When it comes to swimming pools, there is nothing more important than safety. This is especially true for kids and those who don’t know how to swim. Do you know how common drowning in home swimming pools has become?
Having your pets and kids around the pool could turn a fun pool day into something extremely traumatic. However, thanks to pool safety laws, the number of such instances has been considerably reduced.
Since 2015, most states have made it an essential requirement for all types of pools to comply with the amended pool safety laws. These amended laws require pool owners to get a pool safety certificate.
So, yes, you need a pool safety certificate – it’s a legal necessity. In addition, if you ever sell your property, the buyer or the real estate agent will probably request this certificate.
The process of getting this certificate can be confusing. But there’s no need to fret as we have everything you need to know in this article.
How Is a Pool Safety Certificate Issued?
The Pool Safety Certificate is issued by a professional pool safety inspector licensed by the relevant authority. The inspector carries out the required inspection process and further guides you to comply with the applicable pool safety laws.
For this service, you can use the services of different companies. However, prices and rules for their inspectors may vary. So, you need to find the best option for yourself to make this process smooth for you.
However, if the pool is newly built, the builder can certify the pool for you. This is done by issuing a final inspection certificate, which is considered equal to the pool safety certificate.
Once your pool is built or renovated, the pool safety inspector will come to the location and assess the swimming pool. The assessment will be based on the legal requirements, and the result will determine whether a certificate is to be issued. You will be given the certificate if the pool complies with the requirements.
However, if that isn’t the case, the pool safety inspector will create a notice of nonconformity. This will contain all the things you need to fix to acquire a safety certificate for the pool.
The inspector needs to assess the most minor details to confirm whether your pool is legally compliant or not. As the pool owner and the applicant, your legal duty is to ensure that the pool safety inspector can carry out this assessment and fix any problems cited by the inspector.
If you do not comply, the authorities or the local council can penalize you. The penalty usually comes as monetary fines that can be hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Keep reading to learn more about your legal obligations as a pool owner.
What are the Legal Obligations of a Pool Owner?
First, making your pool compliant with the current pool safety laws is an essential obligation as a homeowner. Then comes getting a safety certificate issued for your pool. Not only do you have to get this certificate, but you also have to get it renewed every year. So now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this situation.
Obligations for a Residential Pool
If you have a pool on a residential property, compliance with the pool safety laws is a must. This category includes not only in-house pools but also community pools available in housing estates or apartment complexes.
Even if you aren’t the pool owner, you should ensure that the pool is compliant for your own safety.
So, if you have a pool, you must make your pool compliant. However, if you live in a community with a pool, the owners are liable to comply with these obligations.
Obligations on Ponds, Lakes, and Other Man-Made Water Bodies
These pool safety laws don’t apply to ponds, lakes, man-made rivers, canals, etc. Moreover, they also don’t apply to decorative pools, fountains, water storage tanks, spa baths less than 300 mm deep, dams, or any water bodies that aren’t meant for swimming.
What are the Pool Compliance Requirements?
Your pool must comply with the following requirements for a Pool Safety Certificate to be issued for it.
- The pool must be registered by the relevant municipal or local authority
- The fence of the pool must be at least 1200mm high from every section around the perimeter
- The bottom of the whole pool fence, including the gate, must not be more than 100mm off the ground
- The gaps in between the verticals of your pool fence shouldn’t be more than 10mm wide
- The horizontal rails of the fence must have a 60-degree timber wedge fillet attached externally to them
- All climbable objects and areas must be outside the fence and at least 900mm away from the pool. This also includes garden rocks, pots and planters, BBQ equipment, trees, and other furniture. However, if these items are inside the fence, then they should be at a distance of 300mm from the pool.
How Long is a Pool Safety Certificate Valid?
A safety certificate typically lasts for two years for residential swimming pools. However, you aren’t required to get the certification renewed, but you must ensure that your pool is still compliant with the current pool safety laws. You can get the certificate renewed if you intend to lease or sell the property.
As a landlord, it is imperative that you have a pool safety certificate. This will be convenient for you in the future. The process is as easy as you make it – it can be a hassle or go smoothly. That ultimately depends on your cooperation.