The standards for swimming pools need a review*. The number and type of access points and current scope for enclosure creativity need a rethink. At the moment there can be house doors, pool gates and even house windows that ajoin a swimming pool enclosure. There are requirements for all these at the time of installation, but the more access points there are the more that can go wrong with maintenance, etc in the long run. The more complex the shape of the enclosure and access points the more chance there is for someone to be in the pool are without others knowing. Sometimes basically an entire backyard is a pool enclosure with many places that can obscure a child.
It’s not as if we don’t know this already. An “informative” section in an appendix to AS1926.2-2007 says: The barrier “should” be located to enable adult supervision from within the pool area. Whenever a young child is inside a pool area, constant supervision is essential. “Where possible”, tool sheds, garages, barbecues and clotheslines should be located outside the pool area to reduce the likelihood of self-closing gates being propped open in order to gain access.
A suggestion for a new provision – actually in the standard this time rather than “informative” could be: “All places within the barrier should be visible from all other places within the barrier”. Meaning – no hidden areas.
Let’s be more serious about this.
*The standards are AS1926.1-2007 Swimming pool safety Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools and AS1926.2-2007 Swimming pool safetyPart 2: Location of safety barriers for swimming pools