Blow up pools cost more than you realise

WHILE cheap blow-up pools may look like the ideal way to stay cool as the weather heats up, Alpine Shire Council is warning residents to understand their legal requirements before taking the plunge.

Building surveyor Bruce Howie said while large blow up pools are attractive for families looking for a summer-friendly Christmas gift, but they carry more cost implications than many people realise.

“It’s easy to find inexpensive large swimming pools in department stores that can be blown up and put in the backyard for summer,” he said.

“Many people don’t realise, however, is that these pools require a fence to meet safety regulations.

“The average pool fence can cost around $2000, adding a lot of expense to what originally appeared to be a cheap way to cool off.

“Failure to provide compliant barriers or keep them maintained will incur substantial fines, not to mention any civil claims for damages that may end up before the court and the mental anguish should a death or injury occur.”

In Victoria any excavation or structure contained water to a depth greater than 300mm (30cm) and used primarily for swimming, wading, paddling or the like, including a bathing or wading pool or spa, requires a safety barrier.

Safety barriers are generally required for:

• In-ground swimming pools and spa pools;
• Above-ground swimming pools, including inflatable pools holding more than 300mm of water;
• Indoor swimming pools and spa pools;
• Bathing and wading pools;
• Spas and swim spas;
• Jacuzzis; and
• Hot tubs.

Residents have safety obligation to their families and visitors to their homes, particularly to children under five years old. For more information contact Council’s Building Department on 5755 0555 or the Building Commission on 1300 815 127.

Document No. 36 authorised by: Ian Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer, Alpine Shire Council, Great Alpine Road, Bright.

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