NSW: Portable pool safety a NSW priority

Published: 
21 Feb 2014

NSW Fair Trading will begin compliance checks on retailers of portable swimming pools across the state next week, in the lead up to new national safety laws coming into effect on 30 March.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said the new mandatory standards for labelling of portable pools, also known as inflatable pools, was the result of stakeholder consultation in May 2011 and October 2012.

“A recent Royal Life Saving Society report found that children under five accounted for nearly half of all swimming pool drowning deaths, with falls into water accounting for 81 per cent of these deaths,’ Mr Stowe said.

“These tragic deaths were not confined to in-ground swimming pools, which if deeper than 30 centimetres must be surrounded by a swimming pool fence in New South Wales.

“For children under five, even a few centimetres of water can prove fatal if they are left unattended or in the supervision of older children.”

Under the new standard, both the portable swimming pool and its packaging must display a permanent warning message.

If the depth of the portable swimming pool is less than 30 cm, the warning message must include the following statement:

WARNING!

Children have drowned in portable swimming pools.

Ensure active adult supervision at all times.

Do not leave children unsupervised in or around the pool—keep them within arms’ reach.

Empty and store safely after use.

 

If the depth of the portable swimming pool is 30 centimetres or more, or if the portable swimming pool is capable of being filled to a depth of 30 centimetres or more, the warning message must include the following statement:

WARNING!

Children have drowned in portable swimming pools.

Ensure active adult supervision at all times.

Do not leave children unsupervised in or around the pool—keep them within arms’ reach.

Pool fencing laws apply to this pool. Consult your local government authority for fencing requirements.

 

The warning must be permanently printed or embossed on the portable swimming pool and legible from a distance of three metres to a person aged over 18 years with normal vision.

In addition the following safety sign, not less than 4 cm in diameter, must be permanently printed or embossed on the portable swimming pool and placed next to the warning message.

Portable pool safety sign

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading inspectors would be conducting spot inspections and reminding retailers of their new obligations once the mandatory standard comes into effect on 30 March.

“After this date suppliers will not be permitted to sell any surplus stock that does not comply with the new mandatory standard,’ he said.

The mandatory standard does not apply to spas, hot tubs or whirlpool tubs unless they are inflatable, soft-sided or not capable of being filled deeper than 30 centimetres.

For more information about Fair Trading go to the Fair Trading website.

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