If you are planning to install a swimming pool on your Sydney property, this short article enlightens you on the topic of pool safety and specifically outlines what is involved when applying for pool certification. All NSW properties with pools would have either a pool certificate or a non-compliance certificate; if you are buying a house with a pool, check the certification and if non-compliant, it is the buyer who must have the pool certified (within 90 days of purchase).
If you are installing a pool in your home, the contractor knows the rules and regulations and would ensure that the pool barrier is compliant; prior to contacting pool certifiers in Sydney, you should check the following.
- Pool barrier – The fencing must be in good condition and be of adequate height to conform to Australian standards.
- Pool gate – The gate must be self-closing (from any position) with a latch and at least 1200mm in height.
- Clear zone – This refers to the immediate space around the outside of the pool barrier, it must be free of obstacles or anything a child might use to climb over the fencing. The space 1200mm from the barrier should be open all around the pool and that includes trees and vegetation.
- Pool area – The only items allowed inside the pool area are pool cleaning equipment, shade structure and fixed slides. Everything else must be outside the pool barrier, so do check before the pool certifier arrives on the day of the inspection.
- CPR sign – There must be a CPR sign that is clearly visible from all locations within the pool area.
When you are sure that your pool complies with the above, contact a state-approved pool certifier and you can book an inspection. If the pool passes the inspection, you will be issued with a pool compliance certificate, which is valid for 3 years; the certificate is sold with the property and would remain valid in the event of a change of ownership.
The risks of non-compliance
Should there be a tragedy in your pool and it was found to be non-compliant, you could be sued and your home insurance would not cover you because of the non-compliance. In NSW, there is a mandate for random pool inspections, so you should always ensure that your pool certification is valid.
Glass is the preferred material for pool fencing, as it allows you to actually see into the pool area, plus glass is easy to keep clean and is maintenance free; choose between framed and frameless and have the barrier installed by professionals. A pool builder would offer a comprehensive service that may include pool certification, which is ideal.