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New Swimming Pool Fence Laws

By toadstool - 12 January 2010 14

Have any swimming pool owners have any thoughts on the new swimming pool fence laws being introduced in the ACT? See the ABC News article.

We have a swimming pool with windows opening into the enclosure. They are wind out windows with flyscreen. How is a child going to get through that? Are we going to be forced to put bars on our windows. That will be attractive. And why can’t a door that automatically locks on the inside be acceptable? This would be more secure than the usual sort of self latching pool gate. Why can’t the government think about the details and practicality of new laws before forcing them on us. Instead of an outright ban on doors and windows leading into the pool area, how about specifying the types of locks that have to be used instead. It will be far easier and cheaper to implement.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
New Swimming Pool Fence Laws
sm308 10:50 am 21 Nov 11

I think after quickly reading through a few peoples comments on here. It is exactly why they need to toughen the laws and hold people who have pools accountable for the public. Were just in the process of building a pool and the fencing. I think people who have the arrogant attitude about “if a kid gets in my yard and drowns, I will sue their parent” thats pathetic, Its people like you that make it necessary for the laws to be put in place. Plus would you be willing to say that to someone if it happened?????
Yes kids can do the impossible BUT that is more reason to go to such extremes. You dont leave the scissors down so why leave the pool at arms reach? Duty of care…..if you want a pool, be responsible. Who cares about bars on the window making it ugly if a child doesnt drown – Its well worth it.

sandcaw 8:12 pm 02 Apr 11

Clown Killer said :

If some snotty nosed brat drowned in my pool I’d sue their parents for the cost associated with having to drain, clean and re-fill the pool.

You’re an absolute disgrace. Hang your head in shame.

moonlighting 11:37 pm 17 Feb 11

After seeing an item on the news this afternoon I was moved to write the following. I take it from the other writers that everyone has their own take on the issue.

“I, like most parents do not like the thought of losing a child in a swimming pool, yet, I often wonder where the parent(s) were when a child has drowned.

There is never any information given with regard to this important factor.

Of course no-one likes to lay the blame on a parent who has lost a child, but, isn’t it about time parents started to learn a bit of responsibility when it comes to their children.

It has been my experience, that when a child has been in trouble in a pool / river / beach situation, that the parent(s) were not keeping a wary eye on said child.

Yet it seems that because of a lack of parenting skills or responsibility, that the rest of us have to adhere to Council authorisations and costs for implementation or upgrading of rules and laws which in the main do not have anything to do with us.

I, like so many like me, have no small children. I am of the old school whereby children under a certain age were not left on their own, they were put in a room where they could be observed constantly. If we went to the beach, one or other parent would be either in the water or on the shoreline keeping a wary eye on the children. When shopping, children were either left with a grandparent or were in a pram or on a lead, they were not left to run riot throughout a shopping centre or store or even a restaurant.

I am dumbfounded by the department who came up with the idea that everyone should be watching out for other peoples children or catering to the ineptitude of the majority of parents of todays ilk. By making everyone else responsible for someone else’s child(ren), you are breeding a society of parents who are less and less involved in the upbringing and responsibility of their children.”

Isn’t it about time we stood up and made a noise that the Govt could not ignore, a National referendum or a National march of outcry against punitive fees on private pool owners.

bd84 2:58 pm 13 Jan 10

housebound said :

Easy solution – rather than changing the laws to force older couples with no resident children to fence off their back door, why not just attach it to sale conditions?

You will find that a lot of drownings occur in exactly that situation, when the grandkids come over or when the neighbours’ kids can get into the yard and subsequently fall in. Hence the reason why they are looking at making the laws apply to existing pools too.

deye said :

as a kid I always found ways to get into a standards compliant pool enclosure, it’s not hard.

The fences are only a prevention measure and are not designed to be Fort Knox that guarantee no drownings. Once the kids get to a certain age they are more than likely going to be able to get in one way or another, by that time one would expect most children would be taught some sort of swim safety. It’s more about keepings kids <3 years from wandering out while mummy isn't looking.

Clown Killer 2:24 pm 13 Jan 10

Kid will and do get into anywhere if they really want to. The reality is that pool fencing laws have little to do with wether or not a toddler will end up at the bottom of a swimming pool. Responsibility should ultimatley lie with the parents of small children not lumped on people who own pools.

If some snotty nosed brat drowned in my pool I’d sue their parents for the cost associated with having to drain, clean and re-fill the pool.

housebound 11:33 am 13 Jan 10

Easy solution – rather than changing the laws to force older couples with no resident children to fence off their back door, why not just attach it to sale conditions?

eebee 9:23 am 13 Jan 10

I’m not aware of the new rules however my Godmother (QLD) has windows facing directly onto her pool area and she didn’t need bars, just special locks, so it may be the same here.

I would surely think something like Crimsafe would also be a viable alternative (as well as deterring burgulars!)

(As an aside, when I moved into my new house the pool also did not have a fence around it!!!)

sloppery 8:31 am 13 Jan 10

Special G said :

You’d be surprised what a child will do and be able to do to get to something they want. The reason this legislation is being brought in is because every year people have the same whinge you are having now, with the it will be alright attitude, and it ends up with a kid drowning.

+1.

Thumper 8:25 am 13 Jan 10

teach kids to swim, easy as that.

No fence/ barrier/ building/ whatever could stop me when i was a kid.

aronde 7:51 am 13 Jan 10

Having moved from Qld a few years ago and purchased a house here I was amazed that every place I inspected that had a pool (including the one we ended up buying) did not have any fence! The pools just sat in the backyard with nothing separating them from the rest of the yard or the house. In one case you could actually walk up the side of the house from the street and jump straight in the pool! I was told that was because when the pool laws came in they were not made retrospective (because of course a kid can’t drown in an ‘old’ pool so only the new ones need fencing!). Luckily the people we purchased off were quite nice and let the fence building people come in before settlement so it was all sorted for us and our small kids when we moved in.

Whilst I am not convinced about the practicalities of the proposed ‘no access from the house’ rules as discussed by the OP – I think the current pool fencing laws must be made retrospective for all the old pools.

deye 10:21 pm 12 Jan 10

as a kid I always found ways to get into a standards compliant pool enclosure, it’s not hard.

Special G 9:23 pm 12 Jan 10

You’d be surprised what a child will do and be able to do to get to something they want. The reason this legislation is being brought in is because every year people have the same whinge you are having now, with the it will be alright attitude, and it ends up with a kid drowning.

TP 3000 9:21 pm 12 Jan 10

If a child want to, they can get into anywhere. Even I as a young child use to pile things up from the garage & climb up to my bedroom window which was around 1.5 stories high & then back down again.

But most people will whinge about the new pool laws, that is until a young relative of their’s drowns in a pool that didn’t have a proper fence.

bd84 8:44 pm 12 Jan 10

It looks like the current laws do not currently apply to existing pools, however Barr is looking at changing the laws later so that they will also apply to existing pools. I somehow doubt they will be enforcable for existing pools as I don’t think the government would be in a position to inspect every pool in the ACT.

I guess at the end of the day, what safety features you have for your existing pool will depend on how much you want to see your or a neighbours/friends/relatives child floating at the bottom of it. I would think most reasonable people would accept it is necessary to have a fence around it at a minimum,

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