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December 6, 2016

Ensure your portable pool is safe this summer

It’s that time of the year again, the temperature is starting to creep past the high 20s and the kids are begging for a swim. Most households don’t have the money or space to own an in-ground pool and therefore opt for a more affordable, temporary option that can be securely and neatly stowed away in the cooler months.

Just because your “pop-up” pool isn’t a permanent structure, it doesn’t mean that you’re immune from government pool regulations or the dangers of small children drowning. It only takes a few centimetres of water and a blink of an eye for a child to drown.

Here’s a guide we’ve compiled on how to ensure your portable pool is safe this summer:

Fencing requirements

According to Australian pool fencing laws, if your temporary pool is filled with more than 300mm(30cm) of water then it’s considered a functioning pool and must have a four-sided temporary safety barrier placed around it. This applies to:

  • Inflatable pools and above ground pools
  • Children’s paddling and wading pools
  • Spas, Jacuzzis and hot tubs.

The temporary safety barrier needs to also comply with the Australian Standard AS1926.1-2012 Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools. To simplify it for you, this requirement is no different to the requirements for permanent pool fencing and any reputable fence retailer will be able to sell you a suitable temporary pool fence set that adheres to the Australian AS 1926.1-2007.


Children should be always be actively supervised by an abled adult when in and around water. Kids below the age of 5 years should be within arms reach at all times. Never rely on older children to supervise, regardless of how competent you think they are – such a responsibility should always be assigned to an experienced adult. If you are hosting a party, ensure that there is a designated adult ‘child supervisor’.

Empty out smaller pools

For smaller pools, be sure to empty them out when they are not in use. Not only does it reduce the danger of drowning, these pools usually do not have a filtration system which means they are a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties. As well as emptying your paddle pool, be sure to store it away when not in use so that the pool cannot fill with rainwater.

Remove climbable objects from near your pools fence

For larger portable pools that require fences, be sure to remove any climbable objects from near the pool fence. This includes trees, pot plants, BBQs, outdoor furniture. Ensure there is a minimum of 900mm of the non-climbable area between objects and your fence.

Be prepared for an emergency

Ensure you or a member of your family has up-to-date CPR and First Aid Skills for resuscitation. Educate your children on basics of water safety and get them into swimming lessons from an early age. You never know, it could save their life one day.

For more pool safety information and to find out how you can take a CPR class, check out the Royal Life Saving website.