Read our Defence Building and Pest inspections services blog for Pool Safety and laws category.

Buying or Selling a Property With a Swimming Pool

Whether you are installing a pool in your home for the first time, or simply enhancing your existing one, there are many benefits of having a pool. There can be quality family time and a healthy lifestyle with a pool in the house. You can have various types of celebrations and parties arranged at the pool side. It can be refreshing fun if you know you can take a dip in the water any time you feel like. Another great advantage of having a pool on your property is that it enhances the home’s value. You can hope to sell your property at a higher price if there is a well maintained pool on your property.

When you buy or sell a property with a pool, there are certain rules that need to be followed. As drowning is the leading cause of death of children under four in many parts of Australia, these laws are continuously revised to make it even safer to have swimming pools in the house. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents need to be aware of these laws and consider these, especially in the pre purchase building inspections.

Before you enter into a property contract, it is important to ensure a pool safety certificate is in effect. The seller of the property must provide this document to the buyer during the pre purchase phase of transaction. In case this document is not in effect, a Form 36 must be provided by the seller before the settlement of contract. If it is a non-shared pool, the buyer has 90 days from settlement of contract to get the pool safety certificate. For shared pools, the pool owner is given 90 days from settlement to obtain this document.

Pool safety certificates may be obtained from licensed pool safety inspectors. The inspector will make pool inspections in Brisbane to ensure all safety measures are taken care of by the pool owner. If it is newly built pool, the final building inspection certificate is also sufficient. However, this certificate must be provided according to the latest pool safety standards. A new pool safety certificate is not required for each sale made of the same property. The validity of a pool safety certificate is one year for non-shared pools and two years for shared pools.

Pool safety measures are given high importance in Australia as there is a high rate of drowning incidents in the region of younger children. The pool safety laws must be complied with by the buyer and the seller or the property at the time of property deal.

Importance of Pool Safety Laws

To prevent accidents and mishaps on swimming pools, the pool safety laws are revised by many governments. This is because despite the best efforts, the number of drowning incidents for younger children still shows an alarming number. Queensland has one of the strictest pool safety laws in the world and these have been revised to make it safer for children. Landlords and real estate agents need to be aware of these new changes as there can be severe penalties for non-compliance. Building and pest inspections in Brisbane include pool inspections on properties with shared and non-shared pools.

There have been some new changes made to the existing pool fencing laws in Queensland. These are discussed below:

CPR signs

The existing law regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation sign stated that the CPR sign must displayed at a prominent place near the swimming pool. The new law requires that it should also be in compliance with the new methods approved by the Australian Resuscitation Council.

Construction signs

Warning signs must be posted near the construction area if the pool is being renovated. This is to avoid any mishap occurring from construction activity. The new pool safety laws have the same requirement.

Fencing

According to the previous laws, it was a requirement for all swimming pools to have a compliant fence as all times. According to the new laws, these are now permitted for up to three months. After this, permanent fencing is required. Any permanent or temporary fencing has to be approved by the building inspectors.

Real estate agents must be familiar with the conditions of “Pool safety certificates” and “Notice of no pool safety certificate”. Pool safety certificate is acquired from pool safety inspector after its preceding process. “Notice of no pool safety certificate” is used in the absence of pool safety certificate. If the pool remains unqualified after inspection due to deficiencies, a “Non-conformity” notice is issued.

There are different laws for shared and non-shared pools. In case of shared pools, the pool owner has a period of 90 days from settlement to obtain a pool safety certificate in case it has not come into effect before the settlement. For non-shared pool, the purchaser has 90 days from settlement to obtain the certificate.

It is important for all landlords and property agents to be familiar with the existing and new pool safety laws and they must adhere to these strictly as failure to do so can result in huge fines and other penalties. All pool owners must have pool inspections in Brisbane carried out to ensure all rules and regulations are being followed according to the law.

Exemptions to Pool Safety Standards

Owning a pool is a great luxury but also a great responsibility. Pool owners must be informed of all pool safety standards of the particular region. Complete building and pest inspections in Brisbane are important and must be carried out regularly to make sure all rules and laws are being adequately followed. Pool safety laws are revised in certain regions, such as Queensland, where there is a high rate of accidents and drowning incidents. There are also certain exemptions to the pool safety standards that the pool owners need to know in case there is a need for their implementation.

The exemptions to pool safety are provided for those people who have a disability. In this case the general pool fencing standards will not prevail. For example, it is required by law that the pool gate should open away from the pool but, in case of disability the person may apply for an exemption to allow a gate that opens towards the pool. For the prevention of younger unsupervised children gaining access to the pool area, the authorities may impose certain other conditions they consider appropriate. This factor will be carefully inspected by the pool inspectors before acceptance of the application.

