If you’re lucky enough to own or live in a property with a backyard swimming pool, it’s worth taking a few minutes to test the safety of the pool fence and gate – before the kids do.
KidSafe Victoria’s new campaign “Closing the Gate on Backyard Pool Drownings”, will be launched at the start of daylight saving this year, on Sunday 6 October. It reminds pool owners and users to check the safety of the pool area when they put their clocks forward.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Australian children under five: and more than a third of drowning deaths happen in backyard pools. In a country like ours, where the water is such a big part of our lives, it’s important to make children as safe as possible around it.
If you are renting, make sure that the gate and fence around your pool has been properly maintained. As a tenant you are also required to ensure that the pool fence is maintained and operating correctly.
If pool gates or fences are faulty or have become damaged, and it has made them unsafe or insecure, contact your landlord or agent for urgent repairs.
Common pool fence issues that could contribute to a tragedy include:
- gates that don’t self-latch or self-close
- objects around the pool (eg pot plants, chairs, pool pumps) which children can climb on to get to the pool
- space under the fence wide enough for a child to squeeze through
- misuse of the gate, such as propping it open.
For more about urgent repairs, view the Urgent repairs page on the Consumer Affairs Victoria’s website.
For more about Australian Standards for pool fencing, download the Swimming pools and spas and safety barriers guide (PDF, 323KB) from the Victorian Building Authority website.
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