The sad fact is that drowning is the most common cause of preventable death for children under the age of five. In addition to that, most drownings occur where there is no barrier between the house and the pool area.
Pool Safety In Western Australia
WA is way behind the issue of swimming pool safety when compared to other states. The WA State and local governments should revise this and implement stronger legislation requiring these older pools to be brought up to current standards.
In Queensland for example it has become mandatory that all homes with pools retrospectively at the time of settlement need to comply with the new Queensland Development Code (QDC) Mandatory Part 3.4 which requires there to be a barrier installed between the pool and the house.
There are several things that you can do to help minimise a drowning incident at your home:
Supervise children at all times.
The most common factor in child drowning incidents is a lack of adult supervision.
Adequate gates and doors.
Check that gates and doors self close and self latch at any distance and that the latch is at least 1500mm high.
Install barrier fencing.
All the safety barriers around the pool should be a minimum of 1200mm high and not have gaps of more than 100mm.
Remove climbable objects.
This can get complicated but in short make sure there are no climbable objects within a 1200mm arc from the top of the fence on the outside of the fence.
Display CPR Chart/s.
Ensure a current CPR chart is installed and clearly visible in the pool area. You can purchase these in waterproof PVC on ebay for $20, or you can request a free one from the Australian Resuscitation Council.
According to the Building Commission of Western Australia, almost 95 per cent of children under five who have drowned in Western Australia, have done so at locations around the home,
If you are a pool owner and would like to receive a free ‘Home Pool Safety Checklist’ produced by Royal Life Saving Australia, please contact us.
Steve Miller, a registered builder, has been certified by Royal Life Saving Australia as a Swimming Pool Safety Inspector and has completed a Pool Safety Inspectors licensing course. He uses this experience to give the right advice in relation to the correct pool safety barrier installation and location. Ask Steve about your pool fencing when you order a building inspection.