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Inflatable swimming pools  

Safety guidelines for consumers  

While fun for small children, serious hazards are associated with pools, including inflatable and portable pools:

  • Toddlers can drown silently in very shallow water
  • Children can become ill when pool water is left unsanitised for long periods of time
  • Electrocution is a very real threat when portable electrical pumps and filter systems are not used properly.

Registration and certification requirements 

Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children under 5 years of age. In 2012, the Swimming Pools Act 1992 was amended to improve the safety of children around swimming pools in NSW. The changes include:

  • Swimming pool owners must register their swimming pool or spa pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
  • Local councils and accredited certifiers registered with the Building Professionals Board, can carry out inspections of swimming pools.
  • From 29 April 2016 a copy of a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate must be attached to new residential tenancy agreements to rental properties with a swimming pool or spa pool. This requirement does not apply to a lot in strata or community schemes that have more than two lots.
  • From 29 April 2016 a copy of a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate, or a valid certificate of non-compliance, must be attached to the sales contract to sell property with a swimming pool or spa pool. This requirement does not apply:
    • to a lot in strata or community schemes that have more than two lots, or
    • for any off-the-plan contract.

For more information, visit the Swimming pools page on the Fair Trading website. To read more about the new swimming pools safety laws, inflatable pools and water safety, visit the Royal Life Saving NSW website or contact your local council.

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Read the labels 

Follow the safety information on labels warning of drowning risks, the need for water purification and the possible requirement for a child-resistant safety barrier.

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Fencing requirements  

Swimming pool owners must ensure their pools comply with fencing laws. Pools able to be filled to a depth of 300mm or more must be surrounded by a safety barrier separating the swimming pool from any residential building or place adjoining the premises.

Fences surrounding pools must be designed, constructed, installed and maintained to meet Australian standards for swimming pools. Please visit the pool safety checklists page  on the NSW Swimming Pool Register website for further information.

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Protect Your Pool Protect Your Kids video 

Watch a short video covering a range of pool safety topics to implement key safety techniques.

The video is located under 'Drowning Prevention' on the Swimming Pool Fencing page of The Children's Hospital at Westmead website (

Electrical hazards 

Pools and electricity can be a lethal combination. Take extreme care if you have a swimming pool that has a portable electrical pump and filter system where there is no protective housing.

When buying pools with electrical pumps and filters:

  • make sure the pump and filter have an electrical safety approval number or Regulatory Compliance Mark
  • check they are suitable for outdoor use
  • fit a safety switch to the house where the pool will be used
  • arrange for a licensed electrician to install a suitable weather-protected electrical power point close to where the pool equipment will be located to avoid the use of extension cords.

If it is necessary to use flexible extension cords:

  • only use heavy duty cords and always roll them up and store them overnight or when not in use
  • do not join a number of extension cords together – purchase a single cord of the required length
  • make sure the extension cords are not damaged by people walking or driving over them or by pets chewing on them
  • always remove the extension cords prior to mowing any lawn area near the pool.

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Warning labels 

If you own or buy an inflatable swimming pools, observe all warning labels attached to the packaging and product. The warning label information may vary according to the pool's height.

Small inflatable pools under 300mm in height

Inflatable pools under 300mm in height should carry the following warning labels:

  • Pool owners, parents and carers need to be aware of the potential for drowning even in shallow water. You should always supervise children when they are using these products.
  • Ensure that the water is kept pure. Water left in inflatable pools for periods of time can become contaminated and cause illness.
  • Empty the pool and store it safely (away from young children) when it is not in use.

Large inflatable pools 300mm or more in height

Inflatable pools 300mm or more in height should carry the following warning labels:

  • the same three warnings as for smaller pools (see above) and
  • pool fencing laws affect this product. Before you buy this pool you should consult your local council.

Important – For large inflatable pools of 300mm or more in height consult your council on fencing requirements, child-resistant barriers and a warning sign display.

Please visit the pool safety checklists page on the NSW Swimming Pool Register for further information.

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In case of emergency 

Near your inflatable pool, you should have a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) sign in good condition readable from a distance of 3 metres.

You can buy a CPR sign from your local pool shop, Council or community organisations such as St John Ambulance, the Australian Red Cross or The Royal Life Saving Society.

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