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11/05/2017

What safety requirements must my swimming pool comply with?

“I’m contemplating building a small swimming pool in my yard. I’ve heard that you are supposed to have your swimming pool fenced off. Is that true?”

A swimming pool is a fantastic idea for a hot summer, but it also represents a very real safety risk as the high number of drownings over the last few years can attest to. It is for this reason that the legislature saw it appropriate to provide regulations that govern the safe operation of swimming pools.

Part D4 of the National Building Regulations (“regulations”) requires that an owner of any site which contains a swimming pool must ensure that access to such swimming pool is controlled. The regulations continue and state clearly that any owner who fails to comply with this requirement shall be guilty of an offence. Additionally, a home owner can also be sued for negligence should someone drown in their swimming pool, depending on whether negligence was present. A pool that however does not meet the required safety standards or where those measures are not effective can provide the necessary grounds for showing negligence on the part of the owner.

Part D5 of the regulations further state that an owner shall be deemed to have satisfied the necessary control requirements where access to the swimming pool complies with the relevant South African National Standards (“SANS”), as published by the South African Bureau of Standards(SABS).

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