To lodge the application for exemption from pool fencing standards, the following information needs to be provided:

  • A form explaining disability of the pool owner and extent of the disability
  • Medical evidence supporting the disability
  • Whether the person has a full-time carer
  • Whether the person uses the wheelchair, and if so, can that be moved unaided
  • Explanation of the pool fencing standards that prevents the person from entering or exiting the pool area
  • Explanation of the alternate measure that can be taken for the younger children gaining access to the pool area
  • In the event that the disabled person no longer occupies the premises, or ceases to have the disability, the regular pool safety standards have to be reinstated.

Another form of exemption is the impracticality exemption. This can be obtained when the building or part of the building is being demolished or renovated. It can also be obtained when changing the location or size of the pool. For the impracticality exemption, the description of the part of pool safety standard that needs to be excluded and an alternate safety measure is to be provided as part of the application.

Pool inspections in Brisbane are made by the authorities to make swimming pools a safer area for the younger children. Any exemptions to the pool safety standards are carefully inspected before approving the applications so that the chances of accidents can be reduced.

New Safety Laws for Swimming Pools

As of December 1st, there are new laws coming into play regarding pool safety. These laws must be adhered to. Any previous exemptions will be disregarded and the only exemptions that will be allowed are those regarding disability exemptions. No other exemptions will be permitted. The Australian government is really cracking down on pool safety now to protect our children. The biggest killer of young children is by drowning. Enough is enough. We need to be more aware of water safety and keep a watch on our children around water. Our children are the future of our country, so we need to increase our awareness and protect them in every way possible. Our kids safety has to come first and there is no price in the world to great to accomplish that. Money cannot replace our children.

Part of the pool safety requirements is a safety certificate issued by a certified Brisbane building inspection professional. Part of the requirements for a safety inspector is a safety course which imbues them with the knowledge of what to look for and what safety requirements need to be met before a pool safety certificate can be issued The legislation does not set the amount they can charge. From mid November all pools must be on the state-based pool safety register. All pool owners will need to check to make sure their pool is on the register. There is no way around it, it is the law and you must comply with these new regulations.

To ensure your pool is within the new safety guidelines you should have Brisbane building inspectors come out to check your pool. It is in your best interests to have your pool checked to avoid a large fine and to protect your family. A pool safety inspector’s role is to check whether or not a pool meets with the safety regulations and to issue a compliance or non-compliance certificate. With a non-compliance certificate, it must state what part of the pool does not meet safety standards and what needs to be done to bring it up to code. A safety inspector can also, with your go ahead do any minor repairs necessary or refer you to a reputable business to bring your pool up to the safety standards required. So make sure that your pool is up to safety requirements and keep your children safe for the future.

Keeping Your Pool Safe This Summer

Pools are a popular destination during the summer season – especially for children who just love splashing and swimming while the sun is out. This is why it is important, as a pool owner, that you keep your facility a safe place for everyone.

Pool Safety Regulations in Australia

In recent years, there has been an increase in drowning incidents in Australia, which mostly involved smaller children. For this reason, safety laws have been put in place to ensure that the operation of pools are regulated – whether in residential or commercial properties – and that pool facilities are safe to use.

In Queensland, commercial pool owners, landlords and property owners with a backyard pool are required to obtain a pool safety certificate. To be able to do this, you need to be in compliance with the pool safety regulations, which include:

Proper Placement of Resuscitation Signs

Resuscitation signs must be visible from all sides of the pool area. Whether in water or just around the pool area, people should be able to easily see the sign.

Pool Fences

The height requirement for pool fences is at least 1.2 metres and if it has gaps, the spaces between the rails should be less than 100 millimetres.

Dividing Fences

One type of barrier around the pool is dividing fences, which need to be at least 1.8 metres in height.

Pool Gates

Pool owners should install gates that are self-closing and self-latching, with the latch at least 1.5 metres from the ground. The swing direction should also be outwards, swinging away from the pool.

Climbable Objects

Fences should not be climbable, and objects beside fences that allow children to climb, including pots, crates and branches should be removed. Objects placed near fences should be located at least 300 millimetres away from the fence.

Access to Pool Area from the Main House

Pools should not be directly accessible from the main structure. That is, a door may not directly open from your house into the pool area.

Getting Your Pool Inspected and Meeting the Requirements

While the guidelines are straightforward in terms of the safety requirements, pool owners should be aware that fences, gates and other pool equipment also slowly get worn and damaged over time. In other cases we’ve had at Defence Pest and Building Inspections, some owners have overlooked the incorrect installation of fences and gates.

