Council is reminding all pool and spa owners that water safety is their responsibility.

The majority of drowning incidents in Australia occur in backyard swimming pools. Safety barriers are an important part of keeping children safe around pools but a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty or non-compliant with Building Regulations and Australian standards.

Any pool that holds 30cm or more of water must have compliant safety barriers in place. This includes inflatable and above ground pools. A building permit is required to install a pool or spa safety barrier or to alter an existing barrier on your property.

Barriers for swimming pools and spas require regular attention. If you own a pool or a spa, it’s your responsibility to maintain safety barriers all year round, even if no young children live on your property. 

Council conducts random inspections of pools and spas throughout Boroondara year-round to ensure they are legally compliant. If you do not have legally compliant barriers in place you will be subjected to enforcement action under the Building Act and may face an on the spot fine or even prosecution.

What to check:

  • Gates: they must be self-closing and self-latching
  • Barriers: these must be rigid and secure
  • Climbable objects: move climbable objects, like pot plants, garden furniture and toys, 1.2m away from the barrier.

If you’re not sure if your safety barriers are compliant, we offer an inspection service for a fee to assess your premises and provide a report identifying any areas that need additional work or upgrading in order to be compliant. You can also notify Council if you are concerned about the safety of someone else’s pool or spa so that we can investigate.

Remember, barriers are just one part of keeping children safe. Children should always have adult supervision and have education on how to be safe around water.

For more information visit our pool, spa and safety barrier page or phone Building Services on 9278 4999. 

Sports and leisure