Canberrans with backyard pools are encouraged to be extra vigilant this summer and to check if their pool fencing and barriers meet current standards.
“During the warm summer months, backyard pools and spas can be welcome places to escape the Canberra heat, but some pool barriers in the ACT do not meet current pool safety compliance and maintenance standards, making them a threat to serious injury or backyard tragedies,” Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction, Rebecca Vassarotti said.
“Legislative reform to require pools to have a fence meeting the current standards remains a high priority of mine, and even though COVID-19 prevented us from continuing that work this year, the ACT Government remains committed to increasing pool and spa safety.
“While many backyard pools met the compliance standards when they were built, they have not been required to meet updated standards, so meeting updated compliance standards is crucial. We are currently developing details of a scheme which will require pool owners to have a pool fence that meets the current standards.
“While supervision is the best way to prevent drownings or serious injury, a lack of adequate pool fencing and maintenance can be a key contributing factor to these incidents occurring. I encourage owners to check if your backyard pool meets the current standards set out in the Building Code of Australia and begin to rectify their fencing and barrier to ensure no tragedy takes place in their backyard.
“As we head into the warmer months, I urge Canberrans to be vigilant with their children and family around swimming pools. With impacts of COVID-19 including children having less access to swimming lessons and organised water activities, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant and keep our young people safe.
“Check that your pool fences, gates and other barriers are secure, supervise children at all times and keep gates to pools and spas shut.”