- Thursday 23 July 2009
To help reduce the risk of young children drowning in pools, council will be conducting inspections of residential swimming pool fences at various properties throughout the Coast from Thursday 6 August.
Residents in the former Maroochy and Noosa local government areas who have a pool on their property may be contacted by a council officer to arrange an inspection appointment.
Not all properties will be visited in this round of inspections. If residents are contacted, an authorised council officer will inspect the pool or outdoor spa fence to ensure it has been properly maintained and complies with pool safety laws.
Robbie Pocock, Manager Building Services, said that it’s the property owner’s responsibility to ensure they have compliant pool fencing in place.
“Fences stop young children gaining unsupervised access to pools, making an approved, safe and compliant pool fence very important,” Mr Pocock said.
“Drowning remains the single leading cause of death for Queensland children aged 1–4 years and the majority of these deaths occur in domestic swimming pools.
“Swimming pool safety is a combination of teaching kids to swim, having adult supervision at the pool side and ensuring fences are properly maintained and installed.
“Even though pool fences are an important preventative measure you’ll be surprised to learn that only about 20 per cent of pool fences pass council’s inspection.
“From 1992–2001, 50 children aged under five years drowned in residential swimming pools in Queensland. Of these 50, 86% drowned because the pool fence was non-compliant, that is the pool was either improperly fenced, not fenced at all or the gate was propped open.
Since the inspection program began in January 2006, more than 3100 pool fences have been inspected in the former Maroochy and Noosa council.
Mr Pocock said that if residents aren’t sure if their fences meet the criteria they should contact council.
“If property owners are unsure whether their pool fence meets Queensland’s pool safety laws, they can contact council to organise a pool fence compliance inspection for a fee,” Mr Pocock said.