12 Mar 6 Helpful Tips for Securing Pool Certification
Did you know that 90% of pools in NSW fail their first inspection for certification? Of course, you’ll want to avoid being part of that statistic. It helps to know what you should do to prepare your pool for an upcoming safety inspection. Here are 6 tips that can help you secure pool certification on the first try!
6 Tips to Secure Pool Certification
1. Ensure Child-Proof Landscaping
A tree or shrub beside a pool fence may provide a touch of greenery. However, to an adventurous child, it can be a handy stepping ladder to scramble over your fence. This may result in bad falls, or worse, a toddler who doesn’t know how to swim falling into the water.
If you want to obtain your pool certification, make sure that young visitors won’t be able to climb the plants and garden fixtures in your yard. Keep landscaping ornaments at least 900mm away from the fence, creating a “no climb zone” all around the pool safety barrier.
2. Keep the Pool Area Free of Hazards
Just as you don’t want little explorers to use your landscaping to climb your pool fence, you don’t want young swimmers to turn nearby chairs or pots into makeshift ladders for wet feet. When decorating the pool area, be sure to keep any furniture, potted plants, and barbecues at least a metre away from the pool fence.
3. Put Up Pool Fences
The ideal pool fence is much more than a simple aesthetic feature in your backyard. Safety barriers should keep children safe and sound within the pool area, preventing swimmers from climbing and, possibly, taking a bad fall. Here are a few vital measurements for pool fences:
- Height: 2m for a pool fence that doesn’t serve as a boundary fence, and 1.8m for a pool fence that doubles as a boundary fence
- Gaps: Spaces between vertical bars of the internal pool fence cannot be wider than 100mm. The lower edge of the fence cannot be more than 100mm off the ground, either.
Your pool’s safety barrier should also be free of foot holds. If you’ve installed a pool fence made of horizontal members, make sure that the bars are non-climbable! In addition, the fence should be in good condition, so you should make it a point to check for any damaged or rotten areas.
4. Install Compliant Pool Gates
Yes, even your pool gates have to comply with safety standards if you want to secure pool certification! The gates should swing smoothly through its arc of operation–that is, it should be able to open full without hitting anything or scraping the ground. It should also close and latch itself automatically, whether it is slightly or fully opened and regardless of the weather conditions.
5. Post a Resuscitation Chart
With a step-by-step walkthrough of CPR, resuscitation charts are invaluable in saving lives of swimmers. Make sure that your pool area has this easy-to-read chart in plain sight.
6. Cover All Drains and Pumps
It’s nightmarish to imagine a young child being pulled under the water or getting his or her hair trapped because of a pool drain. Fortunately, you can easily prevent such accidents by keeping drains and suction points covered. There are even safety vacuum release systems that you can install in your pool. Once these devices detect that something has blocked the drain, they can either release a vent or shut down the pump motor, freeing the trapped object or person.
Is your swimming pool above ground rather than in-ground? If so, it likely has its drain or pump connected to its side. Keep any drains and pumps fenced off or isolated, so that they can’t be used to climb into the pool.
NOTE: Pool safety certification lasts for three years. Keep your pool in top shape with regular maintenance, and you’ll find it easier to renew your safety certificate.
You might need to spend more time and resources to make your pool compliant with these guidelines. However, taking these preventative measures is the best strategy to later avoid having to rush a swimmer to the hospital later on. Keep these 6 tips in mind, and you can secure pool certification in no time!