Homeowners and renters urged to put safety first with compliant pool fences

Friday September 25 2015

A compliant, secure and properly maintained swimming pool fence is an essential measure in seeking to ensure the safety of young children around backyard swimming pools.

With Royal Life Saving Australia's latest drowning statistics showing that 54 per cent of drowning deaths in swimming pools were children aged under five, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is using its support of the 2015 Kidsafe Victoria 'Closing the Gate on Backyard Pool Drowning' campaign to remind homeowners and tenants of the importance of having a secure safety fence and gate on their pools.

Jarrod Edwards, VBA Director of Technical and Regulations, said that in addition to ensuring pool safety fences comply with Australian Standards, it is vital that anyone living with a swimming pool or a spa maintains strict supervision of children around pools and spas at all times.

"Drownings can be prevented by increasing the supervision of children around pools and spas and ensuring safety barrier compliance," Mr Edwards said. "Evidence shows that a large percentage of drowning deaths in pools are a direct result of faulty fencing or barriers that don't meet Australian Standards.

"Equally tragic, but equally important, are the findings from Coronial Inquiries into backyard pool drownings dating back to 2003 that show four out of six testified deaths of children in pools occurred at rental properties that were occupied by the victims' families.

"It is therefore vital that tenants, landlords and real estate and letting agents, as well as owner-occupiers, are aware of the importance of ensuring pool and spa fencing is compliant, secure and maintained," Mr Edwards said.

Anyone who lives in a property with a pool or spa can visit Kidsafe Victoria's website and their link Water Safety - Kidsafe Victoria for more information about the 'Close the Gate on Backyard Pool Drowning' campaign to help ensure the safety of children around pools and spas.

Read the media release

Read the VBA's media release for building practitioners – Pools, spas and safety barriers must meet Australian Standards

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