Having a swimming pool in your home is really exciting and there are many fun activities you can do around a pool, such as parties, bar-be-ques etc. Enjoying some quality time in the pool during a hot summer day is also a great family activity enjoyed by everyone. However, the pool and its surroundings are also very conducive to accidents and hazards such as accidental drownings, which is why in Australia, you need a compliance certificate for it, to ensure that you have met with all the required safety standards. This applies to all types of pools, whether inground, above-ground, indoor, portable or other type.
Pool inspections in Sydney are carried out by certified inspectors who are either part of the local council or an accredited pool certifier. Not meeting the set legislative regulations means that these inspectors can impose a fine on the owners, which can amount to thousands of dollars, hence it is always best to ensure that your pool conforms to all the safety regulations of your local council. Usually if any non-conformity is detected, the inspector will give the owners a certain amount of time to rectify the issues, and then carry out a follow up inspection. If the rectifications haven’t been done during this period, then the owners will be liable for a fine.
What steps should you take to ensure that your swimming pool is complaint with local regulations?
Fencing – Fencing around a pool should be at least 1,200 mm in height, and the gap between the base of the fence and the ground should not be more than 100 mm. There is also a standard gap between railings, where horizontal railings should not be more than 900 mm apart, and vertical railings 100 mm apart. There should also be no climbable objects anywhere near the fence, 300 mm inside the fence and within 900 m of the outside of the fence.
Signage – CPR signs should be displayed in an area which is visible to anyone using the pool.
Gates – Gates should open away from the pool and should be able to self-lock or self-latch from any and all open positions. The latch should be located at least 1500 mm above the ground.
Other items – In addition to the above, pool inspectors will also check the surrounding area including deck etc, as well as stability of ladders and other hardware equipment, and the working condition of all pool equipment such as filters etc.
Following a pool inspection in Sydney, if the inspector finds that your swimming pool is compliant with all set regulations then they will issue you with a certificate of compliance. Minor repairs sometime may even be done by the inspector himself, but much more serious issues will need to be sorted out by the owners within the specific period of time. If you are intending to sell your property or even rent it out, then it is imperative you have a compliance certificate, since buyers will be more comfortable going with a property that meets all legal regulations. Even if you are interested in buying such a property it is best to ensure that the owners have a compliance certificate. Although no property owner is required by law to get the certification prior to selling the property, it is always best to ensure that they have one, since otherwise the new buyer will be liable for rectifying any issues that an inspector may find, and sometimes these could go into huge expenses.
Local authorities may also require you to register your pool, and this will need to be checked out and done through the local council. All these practices have been put in place to ensure maximum safety for those using a pool as well as for those people living around it, especially small children. The fencing and gates ensure that little children cannot go near the pool when unsupervised and fall into it. Accidental drowning was a big problem around swimming pools, which is why such strict legislative regulations have been implemented.
Whether you are buying a property, selling a property or renting one with a pool, always ensure that proper legal regulations have been fulfilled so that you nor any other person will get into any trouble. It will certainly be a costly affair but you can never compromise on safety.