Swimming Pool Safety

In NSW, private or 'backyard' swimming pool safety is legislated by the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008. With over 5,000 backyard swimming pools in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area, swimming pool safety is vital given that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in very young children. Hawkesbury City Council is responsible for ensuring that all swimming pools located within our Local Government Area comply with the requirements of the legislation.

The Swimming Pools Act and Regulation apply to all swimming pools (both indoor and outdoor) on premises where there is a residential building or caravan.

Owners of premises on which a swimming pool is located must ensure that the pool is at all times surrounded by a child-resistant barrier. This is most commonly a fence of no less than 1.2 metres in height with gates swinging away from the water that are self-closing and self-latching.

In certain cases, walls of the dwelling can also be used as part of the child-resistant barrier, provided that any doors and windows that open into the pool enclosure are child-safe.

"Child-safe" means that in the case of doors opening into the pool enclosure, the latches must be at 1.5 metres above floor level and the door must be self-closing and self-latching.

"Child-safe" means that in the case of windows opening into the pool enclosure, the window shall either:

  • Have a sill height of 1.2 metres above the floor;
  • Be openable no greater than 100mm;
  • Have the flyscreens mechanically fixed with screws or some other means into the window frame; or
  • Be provided with bars with a maximum gap of 100mm.

WARNING: The general intent of the pool safety barrier is to restrict unsupervised child access to the pool. The pool safety barrier is the first line of defence against child access to the pool enclosure. Parents of young children cannot rely solely upon a pool safety barrier as the only means of protection against accidental drowning. Young children should be adequately supervised near backyard swimming pools.

Is your Pool fence and gate ok?

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