Drowning in backyard pools is one of the leading causes of child deaths in NSW. Help prevent drowning by following these simple safety measures:
1. Install child resistant fencing
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires a swimming pool to be surrounded by an approved child resistant barrier. Council officers undertake routine inspections of all existing swimming pools in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act.
2. Do not leave objects near the barrier
Children may use objects left near the barrier to climb over.
3. Supervise your children
A secure pool is no substitute for responsible adult supervision. Children in or around the water must be supervised at all times, no matter what their swimming ability.
4. Teach your children to swim
It is essential that children are taught to swim from an early age. There are many learn to swim organisations in the area with accredited instructors that teach swimming classes throughout the year for all ages and skill levels. Check your local public swimming pool for learn to swim classes.
5. Learn resuscitation techniques
Training in resuscitation techniques will give adults the skills required in an emergency situation. Resuscitation charts are required to be prominently displayed within the pool enclosure. Charts are readily available online or from your local hardware store or pool shop.
Make sure your pool complies with safety regulations
New regulations passed by the NSW Government at the end of 2009 increased the maximum on-the-spot fine for pool owners if their backyard pool fence fails to meet safety requirements from $220 to $550, with the maximum court imposed penalty increasing from $1100 to $5500.
The changes also ceased the exemptions for new pools on large, small or water front properties and allow Council to urgently fix pool fencing where this is an immediate risk to public safety and the owner has refused to fix the problem.
Under the Swimming Pools Act 1992, a swimming pool is a pool with a depth of 300mm or more.
Any such swimming pool must have a fence surrounding it in compliance with the Act and Australian Standards.
- The internal fence must be at least 1.2 metres high, and have no horizontal footholds
- The pool gate must be self closing and self latching
- Council approval or certification is required for most pools.
Enquiries should be made with Council prior to the erection or purchase of a pool particularly since the cost of a pool fence and the development application can be in excess of the cost of the pool itself.
For further information and advice regarding pools and fencing requirements contact Council's Customer Service on (02) 6581 8111
This page was last updated on: 12 April 2019