Pool Safety Checklist - How to Keep Your Family Swimming Pool Fencing Child-Safe  

by Pool Builders on 09-06-2011 in Articles

It's impossible to understate just how important it is to keep our swimming pools and fencing as safe for children as possible. Child drownings are among the most tragic of accidents, largely because they're often preventable.

Of course, that can only be clear in hindsight, and it can take extreme, sometimes obsessive forward planning and caution to take every preventative measure in advance. This is why the government of my home state of Queensland (QLD), Australia is issuing major new swimming pool safety laws to help avoid such tragedies.

However, even families, households and hotels not bound by such laws could still benefit greatly from the general guidelines our Pool Safety Inspectors currently follow.

Te following quick guide covers some of the major points where Brisbane and Queensland pool owners will fail their fencing inspections. The following guide provides an excellent starting point for finding the right motivation and mindset. If you can answer all the below questions in the positive, you're well on your way!

  • Do your pool fence gates all close on their own, completely and from any position, with no need for extra force?
  • Is the gate's handle or latch one and a half metres above the ground or higher?
  • Are any gaps between the fence and gate one centimetre or less?
  • Are any of the gaps at the bottom of the fencing or gate ten centimetres or less above the ground? And if so, is this true all the way around?
  • Have all stray objects or growths (even weak vines, skipping ropes, towels, lighting or hanging clothes) been removed?
  • Have any trees, bushes, shrubs, plants, vines or other natural growths that could potentially be used to climb over the fence (however unlikely) all been appropriately trimmed, with little chance of future growth creating climbing opportunities?
  • Do you have a CPR safety instruction sign clearly displayed in the pool area? (While this is required by law for us, this is a great tip to follow anywhere in the world. This step has saved many lives in the past, and will continue to do so.)
  • Is the fence 1.2 metres or higher above the ground all the way around? (This includes boundary fences.)
  • Are all gaps throughout the fencing ten centimetres wide or less?
  • Are any doors or windows providing direct access to the pool area suitably locked and secured with the same standards listed above?

This list is by no means exhausting, and there are plenty of non-fencing hazard areas that also need addressing. Further research is highly encouraged. That said, if you answered "no" to any of the above questions, you have a great starting point for improving your pool's overall child safety.

However excessive these steps may seem, no effort or caution is too great when it comes to protecting your family.

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