Pool Awareness

Swimming Pool Safety Initiative

Sadly, a total of 8 children drowned in NSW backyard swimming pools between 2006 and 2009. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in very young children who lack the cognitive and water skills to deal with the danger. With over 300,000 backyard swimming pools in NSW, swimming pool safety is a vital issue that affects the whole community.

The Department of Local Government is undertaking a swimming pool safety initiative to increase awareness of the dangers in and around swimming pools for children during impending summer season.

Home pool safety in a box

Home Pool Safety in a Box provides a range of “Keep Watch” strategies to keep children safe around the pool including supervision, resuscitation, water familiarisation and pool fencing. This is a swimming pool incentive released by Royal Life Saving, NSW and can be purchased for $49.50 plus $9.90 postage and handling.

Included in the Box:
  • Learn CPR – Personal Learning Program allows you to learn the core skills of CPR in under 30 minutes
  • Home Pool Safety Checklist
  • Keep Watch Home Pool Safety booklet
  • Keep Watch ‘Designated Child Supervisor’ hat

The Swimming Pools Act

The Swimming Pools Act 1992 prescribes the fencing requirements of backyard swimming pools in NSW. Some other safety requirements are prescribed including the requirement for a CPR sign to be displayed near the pool.

The Swimming Pools Regulation

The Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 was re-made on 1 September 2008. It calls up AS1926.1-2007 Swimming Pool Safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools, which includes new requirements for non-climbable zones, mesh sizes for fences, retaining walls that form part of a barrier and balconies that project into the pool area.

It is important to note that exemption from fencing swimming pools on rural properties has been withdrawn. All swimming pools constructed after 1 July 2010 now must be surrounded by a child resistant barrier complying with the Regulations.

These new requirements apply to new pools only and do not significantly increase costs. Existing pools, as defined by the Act, will not be required to comply unless there are substantial alterations made to the child resistant barrier. See Review of Swimming Pools Act 1992 for further information.

Related documents and links

Home Pool Checklist[308Kb]
Home Swimming Pool Safety Checklist[102Kb]
Practice Note 15 Water Safety[321Kb]
Swimming Pool Laws Brochure[93Kb]
Backyard Swimming Pools – Community Consultation and Survey[371Kb]

Home Pool safety and checklists
Protect your Pool, Protect your Kids Video, Westmead Children’s Hospital