Our licensed inspectors at Defence Pest and Building Inspections can help you with meeting the safety requirements. We will assist you with determining which changes need to be made so you can be in complete compliance and be able obtain a pool safety certificate.

Alarming Drowning Numbers in Australia

Drowning incidents have dramatically increased, and children make up a huge chunk of those accidents. According to Royal Life Saving (RLS), swimming pool drowning numbers increased by 95% in 2013 compared with the figures in 2012. If you are pool owner, this should be a big concern for you as there are lives that you will be responsible for every time this type of outdoor facility is used.

Main Victims are Children

One aspect of the RLS National Drowning Report that is a big concern is the increase in the number of drowning of children in swimming pools. The report, which covered the period from July 2012 to June 2013, shows a 48% increase in the number of drowning deaths of children below five years old. This is quite alarming since the under-five drowning accidents account for 44% of all swimming pool deaths. In most cases of death of young children, it has been found that there was no adult supervision available

Government Response

The states and territories of Australia have made strides to eliminate or significantly diminish the number of drowning deaths in swimming pools. As a response to the alarming drowning statistics, these states have enforced laws and regulations governing pools.

If you own or operate a swimming pool in Queensland, you will be required to adhere to pool safety laws being enforced in the state. The laws will apply to you if you are a landlord, if you are operating a shared pool or spa, or if you own a swimming pool in your backyard.

Importance of Pool Inspection

If you own a pool, your first concern will be to register the facility with the Queensland government. You will also need to obtain a pool safety certificate, which will be issued only after you have fully complied with all the safety requirements.

As part of the certification process, you will have to hire a licensed pool safety inspector to take a look at your pool. Our pool inspectors at Defence Pest and Building Inspections can help you in this aspect. At Defence Pest and Building Inspections, we only use qualified and licensed inspectors to ensure that your pool achieves full compliance with the existing laws.

Some of the items that our inspectors will be checking include resuscitation signs, pool fences, tree branches, gates, doors, windows and climbable items. If your pool is found to be in violation of any of the requirements, our inspector will let you know of the changes that need to be made.

Keeping your Kiddies Safe in the Pool

It’s a fact that at least 95% of drowning deaths in the Under-5 age group can be prevented by vigilance. The accidental drowning deaths of young children can usually be attributed to them wandering into the swimming pool area unattended.

All it takes is a couple of minutes to drown – you really cannot be too careful when it comes to kiddies and water.

Making your Pool Safe

If you want your pool to be safe for your children, there is a lot you can do today. In fact, legally speaking, there is a fair amount that you are required to do, in order to make your pool compliant with the new pool regulations.

A Compliancy Certificate

The first step in making sure that your pool is compliant is to get your hands on a pool safety check list – freely available on the web – Just run a Google search. You can then do a basic inspection yourself.

The main idea is to make sure that kiddies cannot climb over, under, or squeeze through the pool fence and to make sure that the entrances to the pool area are properly secured. This will stop children being able to accidentally wander in. You also need to ensure that you have a CPR sign clearly visible and that all fences and gates are in good working order.

Get the Inspector in

When you are fairly satisfied that you have complied with the regulations, you can call in a professional building inspections expert. He will either confirm that your pool is compliant and issue you with a Compliancy Certificate or give you a run-down on what still needs to be done.

Some building inspection companies will have divisions that can handle repairs for you but not all of them do. Those that don’t will usually be able to recommend someone to do the work properly for you.

Vigilance

There is only so much that a pool fence can do, however. You still need to be vigilant when it comes to your children’s safety. Children should never be allowed to play unsupervised in the pool – a responsible adult should always keep an eye on them.

Don’t automatically assume that your teenagers are the ideal babysitters either – they are more likely to get distracted, more likely to mess around and less likely to be able to cope with an emergency situation.

The Rules

A set of rules for pool users of all ages should be established and enforced. You need to sit your children down and talk to them about the very real dangers of drowning and how easily it can happen. Let them know what kind of behaviour is safe and acceptable around the pool.

Once everyone understands the possible dangers, the pool becomes a much safer place and your family can continue to enjoy it safely.

Is your Pool Legal?

Sometimes government regulations don’t seem to make much sense at all. This is not the case when it comes to pool safety laws. Pool safety laws came about as a reaction to the frighteningly high statistics of the drowning deaths of small children. The aim behind the new pool safety laws is to completely eradicate the accidental drowning of small kiddies.

How Difficult is it?

Of course, similar to many government regulations, it can be difficult for a layman to understand the ins and outs of the laws. Fortunately, there are several building and pest inspection professionals that are qualified to inspect your property and to give you a thorough report and advice on getting your property up to scratch.

You would usually follow a simple checklist to see what the basic requirements are and make suitable adjustments. You would then set up an appointment with pool safety compliance professionals. They will either issue you with a compliancy certificate or will give you a report on what needs to be corrected in order to ensure compliance.

