With assistance from The Samuel Morris Foundation and The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW and ACT (SPASA NSW), Kids Health at The Children's Hospital at Westmead developed the Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids video to educate pool owners about pool fencing and the common faults. A checklist was also created for pool owners to use to inspect their pools. The Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids checklist is available in English and 16 community languages from the download section below. Please click here to order hard copies of the campaign checklist, poster and flyer.
The information and advice published or made available through the Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids video (“the video”) is provided for your general information only. The Video contains information, data and images prepared by the NSW Department of Health ("the Information”) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales ("the State of New South Wales”). The information is protected by Crown copyright. Whilst the information has been prepared and presented with all due care, the State of New South Wales does not warrant or represent that the information is free from errors or omission. The information contained in the video is provided for informational educational or learning purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Any action on your part in response to the information provided in this video is at the viewers' discretion. The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) makes no representations with respect to any information offered or provided on or through the video regarding the treatment, action, or application of any of the information provided upon a swimming pool. CHW expressly disclaims all and any liability to any person in respect of anything and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any person in reliance, whether in whole or part, upon the whole or any part of the contents of the video and/or any web site(s) linked to or from it. Reference to any person, products, services, including the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW (SPASA NSW), or other information by trade name, trademark, supplier or otherwise featured in this video does not constitute or imply its endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation by CHW, nor is an endorsement of the Hospital implied by such links.
Chapter 1: Real life story
Chapter 2: Background information
Chapter 3: Swimming pool laws – your circumstances
Chapter 4: Building a new swimming pool
Chapter 5: Pool fence – height
Chapter 6: Pool fence - non climbable zone
Chapter 7: Pool fence - vertical gaps
Chapter 8: Pool fence - horizontal climbable bars
Chapter 9: Pool fence - gap at the bottom of the fence
Chapter 10: Pool fence and gate – maintenance
Chapter 11: Pool – gates, self closing and latching devices
Chapter 12: Pool fence – gate latching device location
Chapter 13: Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) sign
Chapter 14: Boundary fence used as part of the pool fence
Chapter 15: Child resistant windows
Chapter 16: Child resistant doors
Chapter 17: Above ground pools and inflatable pools
Chapter 18: Spa pools
Chapter 19: Other safety issues to consider
Chapter 20: Points to remember
You must, by law, have a four sided fence around ANY pool that can be filled with more than 30cm of water. This includes inflatable and portable swimming pools.
Pool owners should regularly check their swimming pool throughout the year, especially in the months leading up to summer. Fines can apply if your swimming pool does not comply.If you are not sure whether your swimming pool complies with the legislation, you should contact your local council to arrange an inspection or The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW and ACT (SPASA) for more information.
To find out what council area you are in or to access a list of authorised accredited pool certifiers, please visit The Office of Local Government.
On 27 October 2014 The Children’s Hospital at Westmead hosted a Swimming Pool Safety Symposium to look at the issue of child drowning and near drowning in private swimming pools in NSW.
The Swimming Pool Safety Symposium Final Report is available in the downloads section and includes detailed information on the presentations and key points of the open discussion.
As of 29 April 2016, all residential properties with a swimming pool must have a valid certificate of compliance before the property can be leased or sold.
As of 29 April 2015, all tourist and visitor accommodation or properties where there are more than two dwellings must have a swimming pool inspection at least once every three years.
All local council swimming pool inspection programs for their local area commenced on 29 October 2013. Local councils can charge pool owners up to $150 for the first inspection and up to $100 if a second inspection is needed (if faults are identified at the first inspection).
As of 29 October 2013, all swimming pools must be registered on the state-wide pool register. As part of the registration process, pool owners must certify to the best of their knowledge that their pool barrier complies with the legislation. To register your pool, please visit www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au
The legislation that applies to swimming pool barriers in NSW includes:
Local councils will allow members of the public to attend any of their respective offices, libraries or outlets to look at (but not print or take any copy away of) the Standard during ordinary business hours.
1. Williamson A, Irvine P, Sadural S. Analysis of drownings involving children aged five years and under in NSW. Sydney: NSW Water Safety Taskforce; 2002.
2. Blum C, Shield J. Toddler drowning in domestic swimming pools. Inj Prev 2000;6 (4):288-90.
3. Bugeja L. Drowning of 0-5 year old children in private swimming pools & spas in Victoria: 1997-2001. Melbourne: State Coroner's Office and Department of Human Services; 2004.
4. Thompson DC, Rivara F. Pool fencing for preventing drowning in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001047. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001047.
5. Barker R, Heiring C, Spinks D, Pitt R. Domestic pool immersion in Queensland children under 5 years of age. QISU Injury Bulletin No. 104. Brisbane: QISU; Dec 2008.
Please see The Children's Hospital at Westmead safety fact sheets for more information.
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW and ACT (SPASA)
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of NSW and ACT is a non-profit organisation dedicated to maintaining and improving standards within the industry for the betterment of consumers, pool builders and suppliers.
The Samuel Morris Foundation
The Samuel Morris Foundation, established in March 2007, is Australia's only charity supporting children disabled by near drowning (or other hypoxic brain injuries) and preventing future drowning deaths and disabilities through education and awareness.
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW)
St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) is a self-funded, charitable organisation committed to first aid. Whether it is training people in first aid or delivering first aid services at community and sporting events, we are passionate about saving lives. In Australia for more than 125 years, the St John of today is a modern organization where the practice of first aid by our 3,000 volunteers in NSW alone makes our courses and kits the most tested in the market.
The Office of Local Government
The Office of Local Government is responsible for administering the Swimming Pools Act 1992. They have a range of information available on their website, including a swimming pool laws brochure and home pool safety checklists in other languages.
NSW Fair Trading safeguards the rights of all consumers and advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. They provide information on what to know when building a new swimming pool and inflatable swimming pool safety.
Farmsafe Australia is the association of national agencies that share a common interest in farm safety with state Farmsafe organisations. Farmsafe Australia is interested in protecting the health and safety of farmers, workers, family members and visitors to farms.
The Royal Life Saving Society NSW
Royal Life Saving Society - Australia works to prevent drowning and facilitate healthy, active lifestyles by equipping all Australians with water safety skills.