It’s important to know that you won’t be able to lease your property to a new tenant until its pool or pools are compliant with Queensland’s current pool safety standards (Note: the exemption that is in place for non-shared pools, any property leased between 8 January 2011 and 8 July 2011 does not require a pool safety certificate).
There is no way to get around this requirement, as a valid pool safety certificate is required to lease or sell any property that has a pool.
Don’t worry, though – standard pool safety inspections by Defence PoolSafe start at just $220. As a licensed pool safety inspector, we can issue the certificate that you will need to lease or sell your property to a new tenant.
Q: Why are pool fencing laws necessary?
A: Pool fencing laws are primarily in place to protect our children. Drowning is the number-one cause of death for children ages one to four in Queensland. After the first pool safety laws went into effect in Queensland in 1991, incidences of child drownings dropped by fifty percent. Despite those encouraging results, worrisome statistics still abound. Forty-one children under the age of five drowned in Queensland-area residential pools between 2004 and mid-2010. The average age of a child drowning victim in Queensland is just two. New regulations have been phased in over the last two years in order to reduce these tragic incidences even more. By bringing every pool in Queensland into compliance – which involves effective fences and barriers for all pools – it is hoped that children will be kept safer than ever.
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about the pool safety register; what is it?
A: The pool safety register is a critical component of Queensland’s new pool safety regulations. The initial register was populated using the records of regulated pools that are kept by local governments in Queensland. It is designed to enforce pool owners’ compliance with current pool safety laws. All pool safety certificates will be recorded in the register. As of 28 February 2011, you will be able to check the register to ensure that your pool is listed. In the event that it is not listed, you will have to register it properly by the deadline, which is 4 November 2011. Failure to register your pool could result in a fine of up to $2,000, so make sure that you act fast.
Q: The pool has two entry gates; one has a permanent padlock in place. Is it compliant?
A: The gate still has to comply in the same ways that a non-padlocked gate would have to comply. Therefore, it must meet all of the gap and height requirements; it must also be self-locking and self-closing. The padlock can’t stay in place during a pool safety inspection, which is why the gate must comply on its own.
Q: All powder-coated pool fence panels are automatically compliant, right?
A: Not necessarily. Fence panels must be built to meet rigidity and strength testing; manufacturers should test their panels to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements. However, not all panels do. Some are rigid and of high quality; others are weak and cheap. Not sure whether your pool fence panels are compliant? Squeeze two vertical members together to test how rigid they are. If gaps on either side can be opened by more than 100mm, they probably do not meet minimum requirements.
Q: The neighbour’s trees grow close to my pool's boundary fence, making it non-compliant. What should I do?
A: First, check and see if your neighbour is willing to help. If not, you will have to make the necessary changes on your side of the fence – it is your responsibility as a pool owner. After our experts have inspected your property, Defence PoolSafe will be able to give you some possible solutions to the dilemma.
Q: Do Defence PoolSafe inspectors make minor repairs?
A: No. At Defence PoolSafe, we strictly focus on pool safety certification. We’ll never try to sell you anything. We can however make arrangements to have a suitable licensed trades person assist you with hte repairs. Pool safety inspectors are only allowed to make repairs when they have a QBSA builders or tradesman licence.
Q: If I need to make repairs to make my pool compliant, do I have to use the same inspector for the second inspection?
A: Yes. Pool fence inspectors are required, by law, to re-inspect pool fences once repairs have been made. As a pool owner, you are also bound by law to use the same pool safety inspector for your second inspection, if one is necessary. This is another reason why choosing the right inspection company is so critical.
Q: Different companies seem to charge random prices for their pool fence inspections. How do I know that I’m getting a fair price?
A: At Defence PoolSafe, you never have to worry about any unpleasant surprises in terms of pricing. We offer a fully itemised price list and display it prominently on our website. Unlike many other companies, we won’t quote you a rock-bottom price for an initial inspection, only to turn around and charge you an exorbitant price for a re-inspection. Since we don’t perform minor repairs, you don’t have to worry about being subjected to many miscellaneous fees related to them. Always inquire about re-inspection fees before signing up with any pool inspection company. Otherwise, you could be at the receiving end of a very expensive surprise!
Q: Are pool inspectors required to carry insurance?
A: Yes. In Queensland, all pool inspectors must have, at minimum, $1m professional indemnity insurance. However, Defence PoolSafe carries $10m professional indemnity insurance, since we believe the $1m isn’t sufficient to help a family that’s experienced a child drowning. On top of that, we have $20m public liability cover.