ALL backyard swimming pools are checked before a house can be sold of leased, but residents have been encouraged to keep their cool-off spots safe this summer.
Orange City Council is responsible for inspecting pools for safety under state legislation, with 21 receiving compliance certificates and 29 receiving non-compliance certificates last financial year.
Sport and recreation committee chairman and councillor Jason Hamling said the most common problems inspectors found could be a handy checklist of things to fix for anyone with a pool during the holiday period.
“The most common problems are plants and bushes being allowed to grow too close and through pool safety fences,” he said.
“When these vines get woody, they can be an easy foothold for a young child to climb.”
He said it was the same when large planter pots were placed too close to the fence.
The most common problems are plants being allowed to grow too close and through pool safety fences.Councillor Jason Hamling
“They can be like a stepladder that can let a small child climb over,” he said.
Cr Hamling said scooping poles could also become footholds if parents were not careful about where they stored them.
“It can be convenient for a pool owner to hang up their scooping pole on hooks, but when those hooks are placed on the fence, the pole can become a foothold for a climbing child,” he said.
He said it was also worth checking the fence was in good working order.
“Over the summer break, it’s a good idea to get a can of WD40 and give the fittings in your pool gate a good spray,” he said.
“It’s crucial that the gate closes automatically without catching.”
However, Cr Hamling emphasised nothing was as important as supervision.
While his sons are growing older, he said he still had young nephews and nieces.
“When there are more family and friends in the backyard than usual over the holidays, it’s so important that the responsibility for watching young children isn’t diffused by having more adults around, and the risk of everyone leaving it to someone else,” he said.
“We’re always just keeping an eye out and we don’t get distracted by food or washing the dishes.
“If you let your children swim, you make the commitment.”
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