Welcome to the new year and another year of enjoying your pool. The latest pool safety regulations are now entirely in place and operational, so what do you need to know about pool fencing safety in 2021?
Is your pool fencing safe?
Pool safety laws have been updated more than five times since 1986, so if you have an older pool, it is always a good idea to review the laws that applied when yours was built to keep your pool barrier safe. It is advisable to engage a Pre Compliance Consultant to double-check your pool fence and pool area to optimise your safety prior to engaging the Building Inspector (Swimming pool and Spa safety).
The Pre Compliance Consultant is not obliged to issue non compliance notices for defects which means they are able assist with upgrades and recommend the services of qualified tradespeople and enable you the maximum time to prepare your barrier before engaging a Building Inspector (Swimming pool and Spa safety).
Many pool and spa owners are not aware that if the barrier is inspected and the Building Inspector (Swimming pool and Spa safety) finds defect they are obliged under the Victorian Building Act to issue a noncompliance notice or improvement notice demanding breaches are rectified within 7 to 60 days depending on the severity. Then there will be an additional fee to revisit.
If the breaches are not remedied in the nominated timeframe the matter is then referred to the Municipal Building Surveyor of your local council to enforce the regulations
Before you book your appointment with the pool safety inspector, take a quick walk around and take note of potential hazards that may arise. Check your fence is 1.2m high, with an adequately functioning gate, latch and self-closing function. Move furniture and play equipment away from the fence to stop children climbing and clear away bushes or shrubs that grow too close to your pool fence. Most importantly, repair broken bricks, tiles or pool equipment to help prevent injury.
If you are not sure contact us at Pool Barrier Services on 0417 344 074 or [email protected] and we will assist you.
Register your swimming pool
If your pool has not yet been registered with your local council, it is urgent that you submit your safety certificate for registration. Due to the changing pool laws over recent decades, there are different periods for compliance depending on the date that your pool or spa was installed. But all pools and spas should have been registered by 1st November 2020. If you haven’t done so you may receive a fine.
If your pool was constructed prior to 1st July 1994 you must have your pool or spa compliant by 1st November 2021.
If your pool was constructed between 1st July 1994 and 1st May 2010, you must have your pool or spa compliant by 1st June 2022. Pools built between 1st May 2010 and 31st May 2020 must be pool or spa compliant by 1st June 2023.
If you do not act in the time frame legislated, depending on when your pool was constructed, you risk fines. Fines can be as large as $1,652.20.
If you are unsure about the construction date of your pool, on the online registration on your local council website just answer “unknown” when registering and the council will notify you after conducting a search of any available permits. Also, if you are registering a spa, ensure you class it as “permanent” otherwise you will require to have a compliance certificate every 12 months, instead of every four years. There is a search fee to ascertain the age of your pool or spa but if you have evidence of the age or a permit you may avoid this fee depending on the council policy.
Each council has a slightly different registration process, but all have online portals. Try to avoid calling the council as they are being inundated with calls and the process is much simpler online. You will be required to pay a $31.84 registration fee to your council. Moving forward each pool and spa barrier must be certified and reregistered every four years.
What new pool fencing styles are available?
Pool fencing is continually evolving and changing, with new styles being approved for safety regularly. You are no longer limited to the old style of powder-coated metal fencing but have a whole range of metal and glass to suit your pool and garden.
Whether installing a new fence or looking at repairing or replacing an older style, seek advice from the team at Pool Barrier Services, the experts in everything pool fence related. They will be able to walk you through the best options for you, as well as advise you on the longevity of your current fence. For already installed fences that require some maintenance, the pool fencing team at Pool Barrier Services can also help you find the best way to keep your fence in tip-top shape.
Do temporary pools need to be registered?
All pools over 30cm need to be fenced and registered. In the case of temporary pools, registration depends on the length of time it is erected. If your temporary pool is erect for less than three days, then your pool does not have to be registered. In the case it is being used long term and will remain set up and filled with water for more than three days, you must register your pool, and all fencing and safety compliance regulations apply.
Is CPR a necessary skill?
Owners of pools are not required to have current CPR certifications; however, it is strongly encouraged. It is a requirement to clearly display CPR instructions on your pool fence, which should be seen and easily followed from anywhere in your pool area. If you do not have a sign already, speak to your pool fence installer to obtain one and attach it to your fence as soon as possible.
Although pool owners are not required to hold current CPR certifications, classes are available in your local community through a range of providers.
Start the new year knowing how to keep your family and friends safe in and around your pool. Don’t risk incurring a large fine and register your pool as soon as possible with your local council. Invest in maintaining your fence or replacing, if necessary. If you are unsure about whether your fence needs to be repaired or replaced, the team at Pool Barrier Services can help provide you with information.
For professional advice and assistance with safety and pool inspections, contact our friendly team today.