New pool fencing laws pay off

Friday, 20 May, 2011

With the introduction of the second stage Pool Fence legislation in Queensland last December it seems drowning rates in children under five have seen a dramatic decrease.

Despite initial complaints from pool owners and landlords about the severity of such laws, it is becoming obvious that rules and regulations were exactly what was needed to save young lives. Water Safety Advocate Grant Symes says the 10/11 summer was the quietest he had seen the media regarding reports on drowning deaths and while official statistics will not be released by the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia until October he expects numbers will have dramatically decreased.

"The warm weather brings most Australia's out into the water and accidents can and unfortunately do happen,"

"But by continually reinforcing the new legislation as well as the 'Kids Alive' message we are seeing media reported drownings decline ."

Symes partnered with veteran Water Safety Advocate Laurie Lawrence in 2009 and together they endeavour to achieve a joint goal of ZERO drowning deaths in children under five.

"Although pool owners have until 30 November 2015 to comply with the new pool safety standards, or earlier if their property is sold or leased before then - we are urging them to make due changes NOW," says Lawrence.

"Real estate agents and landlords also need to help us promote this, as families who have recently moved into a new home with a pool are at increased risk."

That risk he says is due to two factors; one being the surroundings are new and unfamiliar to a small child and two that added excitement that comes with trying out the new backyard can be potentially fatal as parents are distracted with other things while settling in.

The new laws also include a compulsory CPR Chart which must be erected in the pool area; a version of which can be downloaded from the Protector Aluminium website. The company has also recently developed a free CPR iPhone app in case of emergencies, more information on which can be seen at

"Winter is the perfect time to get your pool in order, so ensure all safety steps are taken before the warm weather returns," concludes Lawrence.

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