Ambulance Services. If you don’t have one already, speak to your local pool fencer or pool shop and purchase one today.
Avoid these simple mistakes to keep your pool fence compliant and have it ready for use all year round. If you are unsure about whether your pool fence is compliant, speak to the team at Pool Barrier Services. Our dedicated team has the knowledge to assist you and are always happy to help.
For professional advice and assistance with safety and pool inspections, contact our friendly team today.