Pool owners urged to ensure barriers are up to scratch

THINK most drownings happen in Summer? Think again.

According to the National Drowning Report*, one-quarter of all drowning deaths in NSW occurred during Autumn last year, with Winter (14 per cent) and Spring (16 per cent) not far behind.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery stressed that cool weather is no time for residents to sleep on their pool safety obligations.

“If you own a pool or spa that can hold water, and is more than 300mm deep, there are important laws you must follow year-round to protect children in and around the pool,” Cr Bradbery said.

“One-third of all drowning deaths for children aged 0 to 14 years-old occur in swimming pools and spas.

“Pool owners have a legal responsibility to help keep kids safe.”

Under NSW law, all pools and spas must be registered with the NSW Swimming Pool Register and have a safety barrier that complies with the Australian Standards for Swimming Pool Safety Barriers.

“Some common compliance issues that we see are climbable objects near fences and gates, gates not working correctly, gaps or broken fence panels, and missing or outdated CPR signage. These are typically easy to address and can save lives.”

Pool owners can download a free self-assessment checklist to ensure their barrier meets the requirements in NSW.

Cr Bradbery said pools require mandatory safety inspections, for example, if selling a house, renting or offering tourist accommodation. These inspections can be booked and paid for through Council or a private certifier.

“Don’t wait for an incident. Get on the front foot and complete the self-assessment checklist or book a safety inspection today,” Cr Bradbery said.

More information about pool and spa safety can be found on Council’s website.

*See the report here.

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Looking Back is a collection of short stories and images of the northern Illawarra region. Although focusing on the Bulli district, the blog also looks into the broader history of the Illawarra region.


About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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