Swimming Pool Safety Barriers – Where Do You Stand?

Swimming Pool safety is an issue effecting all pool owners. The Victorian Building Authority’s document, “Swimming Pool and Spa Safety” released in 2015 documents the minimum safety requirements that must be provide by swimming pool or spa owners over its lifetime. The objective of the minimum requirements for swimming pools, spas and safety barriers are to minimise harm to:

  • children under five years of age from death and drowning injury
  • people from drowning or injury due to suction by a swimming pool water recirculation system.
  • Source: Victoria Building Authority

In a recent response to this legislation, REIV members discuss “four-sided safety barriers will be a significant expense for pool/spa owners which, in isolation, have not been proven to reduce the number of fatal and near-fatal drownings in backyard pools and spas”.

The article continues, mentioning the greater concern is the maintenance of the barriers.

The report indicates the findings of a Coroners report that indicate “of the 28 drowning deaths in Victoria, seven were due to faulty barriers, two resulted from a climbing point allowing access to the pool while the gate was left open in a further eight cases”.

The significant cost of installing new fencing for existing home owners needs to be considered, especially considering older Victorians still residing in the family home. Regarding these costs “The REIV disagrees with the pricing estimates referenced in the RIS, with our own research suggesting the cost could be as high as $15,000”.

For more details on the REIV response, you can find the whole article here: BUILDING REGULATIONS REVIEWPool/spa Barrier Regulation

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