Homeowners

Homeowners in Queensland have five years to make their pools compliant with the most recent pool safety standards. Defence PoolSafe offers standard pool inspections starting at $220. Although the official deadline for people who own properties with pools is 30 November 2015, it’s generally best to take care of this as early as possible. If you decide to sell or lease your property, you will have to make it compliant at that time. Keep in mind that your pool will have to be listed in Queensland’s official pool safety register no later than 4 November 2011.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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 May 2011. Failure to register your pool could result in a fine of up to $2,000, so make sure that you act fast.

 

Questions Regarding Compliance

Q: Doors lead from my house directly into the pool area. Is this okay?

A: No, it’s not. The new pool safety standards that went into effect on 1 December 2010 explicitly prohibit doors that open directly into pool areas, even if they have self-closing mechanisms in place.

Q: A section of my pool fence creates part of the boundary with my neighbour. If it needs to be upgraded to maintain compliance, will my neighbour have to split the bill?

A: That depends. If your neighbour doesn’t have a pool on his property – and modifications are needed to make your fence compliant with the new laws – you will be solely responsible for the bill. If both of you own pools, you might each have to conduct different repairs to reach compliance; in that case, you will each probably have to pay for your own expenses. If neither pool safety barrier is compliant and the boundary fence has to be replaced altogether, the two of you might have to split the cost.

Q: My 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: My neighbour’s trees grow close to my 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.