According to a 2018 study by UNSW (University of New South Wales), one in three fatal child drowning incidents occurred due to parents being distracted by household chores. Children below the age of 5 are most vulnerable. Further, 54% of child drowning cases involved swimming pools. So, if you have a swimming pool at home, make sure you erect pool enclosures for your children’s safety.
A pool enclosure is a structure around and above the pool, made of glass or polycarbonate. When built with suitable materials, it can resist extreme weather conditions.
Why do you need a pool enclosure?
- To comply with the Building Code of Australia:
Depending on the age of the swimming pool, the Australian government has different requirements for pool enclosures. Older pools should be completely cordoned off from the household, and newer pools should be surrounded by fences higher than 1.2 m.
Since September 2018, safety measures can be achieved either through a deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) or a performance solution. In essence, it implies that your builder can choose to meet the regulatory requirements by adhering to the letter of the law or its spirit – as long as the enclosure performs its duty of preventing accidental child drowning.
An enclosure allows your family to enjoy your swimming pool away from unwanted observers. Most pens have provisions for you to hang up blinds, while some are made with stained glass, eliminating the need for additional screens.
- Ease of Maintenance:
Pools need to be cleaned twice a week – including skimming, brushing, chemical balancing, and pumping. If your pool is covered, it stays safe from dirt, debris, insects, and snakes. Covering your pool also reduces evaporation loss.
- All Weather:
You can extend your pool use well into the winters with a heated enclosure. Although it may sound expensive, the glass generally keeps the pool area warm, thus reducing your heating expenses.
Swimming in summers becomes easier with screened enclosures, as it protects you from the harsh UV rays and rain.
- Aesthetically Pleasing:
An enclosure is an excellent opportunity for you to extend the design aesthetics of your house in the pool area. It allows you to set the appropriate lighting and theme for any poolside social gathering, not to mention heightening your guests’ safety.
Additional Pool Safety Tips:
Despite enclosure laws in place, pool drownings are a reality. Here are some tips to make your swimming pool area a safer space:
- Drowning people do not flail their arms and scream for help. They lose energy, gulp in copious amounts of water and drown quickly and silently. For instance, a toddler can drown within 20 seconds in knee-deep water.
Instead, observe whether a person has their head hung low and their mouth is at water level. Notice if their eyes have lost focus and appear glassy. Check if their hair is over their eyes, but they are not pushing it away. These could indicate that the person can’t stay afloat.
- You can also learn to perform CPR in case of an emergency.
A swimming pool is the focal point of your backyard. Make it more secluded, aesthetically appealing, and all-season friendly with the appropriate pool enclosure. But most importantly, use an enclosure to prevent any accidental drowning cases.