While 44% of the respondents to the “Safe Summer Survey” - conducted during September and October of 2016 - knew of an incident where a minor has drowned in their family, social circle or neighbourhood, only 14% were aware of the laws concerning the ownership of residential pools.
According to Section D4 of the National Building Regulations, presented to parliament, the following rules must be met by owners of properties that have a swimming pool:
According to the survey, only 42% of respondents had a pool fence.
“One of the aims of the survey was to understand how well parents and child-minders understood the safety measures that need to be in place when you have children that may have access to a residential pool. We were quite surprised by how many parents viewed safety devices such as inflatables as sufficient precaution against drowning. We were equally shocked that 15% of parents didn’t employ any kind of safety measure around the pool area,” says Andrew Reed, director of Aqua-Net.
When asked about which safety precautions are in place for the residential swimming pool they frequented most often, 37% of respondents stated that they relied solely on flotation devices such as water wings and inflatables to protect their children from drowning or near-drowning incidents. Only 20% of respondents confirmed that a pool cover is installed at the residential swimming pool they frequent most often, and a staggeringly low 2% confirmed that the residential swimming pool they frequent has an alarm system for pool perimeter installed.
“If you’re not able to install all of these layers of safety in one go – the most important investment to make would be a pool fence or safety net,” says Reed.