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Pool and spa safety

Make sure your pool or spa is safe and fenced securely

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Now the summer heat is finally here, it’s important to make sure your pool or spa is safe and fenced securely.

Private swimming pools and spas can pose a significant drowning risk. Owners have an ongoing legal obligation to ensure their pool or spa complies with safety requirements and regulations.

All pools and spas more than 300mm (30cm) deep must have a safety fence or barrier that complies with Building Regulations and Australian Standards. This also applies to inflatable or relocatable pools and spas.

The design, construction and installation of new swimming pools, spas and their safety barriers are subject to strict building regulatory requirements. These include erecting a temporary safety barrier during construction, prohibiting direct access from the house to the pool/spa area and specifications for gates, fencing and their locations. A building permit is required for spas, pools and pool fencing.

If you have a property with a pool or spa, a registered private Building Surveyor can be engaged to check that it complies with safety requirements and regulations.

Failure to meet safety requirements and regulations can significantly increase the risk of drowning as well as lead to prosecution by Bayside Council or the Victorian Building Authority, and attract substantial fines.

Examples of safety breaches include failure to install self-closing or self-latching devices on gates, or not maintaining your swimming pool or spa barrier so that it operates effectively at all times. This also includes having outdoor furniture, plants or other objects adjacent to a fence or barrier so they can be used to climb into the pool/spa area.

The Victoria Building Authority (VBA) website contains more information on pool and spa safety and building requirements.

Concerns about the safety of a neighbour’s pool can be reported to Bayside Council via enquiries [at] bayside.vic.gov.au or 9599 4444.

And remember to always actively supervise children around water – for more information visit Play it Safe by the water website.