A water feature at home like a mini pond or a swimming pool is something promising to have in a house. But what kind of risks and danger does it pose to a family with young children? We have asked a few questions to the expert in Pool Planning with regards to child safety - Matt Leacy.
1. What should we watch out for in terms of child safety, when we buy a property with pool or water feature?
Do a thorough check of the pool fence – make sure there are no gaps of more than 100mm and that it is all connected and attached securely with a self-closing gate.
There should be no areas where a child can step up and get over the fence. The owners of the property should have had the pool fence certified before putting it on the market.
If there is a water feature on the property, it must not be deeper than 300mm (30cm) – if it is a simple solution rather than putting in a fence, may be to fill it with pebble to the desired depth.
2. If we have a pool installed already, what should we look out for, in order to make sure that it is child proof?
No gaps of more than 100mm. If there is a boundary fence in the pool area it must be 1.8m high with no horizontal rails less than 900mm. The gate must swing outwards from the pool area and close automatically, the entire fence (if not a boundary fence) must be 1.2m high with no foot holds.
3. What is the latest legislation on pool installation in terms of child safety?
Trees, shrubs or any other objects such as a barbeque, pot plants, toys, ladders and chairs must not be within the 900mm (90cm) 'non climbable zone'. This is so that a child cannot use them to climb over the fence. The 'non climbable zone' is a zone measured in an arc shape from the top of the outside of the pool fence arching towards the ground.
4. How often should we check or replace the child safety features around the pool?
Screws can come loose the ground can move and trees grow and branches can encroach in on the 900mm non-climbable zone, so I would do a thorough check every 6-12months to be safe
5. What are the trusted brands on pool safety products which won't break the budget that you would recommend?
There are many different versions of the pool fence and some can look really good if considered within the design of the space. I would contact a landscape designer to give you some ideas that best suit your space.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Leacy – Director, Landart Landscapes Sydney
Designing, building and sustaining beautiful spaces with clear and concise communications with all of our clients.
Matt Leacy has an established 16 year career in the Australian landscape and design industry.
Landart Landscapes Sydney provides award winning Landscape Design, Construction and Maintenance services to residential and commercial properties.
They offer complete project management of your outdoor space- from design and construction through to ongoing maintenance and horticultural advice- as well as tailored packages to suit individual needs.
Image credit: Matt Leacy Landart