Axis Fencing - Pool Safety Report
SPASA Pool Safety Report 2009 (Source - SPASA NSW 2009)
Despite annual public awareness campaigns and council guidelines that state pool fences should be regularly checked, 43% of swimming pool owners NEVER check their pool fences.
- Whilst the vast majority of NSW pool owners surveyed have a pool fence and self-closing latch around their swimming pool,only a small minority has implemented a second level of security - 4% of those surveyed have a pool alarm, and only 2% havea door or gate alarm.
- Of those who have children or grandchildren under the age of 5, thankfully 93% surveyed never allow them to swim unsupervised. Worryingly, 3% DO allow their young children to swim unsupervised, with 4% only sometimes.
- When it comes to ensuring that pool fences are always clear of climbable objects such as tables, chairs and pots, 79% of those surveyed always ensure this is the case. 19% admitted that this was only sometimes the case and 2% didn’t know.
- 35% of pool owners did not know that drowning remains the single most common cause of traumatic death in children under five years of age. Thankfully, 88% of those surveyed did know that lack of adult supervision is the main factor in the majority (70%) of toddler drowning deaths in Australia.
- When it comes to CPR competency, NSW pool owners evidently take this issue seriously, with 79% of those surveyed 'somewhat competent’ or 'very competent’ in CPR / resuscitation techniques. 48% of NSW pool owners have already completed a CPR course, with 40% now interested in completing a course.
- For those people who doubt the benefit of CPR training - in particular those 12% who, according to our survey, are not interested in completing a CPR course - 13% of pool owners surveyed have found themselves in an emergency situation where they needed to use resuscitation skills.
Pool Safety Recommendations
Accidents in and around a pool can occur very quickly with tragic consequences. Sadly, drowning is often silent and only takes a few minutes. When it comes to young children, constant adult supervision is paramount. Having an adult present while young children are playing in or around the backyard pool is crucial and young children should never be left alone, even for a short moment. If you need to leave the pool or water area, take your child with you.
Fence your pool
The NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires all swimming pools to be fenced (minimum 1.2 metres high) with gates that are self closing and self-latching. However despite this regulation, drownings still occur where gates are either propped open or the locks and fence are in disrepair. It is important to note that it is pool owners who are responsible for making sure that pools comply with the Act.
Pool fencing should be checked at least once a year to ensure it is not climbable and is in good repair. Furthermore, furniture orother items such as BBQs or planters that children can climb on should never be left near a pool fence.
Be swim smart
Making sure children are familiar with water is also one of the best investments parents can make when it comes to ensuring pool safety. Swimming lessons for babies, toddlers and children are widely available at swim schools throughout Australia. Six months is the most common starting age for baby swim classes. Ensuring children are confident in the water from an early age is not only an important safety step it’s also great fun for all the family.
CPR signs and resuscitation
The Swimming Pools Act also requires pool owners to display resuscitation charts around swimming pools in case of an emergency.
SPASA NSW also strongly recommends that all pool owners complete a resuscitation course. A resuscitation course delivers essential CPR skills that should be updated annually.