December is National Check Your Pool Gate Month
We know that kids who drown in backyard pools most commonly gain access to the pool through faulty fences and gates. So, on December 1 we are urging all pool owners to conduct a comprehensive safety inspection of their swim zone as part of National Check-Your-Pool-Gate Month.
The initiative is a partnership between KidsAlive™ and D&D Technologies – the inventor and maker of the world’s safest and most-trusted pool gate latch, MagnaLatchⓇ. The aim is to reduce pool drowning by creating safer backyard swimming pools and making it harder for children to gain access.
12 little ones lost their lives last year and we believe more can be done to prevent these statistics and get closer to our goal of zero drownings in children under 5.
The start of Summer is the perfect time to do this, so download a checklist and make sure your fence, gate, latches, and hinges are in good working order, because a gate that is not self-closing and self-latching provides instant and often undetected access for young kids to the pool area.
D&D Technologies did some research and 30% of parents admitted to only checking the safety of their pool area once a year of LESS! It should be done four times a year AT LEAST, but especially in Summer because it has the highest incidence of drowning and non-fatal drowning accidents.
If you are unsure what to check for why not attend a pool safety education session at a participating Bunnings Warehouse store Saturday 7 December. Bunnings has joined us this year to spread the word and make sure people know what to check to ensure the ultimate safety of their swim zone. Check out locations and times here.
D&D Technologies’ safety checklist for pool gates:
- Gate should open outwards, away from the pool
- Latch release knob should be at least 1500m above ground level
- Gate must be self-closing and self-latching
- Gate hinges should be rust-free and bing-free
- Gate should carry reliable, tension-adjustable hinges
- Latch must be adjustable for height and width
- Hinges must be adjustable for closing tension
- Latch cannot be key locked in the “open” position
- Latch cannot be disengaged using implements
- Gate latch cannot be shaken or jolted open
- Gate will shut securely from any open angle or force
- Gate complies with Australian Standards for pool safety
MagnaLatchⓇ products can be found at Bunnings in the ‘Builders’ Hardware’ aisle.
*Royal Life Saving Australia – National Drowning Report 2018
**Royal Life Saving Australia – NSW Child Drowning Report: A 15-year analysis of causal factors for drowning of children under 5 years in private swimming pools 2002/03-2016/17