Residents need lessons in backyard pool safety

Ben Forrest from Poolwerx Forest Lake promoting pool safety awareness this Summer. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite
Ben Forrest from Poolwerx Forest Lake promoting pool safety awareness this Summer. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite Inga Williams

A BACKYARD swimming pool should never become a scene of tragedy.

But according to PoolWerx franchisee Ben Forrest too many pools in south-west Brisbane remain potential death traps because of unsafe fencing and gates that do not work properly.

Mr Forrest, who operates out of Forest Lake, said it was vital for homeowners to confirm the safety of their pools before it was too late.

"Unfortunately, the main reason residents even get their pool assessed at all, is because pool safety certificates are required when selling or leasing a property with a pool,"

"The focus should really be on child safety."

Mr Forrest said about 90% of the houses his pool inspectors assessed, failed to comply with safety regulations and were unsafe.

"It seems it's not until families hear a story about a drowning or have a near-drowning experience themselves that they choose to react," he said.

New figures from Royal Life Saving reveal 330 Australian children under the age of five had drowned in the past 10 years, almost half of them in a home swimming pool.

In its Keep Watch 2012 campaign, RLS is pushing for all pool owners to have their property checked for faults or problems.

Mr Forrest said such faults might include the latches not shutting properly on pool gates, large gaps in fence spacing or rusted panels, screws and fittings.

"Even trees growing beside a pool fence can pose a hazard where children can climb up and over the fence," he said.

To help facilitate pool safety assessments, RLS have launched a free home pool safety app, developed with the support of PoolWerx, which will enable people to do an at-home safety check.

Owners can identify a problem, take a photo and email a report. The home pool safety app will then recommend actions to make the home pool safer.


For more information or to download the Home Pool Safety App, simply go to

Topics:  pool safety

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