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Do your properties comply with pool safety legislation?

15 November 2016 Andrew Staehr
Pool safety legislation

The deadline has passed for property investors’ pools to be compliant with new legislation – so do the properties you’re managing meet the requirements?

In 2009, the Queensland government introduced new legislation to increase pool safety and prevent avoidable deaths. These laws specified that all pools, new and existing, must comply with the new legislation by 1 December 2015.

Almost one year on and the laws have had little impact, with the Royal Life Saving Foundation’s latest National Drowning Report revealing that 21 Australian children under the age of four drowned last year, 11 of them in pools.

With summer approaching and the swimming pool becoming more inviting, it’s crucial that pool safety and compliance remains front of mind for property owners.

As per the legislation, all swimming pools must be enclosed with an approved barrier. It is the responsibility of the property owner, bodies corporate included, to ensure that compliant pool barriers are in place at all times.

If the property is tenanted, tenants are responsible for ensuring pool gates remain shut and that branches or objects do not hang over the fence. In the case of a unit, it is the body corporate’s responsibility.

Neglecting to abide by these laws could lead to a tragedy at your property. If you have concerns regarding the fencing, locking or maintenance of your pool, contact your body corporate management company immediately.

Some top tips to ensure this summer is not only the best yet, but the safest:

  • Supervision Advise your tenants not to let people, particularly children, swim unsupervised. Drownings occur as a result of pools being unsupervised from three to 10 minutes;
  • Fencing Ensure barriers are sturdy and tall. In a number of instances, the pool fencing was faulty;
  • Gates Ensure you have self-closing, self-latching gates. The National Drowning Report found that some children were given access to the pool through a propped open gate;
  • First aid Suggest to tenants that they should know how to resuscitate and administer first aid. Parents were the most common first responders and initiators of CPR; and
  • Education Ensure tenants and their children know about water awareness. There are classes available in each state.
Do your properties comply with pool safety legislation?
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Andrew has been involved in the property management industry since 1999 and has worked for Queensland’s most respected body corporate and strata management firm, Archers Body Corporate Management since 2002. He is an expert on all operational matters concerning body corporate and strata title communities.

Andrew is a regular media commentator on topics of interest to residents, investors, owners and managers of body corporate properties. He holds a Certificate IV in Body Corporate Management, is a Member of Strata Community Australia (SCA), the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) and the Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association. 

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