There’s no denying how fun swimming pools are especially for kids, but they do come with risks. Pool safety is everyone’s responsibility, and every precaution should be taken to prevent drowning incidents. Throughout this post, we’ll share some great safety measures you can implement in your pool area to ensure everyone is safe around your pool.
Make sure you have a pool fence and that it is compliant
Here in Australia, it is the law to have a compliant pool fence surrounding your pool, only in very limited circumstances will you be exempt from having one. In most instances, any pool or spa that contains a body of water that’s more than 300mm or 2,000L, must have a compliant safety barrier. This is the most effective way to make your pool area safe. Without one, your backyard poses a major safety risk not only to the children in your life but to other children too. As a pool owner, you must maintain your pool fence and see to repairs immediately. For a pool fence to be compliant, it must meet stringent standards before a certificate of compliance can be issued.
Here is an outline of some of the pool fencing rules that apply here in Queensland as stated by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission:
- Your pool must be intact and have no areas of damage or holes.
- There cannot be any holes in the fencing that are more than 13mm.
- The space between the pool fencing and the ground must not exceed more than 10cm.
- The pool fencing needs to be 1.2 metres from the ground and 1.8 metres if it’s a boundary fence.
- Horizontal bars, if any, need to be placed no less than 90cm apart.
- Support struts and vertical bars cannot have gaps of more than 100mm.
Have pool rules
You should have some rules for swimming in the pool and make sure that everyone understands them before entering the water. Here are some good ones that you can use:
- No running around the pool.
- Young swimmers mustn’t go in the water unless an adult is with them.
- No dunking anyone underwater.
- No rough play – it always ends in tears.
- No jumping or diving at the shallow end.
Keep your pool area free from clutter
Clutter or objects in your pool area are a hazard in more ways than one. They can be tripped over and cause injury. It’s not only the inside of your pool area that needs to be free from objects. The area on the outside of your pool fence is called the non-climbable zone, and it is a 900mm radius that should not have anything placed here that can be used to climb over the fence with. On the inside of the pool, it’s 300mm, and the same rules apply. If you have pool accessories such as a waterslide, check that they are in good working condition before letting anyone use them. This is more relevant if they are older and spend a considerable amount of time exposed to the elements. If your waterslide doesn’t have its own water supply, wet it down before it’s used as they can get very hot and burn the skin.
Take a CPR course
Most of us hope we’d never be in a situation where we’d need to perform CPR; however, not knowing what to do in a life-threatening situation is a horrible feeling, and it can affect the outcome of the casualty significantly. CPR training is easily accessible and affordable. As a pool owner, it is most certainly worth updating your skills if you haven’t already.
Place CPR signage in your pool area
Along with learning how to perform CPR, you should have adequate CPR signage in a visible location in your pool area, in fact in some states, it’s mandatory.
Enrol your children in swimming lessons
Water is a big part of our culture here in Australia – were surrounded by it. Swimming is a life skill that all children should learn. It broadens their horizons by allowing them to partake in water-based activities with confidence, and it also teaches them how to be safe around the water and what to do if they see someone who needs help. When choosing a swimming school, ensure the instructors are qualified and hold a nationally accredited certificate of attainment.
Never let children in the pool by themselves
Regardless of how confident your children are at swimming; they should never be allowed to swim by themselves without adult supervision. Accidents can happen, and an adult needs to be on standby just in case. For younger swimmers, an adult should be in the water with them and within an arm’s reach. Using floaties or a floatation vest is advised also. If you are having people over, always make sure the children are supervised, it can be easy to get caught up chatting, and a moment of distraction can be dangerous.
Put away pool toys after use
It’s only natural that you’ll have pool toys in the pool area. To keep everyone safe, make sure they aren’t left lying around the side of the pool, they can become a trip hazard. If your children take toys into the pool area, get them to take them out with them when they leave.
Invest in a high-quality pool cover
Pool covers boast many benefits, they can help to keep your water clean by preventing contaminants from entering it, they can reduce evaporation which can save you money on your water bills, they decrease heat and chemical loss also. One hugely beneficial advantage to installing a high-quality cover is that they add an extra element of safety to your swimming pool. Hard-top covers can generally weight-bear an adult with ease, so if a child or pet gets into the pool area, the cover acts as another barrier from entering the water.
Avoid glass in the pool area
Having a cold drink and swimming goes hand in hand in the summertime but avoid bringing glasses and glass bottles into the pool area. Broken glass is virtually impossible to see in the water, and if stepped on, it can cause significant injuries.
Pools safety is part and parcel with pool ownership
There aren’t too many Aussies that can say they don’t have plenty of childhood memories that involve time spent around water. A swimming pool can keep kids entertained for hours on end, but they don’t see the potential dangers like us adults do. It is our job to ensure they are not only having fun, but they are safe while doing so. We hope you’ve learnt some new ways to make your pool area safe or you may be across these tips already. Here at Factory Pools Perth, safety is at the forefront of our engineering, and all our swimming pools feature a built-in child safety ledge and have non-slip surfaces and steps for extra peace of mind. If you’d like to discuss the suitability of one of our swimming pools for your home or you have any questions, get in touch, and our helpful team will be happy to assist.