Protecting Children From Drowning This Summer
As the weather warms up Victorians are reminded to check on their backyard pool and spa fences, ahead of new regulations that will be introduced by the Victorian Government next year.
The Victorian Building Authority has prepared a voluntary register and new self-assessment tool for owners to check their fences, with a mandatory register coming into force late next year.
Victorians are encouraged to use this summer to get their pools ready for new regulatory regime, which will include regular inspections of pool and spa barriers to reduce tragic backyard drownings.
Between January 2000 and April 2017, 25 children drowned in Victorian swimming pools and spas. Around 13 children every year are hospitalised due to a near-drowning, and a third of these sustain ongoing impairment.
While the new inspection regime is more than a year away, owners who seek certificates of compliance this summer from registered inspectors will give themselves time to address fencing issues before the new inspection regime kicks in.
The Government will work closely with councils, stakeholders and the community in implementing the tough new laws, which passed Parliament in September and will better protect children across the state against the dangers of poorly maintained barriers.
Victorians are already setting out to improve their pool fencing, with more than 3,000 checklists downloaded in the past week. To use the self-assessment tool and sign up to the pool register, go to vba.vic.gov.au/consumers.
Adult supervision is still the best way of protecting children from the dangers of backyard pools and spas.