Having a swimming pool poses a serious risk of injury or death to people (especially kids) even when there is no misuse of the pool. Most accidents occur when the pool is not in active use and the children are not being supervised. It is important for pool owners to keep their pool compliant and safe at all times.
What should you do to have compliant swimming pool? First, you should ensure that your pool follows the specific requirements of NSW Swimming pool act. Each precise rule must be obeyed strictly.
1. Can I install a padlock or lock on my pool gate or door?
Every house with in-ground or above ground swimming pool in the backyard must have a fence and lock installed for compliance and safety purpose. If you have children living in or visiting your home, using a strong pool lock helps to keep them safe.
There are different padlocks that will keep your door secured such as SL-50-TRI, SL-50H etc.
Look for safety latches and locks that you can easily install and use, but are also sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Secured latches does not guarantee full protection, however, they can make it difficult for children to reach the dangerous area.
2. Do doors or windows from my house that opens up onto the pool area comply?
The Swimming Pool Act 1992 states that any house wall that will be used as pool fence should have no opening that can become an access for childen to go through the swimming pool. It must have no door, window or any opening through.
Windows as part of Child Resistant Barrier must be fixed with fasteners that can only be removed by the use of a tool (eg. a screwdriver or spanner). It can only be opened to a maximum of 100mm.
3. Do I need to have a CPR Sign?
If you have a pool in your backyard then you will, by law, need to have fencing and signage that is appropriate to your state and local council laws.
CPR signs must be placed near the pool. It should be at least 300mm by 300mm in size. It must be made with a durable and waterproof material. It should include instructions on what to do during an emergency.
3. My neighbour’s tree is growing close to the dividing fence and is making my fence non-compliant. What can I do?
You can ask your neighbor to help out. If they choose not to help, you will be forced to make the required changes on your side of the fence. It is your responsibility as a pool owner to fix any pool regulation issues that will make your pool non-compliant. However, inspectors will be able to offer potential solutions after they have inspected your property.
4. Is my neighbor responsible for any of the costs incurred if it involves the dividing fence between our two properties?
The law says that owners must share the cost of building a dividing fence between you and your neighbor. It means that if your neighbor wants a fence, but you do not, you are still responsible for sharing the cost of building it.
5. There are many different prices being quoted for pool compliance inspections by different businesses. How to find the right one?
A pool compliance inspector’s role is to inspect pools to examine whether they complie with the safety regulation. You can search for a swimming pool safety inspector in your local government area or you can enter the name, business name or licence number if you are looking for a specific inspector.
6. What happens if I do not comply within the time period?
You may get a fine from local government if you will not be able to make your pool compliant within the given time. On the spot penalties of $550.00 will apply to pool owners who fail to enclose a swimming pool correctly in accordance with the Swimming pool Regulations.
7. Can I sell a property without a Certificate of Compliance?
Before selling a property with swimming pool, you must ensure that the contract for sale has a Registration Certificate issued from the Swimming Pool Register, a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance, a relevant occupation certificate issued within the last 3 years, or a valid certificate of non-compliance.
If the required certificates are not attached, the purchaser should cancel the contract within 14 days of exchange, unless the issue is settled. The buyer will have 90 days from the date of settlement to fix the listed non-compliant issues in the certificate of non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.
8. Can I purchase a property without a Certificate of Compliance?
When a residential tenancy agreement is fixed in a property with a swimming pool, the landlord or real estate agent should provide the tenant with a copy of the valid certificate of compliance.
If you are buying a property with a pool, and accept certificate of non-compliance, you will have 90 days from settlement to get a pool safety certificate. You are also liable for any compliance costs to get your pool certified.
Keep your family and friends safe by following pool compliance and safety guidelines. The purpose of this regulation is to help keep kids stay out of danger around the swimming pool. By observing these pool rules, you can have a compliant and mor importantly safe swimming pool for your children.