Owning a swimming pool is obviously a fantastic idea but most pool owners struggle with the new pool regulation that was implemented. For new pool owners, it can be very difficult to determine how to make their pool compliant with the law so they can get the pool compliance certification.
The new legal requirements state that pool barrier and uniform standards must be applied to all the pools regardless of when they were built. Every property with swimming pool must be inspected by a pool certifier (the local council or a private pool inspector).
1. Why do you need to coordinate with a pool certifier?
On 29th April 2016, New South Wales pool fencing law was effective for all residential and commercial pool owners.
It signifies that you are required to meet local council requirements regarding pool barrier safety. This means that you can choose to coordinate with an accredited pool certifier to conduct a swimming pool inspection which will help you to apply for a Pool Fence Certificate of Compliance.
You should arrange a pool fence inspection if:
- You are a Real Estate Agent that involves selling residential properties
- You manage a Body Corporate or community title property with a pool
- You are a Real Estate Property Manager involved in renting residential properties
- You own or operate an Accommodation Property like a resort, hotel, motel or caravan park
- You are a Private Home Owner selling your house, or if you are renting your house to a tenant
To renew a lease on a property to a new tenant, or renew the lease of an existing tenant, you will need a Compliance Certificate from a Pool Fence Inspector.
To sell a property with a pool you must have an inspection done on the pool fence. With the new law, you can sell a property with a non-Compliance Certificate. If the buyer accepts the contract, they shall have 90 days to fix the non-compliance issues.
Either way if repairs are not completed in the 6 weeks after the initial inspection, it is required to forward pool information of the new owner to the local council.
2. If you own a pool, make sure to:
- Post CPR instructions near the pool.
- Keep toys away from the water when they are not in use so that children are not tempted to enter the pool alone.
- Secure pool covers when the pool is not in use, and make sure they are completely removed before anyone uses the pool.
- Keep basic safety equipment such as a pole, rope, and flotation devices near the pool area and make sure everyone knows how to use it in case of emergency happening.
The new pool law makes Building Code of Australia (BCA) as the standard rule for constructing swimming pools. It must be followed when:
- Building a new swimming pool or pool barrier.
- Rebuilding a barrier surrounding your pool, spa or hot tub.
- To request a pool certifier to inspect your pool
Repairs that certain pool certifiers can do to make your swimming pool compliant with the regulation:
- Moving a gate latch.
- Installing code-compliant door alarms.
- Changing a gate’s opening direction.
- Installing features to reduce the size of opening of your barrier.
- Installing (or removing) features to make your barrier non-climbable.
3. When should you arrange an inspection, now or later?
You should consider getting your inspections done earlier. It is important to keep your family and loved ones safe and prevent possible accidents before letting them play in and around the swimming pool.
Before the pool inspection:
- Your pool needs to be listed on the NSW Pool safety register before it can be inspected.
- Have the accurate information of your pool construction such as date, size, location, etc. should be known. The date of pool construction may change the criteria in which your pool is assessed.
- Some pool certifiers have different repair rates after the inspection, so you can manage your budget before you have your pool inspected.
4. What does a pool certifier inspects?
Your pool inspector should check your pool’s:
- CPR Signage
- Pool fence gates
- Pool fence height
- Location of pool fence
- Pool fence vertical gaps
- Pool fence gap at bottom
- Self-closing latching devices
- Wall of house used as barrier
- Pool fence non climbable zones
- Windows forming part of the barrier
- Pool fence horizontal climbable members
- Boundary fence used as part of pool fence
Non-compliant pool fence is a source of dismay for pool owners. If the pool certifier sees that your pool is not complaint after the inspection, you should immediately fix the non-compliance issues of your pool.
Swimming pool Act requires pool owners to install pool fence, clearing climate debris from non-climbable zone area, all doors to the pool area to have self-closing gates, etc. For this reason alone, organising pool inspection is a perfect idea.
Of all things, your family and their safety should be your top priority. Pool compliance is important to keep your loved ones safe. It is important that you make sure your pool complies with the latest pool safety laws.