Laws are fenced in for pool safety

THE arrival of summer also heralds the time when backyard pools become a popular retreat from the humidity.

But despite numerous warnings, campaigns and media coverage, more than 50% of backyard pools do not comply with safety standards.

By Australian law, all bodies of water over 300mm deep must be securely fenced to prevent young children gaining unsupervised access.

Drowning is a major cause of death in NSW for children under the age of five and pool owners are frequently reminded that there is no substitute for the responsible adult supervision of children in and around swimming pools.

All wading, inflatable and portable pools must be securely fenced or completely drained when not in use.

These holidays, parents are strongly advised to supervise their children at all times when swimming, even in shallow wading pools and bath tubs.


Top 10 pool safety tips

  • Never, ever, let your child or children swim unsupervised.
  • Ensure your pool fence adequately separates the pool from your house and neighbours.
  • Make sure the outside of the pool fence is at least 1.2m high all the way around and there is a gap of less than 10cm at the bottom.
  • Ensure your pool fence is well maintained and effective as a safety barrier to prevent children gaining access.
  • Keep your pool fence clear of objects a child could climb over, such as trees, rocks, ornaments, deckchairs and barbecues.
  • Ensure the pool gate opens out and away from the pool.
  • Ensure no objects which could stop the gate closing, are left anywhere near the gate, either inside or out.
  • Make sure the gate automatically closes and latches from any open position.
  • Ensure the gate release mechanism is 1.5m above ground level.
  • Make sure all vertical palings are less than 10cm apart.
  • Information sourced from

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