Lord Mayor’s Pool Safety This Summer message as figures reveal one-in-four backyard pools pose a risk
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has issued an urgent call to Brisbane pool owners to check for basic safety risks after figures revealed one-in-four pools that were assessed failed to meet the current safety standards.
Cr Schrinner said the five most common safety risks residents often unknowingly had with their pools included:
- Faulty gate latches;
- Objects encroaching the non-climbable zone (furniture, pots,toys etc.);
- Maintenance of fencing (keeping fencing in sound and working condition);
- Changing fencing without gaining approval; and
- Outdated CPR signs.
“Tragically, drowning continues to be a leading cause of accidental death in children under five in Australia, with swimming pools accounting for half of all toddler drownings in the past financial year,” he said.
“Pool owners have a responsibility to keep their pools safe and it is alarming to hear, of the 1006 pool inspections carried out by Council this year to date, more than a quarter failed to meet the required safety standards.
“We’re in the middle of peak pool season and just like we look after our own health, I want all pool owners to the take time to “summer safe” their pool before diving in and help ensure that a fun afternoon in the sun doesn’t take a tragic turn.
“A free Council Pool Safety Inspection only takes 30 minutes; it’s a small task but a vital one that could save lives.”
Swim Safety Ambassador and Founder of Kids Alive Do The Five, Laurie Lawrence joined Cr Schinner in reiterating the importance of maintaining a safe gate and fence.
“A swimming zone should be checked at least four times a year but especially in Summer,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Pool owners need to be methodical and consistent about checking pool gate latches and hinges regularly.
“But like I always say drowning prevention is not about one thing, it’s about five essential steps families should follow to be as safe and prepared for the pack swimming months as possible.”
The Kids Alive Do The Five steps are:
- Fence the Pool
- Shut the Gate
- Teach Your Kids to Swim
- Learn how to resuscitate.
Cr Schrinner said Council’s first and foremost was to educate pool owners, with only a handful of fines and warnings issued over the past two years.
“This year, we’ve issued no warnings or infringement notices at all and in 2019, we issued just two fines and one zero-value warning.
“Education is a big part of what we do, so residents who have their pools inspected receive a written report and technical guidance on what they need to do to fix any issues that have been found.
“For recurring issues of non-compliance, we can issue on-the-spot fines of $934 for individuals and $2669 for corporations but ultimately this is about keeping everyone safe.”
Cr Schrinner said children drown quickly and silently, so it was also important to supervise children while they are in or around water, increase their water awareness and ensure first aid knowledge is up-to-date.