Pool Safety Inspections Tip #17: Child resistant doors

Child resistant doors used as a pool barrier

The pool safety standard does not allow self closing and self latching child resistant doors to be used as a pool barrier, other than for indoor pools. Child resistant doors have not been allowed for new pools in Queensland since 1991, however some pool owners may have been granted an exemption by their local government. These exemptions (except for valid disability exemptions) end on 30 November 2015, or earlier if the property is sold or leased before then.

Child resistant doors pose a serious risk to children. Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit research indicates that the relative risk of a young child drowning in a pool is almost 11 times higher where child resistant doors are used, compared to where a separate fence is provided, assuming that the barrier is properly maintained.

Upgrading of child resistant doors can be achieved by installing a separate fence between the building and pool. Costs can be minimised by installing a small section of fencing and a gate around the child resistant door (refer to Appendix A—Figure 5). This does not include installing a pool gate directly across a door. A person must first be able to step outside of the building before being able to open the gate and step into the pool area.

Where strict compliance with the new pool safety standard would be impracticable, such as where part of a building would need to be demolished to provide a complying barrier, pool owners can apply to their local government for an impracticality exemption.

However, impracticality exemptions cannot be given just because of aesthetic concerns, because no children reside on or visit the property, because the pool is near to another body of water such as a canal or dam, or because the property is rural or remotely located

If you are based in Brisbane or the Gold Coast and would like to book a pool safety inspection please contact us on (07) 3103 3393.  We can help with all of your pool safety inspection needs.  We offer fast and efficient pool inspections and pool safety certificates.

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