Some Australians Might Get Deflated

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I know that the winter is upon us (especially in the Northern areas of the world) but it isn’t cold all over the place. Consider Australia, which is currently entering its summer season. What does that mean? It’s time to set up the inflatable pool in the backyard for those really hot days down under. However, some Australians might find themselves in a tough situation, due to an obscure law.

According to The Age, a Victorian law requires that all pools with 30 centimeters of water must be surrounded by a child-proof fence or barrier of some kind. If this law starts to be enforced by local councils, it could become a problem:

“Under the law a swimming pool can be any ‘excavation or structure’ capable of 300 millimeters water depth ‘’used principally for swimming, wading, paddling or the like’. Owners are also required to get a building permit for the fence or barrier and ensure it complies with rules regarding height, bolts and gaps. Fines for failing to comply can be up to $5000. Inflatable pools have been exempted from needing building permits.”

This may seem a bit like overkill in terms of inflatable pool safety, but some areas in Australia take it very seriously. However, the article says that there is a general feeling that the issue is not important enough to be a major concern. Overall, pool safety requirements are not properly vetted when houses are being built. The article says that a shift in policy should be forthcoming with fines and penalties:

“[There has been] a 10 [percent] increase in the past year in the number of Victorians drowning at inland waterways. An additional nine-year study by the state Coroner’s Office and Life Saving Victoria showed an average of nine alcohol-related deaths in the state every year, mostly men aged between 35 and 44 and mostly in rivers.”

Hopefully these numbers of deaths will go down as local councils begin to strictly enforce safety policies for pools, inflatable or otherwise.