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Swimming pool safety guidelines

There are regulations pertaining to safety ‘in and around’ swimming pools that relate to private swimming pools. Swimming pools that are situated on the grounds of a sectional title or community living scheme is deemed ‘private’ as they are for the specific use of owners or occupants and invited guests only.

For purpose of this article, we reference content from National Building Regulations (NBR) – SABS 0400-1990 Part D (Public Safety) DD4 and also SANS 10134:2008 ‘The safeness of private swimming pools’.

In reading the regulations and guidelines, it becomes apparrant that the purpose of these regulations and guidelines is to prevent the accidental drowning of vulnerable persons, particulary young children. Legislation seems to focus on young children under age of seven years.

Here is a part summary format of NBR as applies to swimming pools:

1.  ‘The owner of any site that has a swimming pool shall ensure by means of a wall or fence that no person can gain access to the pool from any street, public space or adjoining property other than through a self-closing and self-latching gate with provision for locking in such wall or fence; provided that where any building forms part of such wall, access may be through such building.’

2.  ‘The wall or fence and any such gate therein, shall not be less than 1.2m high from ground level and shall not contain any opening which will allow a ball measuring 100mm in diameter to pass through.’

Further safety guidelines for owners or occupiers in terms of SANS in summary as follows:

1. Over and above NBR above, consider other protective devices that should be installed by reputable manufacturers/suppliers only.

2. Ensure competent adult supervision at the swimming pool whenever the gate is not locked.

3. Stipulate that children may not use the swimming pool during absence of such competent adult supervision, unless under their own parental care.

4. Prominently display complete emergency instructions (with relevant telephone numbers) and other related procedures near the swimming pool.

5. Provide a suitable device with which a non-swimmer can pull a distressed child/person to safety, at close proximity to the swimming pool edge.

6. Ensure that objects (e.g. deck chairs, wheelbarrows, etc.) onto which a child could climb so to scale the enclosure are not left unattended in the vicinity of the swimming pool.

7. Keep a regular check on the condition and operation of the swimming pool enclosure structures and mechanisms as per NBR above.

8. Keep swimming pool area free of obstructions and items or structures with sharp edges or projections that could cause injury to children.

Further recommendations as could/should be applied to rules governing the safety around a community use swimming pool, but not limited to, the following:

1. No glass bottles or containers to be permitted in the swimming pool area.

2. If the pool has a deep end, the deep end should be noted with a depth marker.

3. No diving or ‘bomb-dropping’ permitted.

4. No running allowed around the swimming pool edge.

More about swimming pools and sectional title generally can be found at Paddocks “Inside the box” website CLICK HERE to read what specialist attorney Carryn Durham has to say on the subject.


Author Brian Addison

Contact Addsure – The Leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – to get fit and proper advice from advisors who understand Sectional Title.Contact us in Johannesburg (011) 704-3858; Durban (031) 459-1795; Cape Town (021) 551-5069