Keep your family safe around pools this summer

(Taylor Simpson/Unsplash)

Victorians, including those in Sunbury and Macedon Ranges, are being reminded to make sure their swimming pool or spa is safely fenced off with a compliant barrier to avoid the tragedy of an accidental drowning as the warmer weather approaches.

Under the Building Regulations 2018, all pools and spas capable of holding more than 300 millimetres of water must have compliant barriers to restrict unsupervised access by young children.

Over the last two decades 20 children have drowned in cases due to a non-compliant safety barrier.

Pools and spas must be checked and certified by a registered inspector or surveyor every four years and must include self-latching and self-closing pool gates and not be directly accessible via a building.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is also reminding those planning to install a pool, to make sure their practitioner is registered.

VBA Regulatory Operations executive director David Brockman said it’s important to only use registered builders and plumbers, following a rise in unregistered practitioners advertising online.

“Don’t let just anyone be responsible for the safety of your family,” he said.

“Just one drowning death is too many; in Victoria, the design, construction and installation of new swimming pools, spas and safety barriers are subject to strict safety requirements.

“These include that construction only be done by a builder registered in an appropriate category or class.

“If you’re looking at installing a pool, you will need a building permit before works commence. You may also need a planning permit or other permit.”

Check with your council about any relevant local laws or any exemptions that may apply.

As of November 2020, all pools and spas must be registered with the local council.

Visit the VBA website for more information on swimming pools and spas, including checklists for owners.