As daylight savings signals the warmer weather, Consumer Affairs Victoria is reminding landlords and tenants to check, fix and maintain their home pools to help prevent children drowning this summer.
Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Claire Noone said drowning is a leading cause of death for Australian children under five years of age.
“With 38 per cent of those deaths occurring in swimming pools, it’s crucial that owners and tenants make sure properties with swimming pools are safe for children,” Dr Noone said.
“If you have a backyard pool or spa, it’s important to understand the dangers they can present to young children and take the steps you need to take to protect them.”
The call follows the launch of Kidsafe Victoria’s campaign that reminds all Victorians to check their pool and spa fences and gates when they change their clocks on Sunday, 6 October.
Robert Caulfield, President of Kidsafe Victoria, said landlords had an obligation to ensure that rented premises were in good repair and this included pools and pool fences.
“Owners of rental properties should ensure their agents conduct regular checks of pool fencing and gates, as well as providing tenants with a pool safety check list when they sign up to rent the premises,” Mr Caulfield said.
“Failure to take this simple safety measure could lead to a tragedy or a court case.”
Dr Noone said homeowners and landlords had a legal requirement to install and maintain pool fences and gates that meet the relevant Australian Standards.
“If you are renting, check with the landlord that the gate installed around the pool meets the appropriate Australian Standards and has been properly maintained,” Dr Noone said.
“If it needs repairs, contact your landlord or agent immediately for urgent repairs to be done.”
Common faults and issues that can occur with pool gates and fences include:
- gates that don’t self-latch or self-close
- climbable objects around the pool (eg. pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near fencing) that children
- can use to get to the pool
- excess space under the fence
- misuse – by propping the gate open.
This initiative forms part of the Victorian ‘Play it Safe by the Water’ campaign. It is supported by the following partners: Lifesaving Victoria, Ambulance Victoria, Aquatics and Recreation Victoria, SPASA VIC, Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, Department of Justice, Aquatics and Recreation Victoria, Master Plumbers Association; Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group, Victorian Building Authority, Real Estate Institute of Victoria, and Consumer Affairs Victoria.