New safety standards for private swimming pools – and a fence is no longer good enough

25 May 2019, Saturday

The SABS is in the final stages of updating rules for private swimming pools, because kids are still drowning.  The latest standard says that a fence around a swimming pool is not enough; every pool should also have a safety net or cover.

Every private swimming pool that can hold more than 30cm of water should be surrounded not only by a kid-proof fence, but should also be fitted with a safety net or a safety cover to prevent children drowning, according to a draft update from SABS.

Such a net or cover cannot be DIY installed but must be fitted by an “accredited responsible party”, according to the standard. The requirements form part of SANS 10134, a SABS standard last updated in 2008. Other changes include a requirement for self-closing gates in fences or walls around swimming pools, and a new obligation on renters or other non-owners to keep completely empty any unsafe pools.