Safety first when it comes to pools and spas

Pool maintenance

Is the gate to your swimming pool no longer self-latching?

Have you looked around to make sure there are no climbable objects too close to the pool barrier?

With the swimming season fast approaching, all pool and spa owners are urged to undertake routine maintenance to pool/spa barriers.

Municipal Building Surveyor David Seal said if residents had any doubts as to the compliance of their swimming pool or spa, contact Wodonga Building Services for advice or to arrange for a Swimming Pool Compliance certificate.

“Now is the time to prepare your swimming pool or spa for the swimming season ahead,” Mr Seal said.

The top five issues resulting in the non-compliance of pool safety barriers released by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors include:

  1. Gates and doors that are no longer self-closing

  2. Gates and doors that are no longer self-latching

  3. Gates that are propped open

  4. Ground movement

  5. Climbable objects too close to the pool barrier

Maintenance checklist:


  • Screws - check for missing, loose or rusted screws.

  • Fence Panels – check they are securely attached to framework. Panels should never be missing or out of place.

  • Erosion – check the distance between the bottom rail and ground level is not greater than 100mm (10cm)

  • Gaps – Vertical gaps cannot be greater than 100mm (10cm)

  • Climbable Objects – check there are no climbable objects near the fence ie: pool ladder, barbecue pot plants and garden furniture

  • Pool toys – remove after use and store out of sight.

  • Trees and plants – remove or trim any climbable tree or plant near the fence.


  • Must open outward (away from pool)

  • Must swing back to the closed position after opening and latch securely

  • Must not open when pulled from closed and latched position

  • Learn how to adjust your gate as it will require regular adjustment (seasonally at a minimum)

  • Gap between gate and fence must not be greater than 100mm (10cm)

  • Gates must never be propped open

Other things to consider for responsible pool or spa ownership

  • Pumps – check all fittings and grates are in place and in good condition and know how to turn power off to pumping system. It is recommended long hair is tied back or secured in a swimming cap.

  • Chemicals – store all chemicals securely and out of reach of children and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparation.

  • CPR and First Aid – display a resuscitation sign and know how to use it

Finally, these provisions are no substitute for the responsible adult supervision of young children using your pool or spa.

  • Always stay within arms-reach of children

  • Never allow older children to supervise young children

  • Always have a nominated adult supervisor when entertaining in and around your pool area