It’s vital to keep your pool fence properly maintained and check it regularly to ensure proper pool fence safety. Why? Because having a pool fence as a safety barrier to your pool can help to prevent drownings.
Kidsafe present some alarming numbers around this risk on their website:
Statistics from the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report show that in 2014/15, 26 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned – an increase of 30% from 2013/14.
Backyard swimming pools are the most common location where toddler drowning incidents occur. In 2014/15, over half of all toddler drowning incidents occurred in a backyard pool
Evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths in pools are as a result of fencing that is faulty or non-compliant with Australian Standards.
How do I check my pool fence is safe?
According to KidSafe, pool and spa fencing will experience wear and tear over time, so here are four things to look for:
- Gates that don’t self-latch or self-close
- Climbable objects in the ‘non climbable’ zone outlined in the Australian Standards (e.g. pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near the pool fencing which could allow a child to climb over the fence)
- Excess space under the fence
- Misuse (e.g. propping the pool gate open)
Life Saving Victoria provide an online tool that will help you to assess the safety of your pool. Their home pool safety guide offers both a printable checklist and an online assessment.
This is an awesome safety checklist. It will step you through each component of you pool fence from nearby climable objects, to gaps in panels (and below), to the gate and latch and even the pool area itself and pool chemicals.
As a pool owner you should do this safety check of your pool every year.