Pool Safety Rules: Know Why They Are Essential To Avoid Penalties

23 March 2021

Swimming pools are supposed to be fun. However, for children under the age of five, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in Queensland. When it comes to children in this age group, 1 in 7 children are missing due to the reason of fatal drowning. Supervising young children, teaching them to swim, and having an effective pool fence can save lives. That's why the law on pool safety has been introduced. 

What happens if the pool doesn't comply with it? 

The purpose of a compliant pool is to protect young children from drowning or injury in regulated pools. If a pool is non-compliant, one may be fined by the local authorities. 

In this section, let's discoverpool safety rules and tips to help you navigate the legal requirements so that you can learn more about your responsibilities as a pool owner. 

Using dividing fences as a barrier to the pool 

In Queensland, dividing fences are also used as pool barriers as an effective way to comply with the law on pool protection. If you need to install a new fence, replace or change the current pool fence or barrier that you share with your neighbour, it should be safety compliant.

One can use the wall of a building on a shared boundary as long as it is compliant. It requires one to create a separate barrier if any part of the wall does not comply with the safety standards of the pool. 

Does one require development approval? 

If one wants to replace or modify a boundary fence, it requires prior approval for development. Before starting any construction work, contact the local authorities.

Is it neighbour approved? 

Discuss the work of the fence with the neighbour before taking any decisions. In case of any contradiction or conflict, it is recommended to decide or discuss this with the neighbour, with a supporting Form 39-GetNotice proposal for a pool barrier, at least 14 days before the start of any work. 

Form 39 includes information on the type of fence proposed and the materials to be used. 

How does one avoid fines while filing pool compliance? 

Procedures are:

  • Get advice from a licensed pool safety inspector on what to do for pool compliance.
  • Get a licensed pool safety inspector to conduct a formal inspection for a pool compliance certificate in Gold Coast (for peace of mind).
  • In case of formal inspection and the pool, the condition fails to comply, one receives the formal notice of non-compliance. One can also file the request for a re-inspection within three months, the safety inspector of the pool must submit a copy of the notification to the local authorities.

Selling a property in case of absence of safety certificate 

In this case, one can still sell their property; but it is the:  

Responsibility of the seller 

Complete Form 36-Notice of no safety certificate for the pool and provide a copy to the purchaser and the QBCC. In case of a shared pool, it requires one to provide a copy of the form (usually a body corporate). For the sole owner, it is the responsibility to ensure that the barrier complies with the safety standard of the pool at all times, even after providing Form 36. Failure to do so may result in penalties. 

Responsibility of the buyer

Obtain a certificate within 90 days of the date of settlement. 

Engaging a pool safety inspector 

One can engage a pool safety inspector on a consultancy basis for advice for the fence, or a barrier. 

A pool safety inspector in Gold Coast has no set amount to conduct a full inspection and issue a certificate or notification of non-compliance. It's recommended, however, to get a few quotes before participating in their services.

Minor repairs such as adjusting or replacing a latch or striker and removing climbable objects can also be carried out by some inspectors. If it is beyond their level of competence or outside their area of expertise, an inspector can not make minor repairs. 

Pool Safety QLD can come in handy in this regard. To ensure it complies with the QLD code, the pool inspector will take measurements, take photos, test the fence and gates. 

If any non-compliant problems are easily fixable during the inspection, the inspector will work with you to correct them and give you the best chance that day to comply.

The role of a pool safety inspector is to inspect pools to determine if they comply with the norm. If the pool is compliant, the inspector issues a pool safety certificates A notice of nonconformity will be issued after the inspection if the pool does not meet the standard, unless:

  • Within two days after the initial inspection, the inspector reinspects the pool and is satisfied that the pool now complies; or is satisfied that the pool is compliant; or
  • The owner and the pool safety inspector agree that, within 20 business days of the original inspection, the inspector will perform minor repairs.

Ask the pool safety inspector at Pool Safety QLD for further information if you have any doubts or questions about the inspection.