Pool inspector, Bob Walliker urges locals to meet safety requirements for their pool well before the due date of November 30
From November 30, all Queensland swimming pools will be required to meet a new, swimming pool barrier standard, which has been phased in over the past five years.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in Queensland for children under five and effective fencing and associated safety measures, along with supervision and learning to swim, can save lives.
Local pool inspector, Bob Walliker, said the most common problem are gates. “Nothing is permanent. Hinges wear out, locks wear out. All gates are supposed to latch the first time, every time, from any position.”
The new standard covers such things as the height and strength of barriers, mandatory non-climbable areas, gate-latching requirements and the restriction of direct access from a building into a pool area. Safety barriers are also mandatory for all portable pools and spas deeper than 300 millimetres.
Bob says, “Check surrounding vegetation – and use common sense. Keep growth of trees and shrubs down to a manageable level, so kids can’t climb over them. Check that boundary fences are in good condition if they form part of the barrier.”
The standard applies to new and existing pools in houses, unit complexes, hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, caravan parks and mobile van parks.
Commissioner of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, Steve Griffin, said the new single standard was designed to increase pool safety and simplify pool safety laws, which previously included 11 different safety standards.
Mr Griffin said it is the responsibility of all pool owners to ensure their pools comply with the new standard by November 30, or earlier if the property is sold or leased.
“Pool owners have had five years to prepare for the new standard, and if they are not sure if their pool is compliant they should contact a pool safety inspector as soon as possible,” he said.
“But don’t leave it to last minute,” Bob Walliker warned. “Everyone will be after an inspector – I’ll be snowed under.”
“I’ve been told there will be random spot inspections by our council and the BCC, so pools and spas must comply. The regulations are working – there has only been one drowning since they brought in the new standards.”
Call Bob on 0417 728-510 or visit http://yourlocalpoolsafetyinspections.com.au/ to find out more.