Council reminds residents about pool safety

Pool safety

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Inflatable pools may take only moments to set up but could cause a lifetime of pain, as children aged under five continue to be over-represented in drowning statistics.

The recent tragic death of a toddler and another near drowning has prompted Council to remind parents about swimming pool safety. Common factors in many of these accidents are unfenced pools or gates propped open, allowing clear access to the pool area. Many people don’t realise that temporary pools require the same standards of fencing as permanent, in-ground pools to ensure they're safe.

"It is important to ensure that home pools, including portable and inflatable pools are properly fenced with a self-closing and self-latching gate. Any pool that can fill to a depth of 30cm or more must be fenced." said Penrith Mayor, Ross Fowler OAM. 

"Many people don't realise when they buy one of these inflatable pools that it's illegal to have an unfenced pool in a backyard, to make sure your own family members and others who may come into your yard are safe."

"It's not about stopping you having fun, it's about potentially saving people, mainly children, from drowning or suffering lifetime injuries from a near drowning.”

As children under five represent the largest number of drowning deaths in swimming pools in Australia, supervision needs to be constant. Parents and carers often think another adult is supervising when a child goes missing, so being clear about who is ‘on guard’ is as important as making sure the pool gate is closed.

"Parents must also be vigilant at all times whenever there is water in the pool, please watch your children, even if they're confident swimmers, accidents can happen." Cr Fowler said.

Council has commenced a zero tolerance compliance campaign and will issue on the spot fines for $550 if it is found that the gate of a pool has been propped open or there is an unfenced pool, including a portable or inflatable pool that is filled and accessible. 

For more information on safety requirements visit the Pool and Spa Safety page or call Council on 4732 7897.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Thursday, 28 February 2019.