Temporary and inflatable pools and spas must have a safety barrier

Monday January 25 2016

With plenty of hot weather still to come this summer, inflatable and portable swimming and wading pools seem like a good idea to keep young children cool – as well as adults. The sad fact is they also increase the risk of drowning if safety precautions aren't taken and building regulations not complied with.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) believes consumers need to be aware that all spas and swimming pools that hold more than 30 cm of water must be surrounded by a compliant safety barrier when they are set up. This includes inflatable, portable and wading pools, which, like in-ground and other permanent pools and spas, can pose dangers to young children without the proper safety barriers in place.

VBA Director of Technical and Regulation, Jarrod Edwards, said that Australian consumer law requires portable pools and their retail packaging to carry warnings drawing attention to drowning hazards and local safety barrier/fencing laws. This is enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and State and Territory regulators, including the VBA.

"The latest figures from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia's National Drowning report revealed that over half of all toddler drowning incidents in 2014/15 occurred in backyard pools," Mr Edwards said.

Read the media release – Temporary and inflatable pools and spas must have a safety barrier (PDF, 67.76 KB)

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