In Queensland, we are lucky enough to have nice hot weather throughout most of the year. This makes swimming pools a valuable investment. With a growing population living in strata communities, the allure of a pool within the scheme can be highly appealing. However, with the high density of people living in strata, potential risks associated with pool safety are prominent. Below we have shared some pool safety tips for your strata scheme.
Queensland pool compliance
Laws that were introduced on 1 December 2010 means that regulated pools (including pools on properties where there is a house, townhouse, unit, hotel, motel, backpacker hostel or caravan park) need to comply with the current pool safety standard.
To read the full pool safety standard in Queensland, click here.
Below are some examples of common problems and non-compliance when it comes to pool safety. *Please note, any changes to common areas will be subject to committee approval.
Problem: Non-compliant pool gates can provide a child with access to pool areas. Common problems include:
Gates opening inwards towards the pool area.
Gates not self-closing and self-latching from all positions.
Gates with faulty hinges that stop the gate from closing completely.
Adjust the gate to make it swing outwards away from the pool area.
Adjust the self-closing mechanism or replace the hinges to make the gate self-latching.
Ensure the gate is regularly maintained.
Surrounding garden beds and ground levels
Problem: Pool barriers must be a minimum of 1200 millimeters in height above the ground level. The ground level or garden beds surrounding the barrier may reduce this height if they have been raised or grown over time.
Solution: To solve this problem, you can remove surrounding garden beds, reduce the height of surrounding ground levels and garden beds and raise the barrier height to at least 1200 millimeters above the finished ground level.
Windows that access the pool area
Problem: A building with windows that open more than 100 millimeters and open directly into a pool area can provide a child with access to the pool.
Fix a rivet or screw in the tracks of the window to stop it opening more than 100 millimeters.
Install permanently fixed security screens on windows that open onto the pool area.
Moveable, climbable objects
Problem: Movable and climbable objects can be used to access the pool area. These objects often include pot plants, outdoor furniture and step ladders.
Solution: Remove all climbable objects that are within 90 centimeters of the pool barrier and secure all movable objects in the vicinity of the pool area.
In addition to the above, below are a few pool safety tips to stay on the lookout for around your pool:
That the gate is self-closing and latches automatically;
That there is clear CPR signage on display;
That there is no damage to the fence or barriers surrounding the pool; and
That young children are supervised at all times.
Pool safety in apartments
In addition to the government regulations, most Bodies Corporate will also have specific By-laws with their own rules surrounding safety and behaviour in shared areas, such as pools. These by-laws are designed to be complied with by all owners and occupiers within a scheme. This is to ensure their own safety, as well as that of those around them. If you do not have a copy of these By-laws, contact your Community Manager who will happily provide a copy for your records.
If you are buying or selling your strata property it is important to know that it is compulsory for all properties to have a valid pool safety certificate. Before buying, selling or renting in a strata scheme we would recommend advising your agent or property manager to request a copy of the pool safety certificate from the Community Manager to ensure that the shared facilities are compliant and safe for you to enjoy.
If you have any concerns about the safety or maintenance of the pool in your Body Corporate, please notify your Building Manager or Community Manager directly. They can assist with maintaining compliance and keeping the pool safe and enjoyable for all. To contact SSKB, please click here.