The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2020 has just been released: statistics show a 52% reduction in child drownings in pools across Australia compared with the 10 year average, and a 37% decrease in pool drownings across the last 12 months. Congratulations Pool Compliance! The data proves – you work.
2019 – 2020 Statistics> 89 drownings in NSW (6% decrease in year prior)
52% reduction in 0-4 years age group compared with the 10-year average.
37% decrease on year 2018-2019.
2018 – 2019 Statistics> 98 drownings in NSW (20% increase in year prior)
30% reduction in 0-4 years age group compared with the 10-year average.
Pools reduced by 23% as locations for drownings, though the 0-4 years remains the highest number of deaths by the pool.
Dec 2018 – Feb 2019> 36 drownings in NSW
Location for drownings shifted from the backyard pool to the beach where 73% of the nationwide drownings occurring in NSW alone.
The data proves Pool Compliance works.
The Australian Standard AS1926-2012 was launched May 1, 2013, and is followed by New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and ACT, with NT still working to some rather draconian laws and Queensland following their own much prettier modified version – for the best pool compliance laws in the nation. Not complying to the Australian Standard AS1926-2012 results in on-the-spot-fines of $550 or fines up to $5,500. Operating under multiple standards regulating pool safety, NSW follows some of the most complicated laws in the nation.
From 29 April 2016, NSW laws were adjusted so residential properties with a swimming pool or spa pool needed a certificate of compliance for the pool barrier before the property could be leased or sold. The law states a pool owner is obligated to
- register their pool through the NSW Swimming Pool Register
- appoint and enter into a contract with their chosen certifier – be it council or private
- pay the certifier’s fees before any certification work is carried out
- ensure their pool barrier continues to comply at all times
The top reasons for failing pool compliance include
- gates are not self-closing
- trees and vegetation are in climbable zones
- fences aren’t the correct height
- gaps aren’t the correct width between and under fences
- CPR sign not directly in sight
Children 5 and under are the age group at most risk of drowning with swimming pools accounted for the largest proportion of drowning deaths. Unfortunately, this happens when children access the pool area as a result of poor pool compliance or through lack of supervision. It’s incredibly tough to think of any child losing their life, simply because the pool gate didn’t close property. But thanks to Australian and NSW government standards, local authorities, council and private E1 certifiers, the data shows pool safety works.
The underlying message is Don’t Risk It: Get your pool inspected. Be pool safe.
With the primary objective to prevent children under the age of 5 accessing the pool area, pool compliance is a nation-wide obligation for all pool and spa owners alongside council and E1 certifiers from the frontlines. Together, we are winning the war on Pool Safety.
Happy Pool Safety. Happy Saving Lives
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