Drowning is a scary prospect for anyone to wrap their head around, a hazard that has unnecessarily claimed the lives of thousands of Australians in the past. Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning across the globe, making water safety a top priority for many, particularly those with kids.
Swimming pools are a feature in many people’s homes in WA, and whilst they bring great enjoyment, they also pose a serious hazard to children, the elderly and even pets. Pool safety knowledge is ESSENTIAL for any pool owner as the lack of it may be the difference between life and death.
1. Swimming Pool Fencing
In terms of pool safety, of course fencing is the most vital prevention structure that any home owner can put in place. In Perth and wider WA it is mandatory not only to have pool fencing but to have a fence in place that fits the government’s strict safety requirements.
The enforcement of these requirements has been proven to reduce the amount of pool drownings by approximately 50% since the 1990s. Mandatory swimming pool inspections are carried out every four years. The aim of this process is to ensure that the pools and their fencing are SAFE and fit government safety standards. Some of the basic requirements for pool fencing are:
- The height of a pool fence must be at least 1.2m above the ground from finished ground level
- That the gap at the bottom of the pool fence are no more than 10cm from finished ground level
- That gaps between any vertical bars in the fence that are no more than 10cm
- Have no more than a 90cm gap between the bars of the fence.
Further, all gates on pool fencing must:
- Have bolts, screws and fasteners that are tight and in good order
- Have self-closing gate hinges, locks and latches should that are sprayed with lubricating oil or silicone.
A pool fence is your biggest cautionary fixture against unnecessary pool drowning incidents. As a family member and a WA resident, it is vital that you make sure that your fencing is strong and follows the necessary requirements. If not, then replace your fencing with new and stronger materials, with a range of materials available such as our range of glass pool fencing.
Glass Pool fencing is particularly useful because, based on the WA Pool Safety regulations, pool fencing must be built close to the edge of the pool and must surround the whole perimeter. This means that if your kids are in the pool surrounded by metal or timber fencing you wouldn’t be able to see them through the kitchen window or from your outdoor seating area. However, glass pool fencing does give you this option while still remaining compliant to safety standards.
2. Constant supervision and enforcement of rules
The odd glance or the vague presence of an adult does not qualify as constant supervision. The reality is that an adult needs to be closely present whenever there are children swimming. All it takes is for someone to take their eyes off the pool for a few minutes, and disaster can strike. Make sure that you are present, in body and mind, no matter how many other things need to be done.
On top of this, rules need to be enforced in your home. Make sure that your children do not run around the outside of the pool and that at all times, there are no toys or random objects lying around the pool. These can cause both children and adults to slip and fall. The non climbable zone is also vital: this is the zone that is measured in an arc shape from the top of the outside of the pool fence arching towards the ground. This is basically the area where children may be able to climb over the fence, if they have the assistance of objects such as pot plants, shrubbery, toys, barbeques, ladders and chairs. By law, these objects must not be within 90cm of the pool fence.
3. First Aid Knowledge
Knowing how to perform CPR or having resuscitation techniques has proven to be a vital life skill and tool for many people. It is a precautionary measure that can be applied in many different situations, including accidents that happen in and around swimming pools.
Courses, both long and short, are widely available at a reasonable cost: with the end result being invaluable to anyone. Accidents happen and in order to avoid them being life threatening, make sure you have an updated knowledge on how to apply first aid techniques to both children and adults.
Swimming pool safety should be a huge priority for home owners across Perth and WA. Through adequate pool fencing, first aid knowledge and general care, swimming can be a fun and safe activity that every family can enjoy. It is vital that you are up to date on all of these aspects, for the safety of your both you and your family.