Pool

Check your pool fences following Cyclone Debbie

Check your pool fencing

Recent severe weather events may have caused damage or unexpected movement to swimming pool fencing or barrier components. 

Any damaged fencing that allows access to a child under five should be made compliant immediately. 

Flooding and heavy rain events are very likely to have caused differential ground movements to the posts supporting your pool safety gate. This can cause your gate to not self-close or self-latch. 

A property owner should repair this work immediately or have a suitably qualified contractor make the repairs.

Timely reminder for renovating prefab pools

It is extremely important when renovating or restoring prefabricated pools that the vinyl liner waterproofing be replaced with another vinyl liner or PVC membrane, and not an alternative rigid surface finish.

Many prefabricated pools constructed in the 1970s through to mid-2000s are now due for refurbishment, so this is a timely reminder of what to consider to ensure the pool remains waterproof.

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New rules for CPR signage

New rules for CPR signage

From 1 January 2017, all new CPR signs for swimming pools must comply with Guideline 8, published by the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC).

Existing signage that complies with the earlier guideline (Guideline 7) is acceptable for use while still readable. However, when CPR signs become illegible, they must be replaced with a sign that is compliant with Guideline 8.

Owners can choose to use the new CPR signs now, as pool safety laws have already been updated to reflect the change to signage. Guideline 7 signs are being phased out from 1 January, 2017.

Conflict of interest and pool safety inspections - Are you at risk?

Backyard swimming pool

The Code of conduct for swimming pool safety inspectors (the code) sets out the standards of conduct and professionalism expected of swimming pool safety inspectors (PSIs) in the performance of their pool safety inspection functions.

Section 4 of the code provides that a PSI must not perform a pool safety inspection function where there is the potential for a conflict of interest. 

That would include inspecting a pool owned by you and may include inspecting a pool owned by somebody with whom you have a personal, professional, commercial or financial relationship. 

Pool fences must stay up

Pool fencing

Temporary fencing must be installed while pool owners are installing a new fence or trying to bring their pool barriers into compliance with pool safety laws.

This is a requirement that many pool owners overlook when trying to bring their pool barriers into compliance with the pool safety laws which came into effect on 1 December, 2015 after a five-year phase-in period.

A recent coroner’s report into the death of a young child in a backyard swimming pool on the Gold Coast shows that the community still has a way to go in their education and understanding of pool safety.

Expansion of PSI role when owners work on own fences

Pool fencing

An amendment to the pool laws means that all pool owners may perform fencing work without a building approval, if the only part of the building code that applies to the work is the pool safety standard.

This is on the proviso that the owner engages a pool safety inspector (PSI) beforehand, and PSIs may see an expansion of their role as a result.

Previously only owners of pools with houses or townhouses could replace their pool fence without a building approval in certain circumstances.