Despite stringent regulations, children can still drown in swimming pools. This can often be due to a lack of supervision, but sometimes it is down to inadequate pool fencing, which is the responsibility of the property owner or occupier. If you're thinking about installing a backyard pool to take advantage of the magnificent summer weather, what are the key factors to bear in mind?
According to the Royal Life Saving website, an average of 22 children between the ages of zero and four drown each year in Australia. This is a sobering statistic, and you'll want to ensure that you do not contribute to this sad number through inattention or negligence.
Where to Start
Before you construct your pool, work out how you are going to secure it and make sure that you pay as much attention to the fencing as you do to the pool itself.
For example, you must ensure that the fence is taller than 1.2 m, is sturdy, well built and in good working condition. There must not be a gap greater than 0.1 m from the ground to the base of the fence and no vertical gaps wider than 0.1 m.
Pay particular attention to the gate. It must open outwards and not in, and the latch must be situated higher than 1.5 m from the ground. It must close and latch by itself and you should never, under any circumstances, be tempted to prop the gate open using an artificial device.
Getting Rid of Temptation
If very young children are going to be in or around your property, remove any temptations. Ensure that no artificial or natural objects near the fence could provide a stepping stone for ambitious youngsters as they attempt to climb over. Do not leave any toys or other items on the pool deck when not in use. Once again, remove any temptation to access the pool area to retrieve the toy.
Above all else, make sure that you never, under any circumstances, leave children unattended in or around the pool. Always make sure that there is a capable adult to supervise. They should never be tempted to "pop in" to the house for something while they are supposed to be supervising.
If you pay close attention to all of these rules and practices, you will be able to enjoy your pool with no significant risks. Ensure that you discuss all your requirements with your pool contractor at the outset.
Reach out to a local pool fencing contractor to learn more.