Parliament has today passed improved laws to better protect children from drowning in swimming pools while also making the requirements more practical and enforceable, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“The law change in 1987 requiring swimming pools to be fenced reduced the accidental drowning of children from more than 100 per decade to about 20 per decade. The measures in the Building (Pools) Amendment Bill take effect on 1 January 2017 and are expected to save an additional six young children’s lives per decade.
“The most important safety improvement in this Bill is the compulsory nationwide requirement for all swimming pools to be inspected and certified every three years. This addresses the problem that most drownings today occur because gates no longer close, fences have not been maintained or other changes have occurred that enable children to get access. Half of inspected pools have been found to be non-compliant, exposing children to risk.