SWIMMERS are warned to fence inflatable pools to reduce the risk of child drownings.
Any inflatable pool with a depth of 30 centimetres or more must be contained with secure, certified pool fencing, and councils across the region are warning residents.
The pools are subject to the same fencing laws as any other backyard swimming pool built after 2010, and Armidale Regional Council service leader Ambrose Hallman welcomes residents to ask for advice.
“The region’s cool weather for much of the year means the prevalence of permanent swimming pools is lower than many parts of Australia,” Mr Hallman said.
“However, inflatable pools are a popular option during the height of summer and larger inflatable varieties are now available from a number of local retailers.
“The majority of drownings in private swimming pools involve children under the age of five and inadequate pool fencing has been a contributing factor to a number of these tragedies.”
In recent weeks Armidale Regional Council health and building officers have been made aware of a number of households with rule-breaking backyard inflatable pools.
“Many households would not be aware it is illegal to have a larger inflatable pool that is not properly fenced and council is looking to raise awareness among the community,” he said.
“Conditions include minimum heights for the fencing, how the fencing and latches are constructed and the need for fencing to completely separate the pool from the house.
“Where education does not lead to compliance by households, council will be required to issue fines.”
There are also recommended safety procedures for inflatable pools less than 30cm in depth, including constant parental supervision while children are using the pool, ensuring the water is kept clean to avoid health issues and emptying and properly storing the pool when it is not being used.
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