For each child death that occurs as a result of drowning in the swimming pool, there are many more ‘near misses’ that have resulted in a child needing resuscitation and/or hospitalization.
Regularly checking your aluminum pool fencing and gates can help to prevent deaths and accidents, which is why we recommend completing this checklist before summer really kicks in. Remember that immediate action can make all the difference.
- Does the gate open outwardly (away from the swimming pool)? If not, you will need to replace the hinged.
- Does the gate swing shut and latch after being opened (from the fully opened position)? If not, you will need to replace the hinges and the latch.
- Does the gate shut and latch after being opened part way or resting on the latch mechanism? If not, you will need to replace the latch.
- When the gate is shut and latched, can it be pulled open? If so, you will need to repair or replace the latch.
- Is the gate latch located at least 1500mm from the ground? If not, you will need to raise the latch so children cannot reach it.
- Do you understand the risks of propping the gate open? You should never prop the gate open, as this allows easy access.
- Are all of the aluminium panels present and in place? If not, you will need to replace the offending panels.
- Are all of the fencing panels secure (meaning that they don’t move)? If not, you will need to secure the offending panels.
- Are all of the panels, screws and other fixings free from rust and other corrosion? If not, you will need to replace the offending components.
- Is the gap between the bottom of the fencing and the ground less than 100mm? If not, you will need to rectify this gap.
- Is the aluminium pool fencing at least 1200mm high? If not, you will need to replace or rectify the problem as soon as possible.
- Is there direct window or door access to the swimming pool area? If so, you will need to seek advice to rectify this issue.
- Have all pool toys and aids (such as noodles) been stored out of view? If not, put these items away to reduce temptation of the area.
- Have climbable objects (such as pot plots and chairs) been moved away from the fencing? If not, move them at least 1200mm away.
- Have any trees growing near the fencing been trimmed so that children cannot climb them? If not, trim them immediately.
With the weather starting to warm up, it won’t be long before our swimming pools are being put to good use (if they aren’t already). By performing the above checklist prior to the swimming season kicking off, you can ensure that your aluminium pool fencing complies and, if it doesn’t, allow yourself enough time to rectify the problem. We do want to stress that this checklist does not substitute for a pool inspection; you should consider getting a professional assessment.