Why do it at all?

Aside from the fact that it is now a legal requirement to make sure that your pool is compliant, it is also important for the safety of your family. Even if you do not have small kiddies at the moment, it is important to make your pool safe – perhaps family and friends will visit with small children and you certainly want to make sure that they have a fun and safe experience at your home.

The Financial Side

You should also keep in mind that pool compliance is important if you are planning to sell your home. You may be tempted to leave it up to the new owners but it is going to be an issue. The new owners will need to ensure that the pool is made compliant and this may put them off or may even induce them to offer you a lower price. Overall, having this matter taken care of beforehand will be a lot less expensive than the potential loss of perceived value in the eyes of potential buyers.

Overall, it makes sense both financially and, when it comes to the safety of your family, to make sure that your swimming pool complies with the new regulations. It is not a difficult task to accomplish if you get expert advice. Making sure that your swimming pool is compliant is every pool owner’s responsibility.

How to Carry Out Pool Inspections

Queensland homes with swimming pools for sale are required to have a current pool safety certificate prior to the property settlement date. For this purpose, a certified building and pest inspections company in Brisbane should be employed to survey and subsequently issue the certificate. It is prime responsibility of buyer’s agent to acknowledge the significance of valid certificate within 3 months from contract. Latest pool safety regulations are considered as a critical component. The state’s pool safety register has been formed using the records of regulated pools in region. Its primary purpose is to implement compliance of pool owners with current pool safety laws.

The Queensland pool safety laws are mainly for the protection of children. Its importance is evident as wherever this law has been endorsed; the death rate in children as a result of drowning incidents has dropped by about 50%. In spite of this result, drowning victims’ statistics is still very disturbing. Age 2 is the average age of children death caused by drowning in progressive countries. Safety measures are taken in many countries involving the deployment of barriers, effective fences and other protective measures.

When it comes to rental properties, there are certain aspects all property investors should know. Firstly, pool safety certificate is considered valid for 2 years regardless of multiple tenants coming across. There are many factors which a real estate must take care of, such as keeping track of expiry dates and arranging inspection subsequently in order to renew the certificates. There are many reasons why people prefer hiring qualified pool inspection company. These companies can keep track of the time lines, schedule the inspections and prepare all necessary documentations. Secondly, any errors can significantly delay the inspections pushing toward deadline of their lease expiry.

It is innate that if one chooses to repair the deficiencies assessed by same pool inspection personnel extra care should be taken. Pool inspectors can only perform repair work if they are licensed tradesman or certified by affiliating body of that region. As per law, it is also mandatory to have the pool re-inspected by the same inspector.

Pool inspections in Brisbane are not just important for those using the pool but are also a mandatory requirement of law. These are carried out to make the use of pools safer especially for younger children who are often found a victim of drowning incidents. There are a number of pool inspection companies that can be consulted for making a thorough inspection.

What You Need to Know About Pool Safety Inspections

Residential swimming pools are meant to provide a relaxing experience to families. Tragically, this has not been true for a number of families in Queensland. This was due to the growing number of serious injuries and drowning incidents, especially of younger children. The government took serious steps to introduce new pool safety laws and these have been continually revised to make it safer for people enjoying the pool facility. To ensure all laws pertaining to pool safety are being followed, it is mandatory for the pool owners to have building and pest inspections in Brisbane.

The current legislation for pool safety is meant to prevent children, either residing in the house or those who visit, from having serious injuries. According to a statistic, drowning is the leading cause of deaths in Queensland for children less than four years. It is a good idea to teach your children how to swim as early as possible. What is equally important is to comply with the pool safety standards. According to these standards, following measures are to be taken to make the swimming pool more safe:

Site location

The pool should be visible from a designated family area. Ideally, there should be a doorway leading to the yard so that quick access can be made. There should be windows opening to the pool side so that maximum supervision can take place.

Fencing

Pool fencing has to comply with the new standards. For new pools, temporary fence is allowed for a period of three months after which permanent fencing has to be installed. The fence should be at least four feet high and if there are slats, these should not be more than four inches wide. The fence should not be climbable nor should it be very near to tree branches. It can be wooden or made of metal.

Gate

The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate. The safety latch of the gate should be at a height where children cannot reach.

CPR sign

The CPR sign should be places in a place around the swimming pool where it is easily visible and prominent.

The pool inspectors visit the pools regularly to make sure all above rules and regulations regarding pool safety are being adequately followed. Whether the pool is in some private residence or part of a health club or hotel, pool inspections in Brisbane are essential to ensure more pool safety in order to prevent undesirable injuries or fatal accidents.