LAST summer saw a tragic number of lives lost to drowning, with rates more than four times the 10- year average between Christmas and New Year.
Sadly, children accounted for a significant portion of these preventable tragedies.
Check your backyard pool fence, gate and latch.
Inadequate or faulty pool fencing and pool gates remain a major contributing factor in the rate of drowning in backyard swimming pools among children under five years of age.
Royal Life Saving has developed a home pool safety checklist.
This checklist enables you to conduct a self-assessment of your home pool and its surrounds to ensure it is safe for everyone to enjoy and minimises the risk of young children drowning.
Often pool owners don't realise that their pool fence or gate is faulty, which poses a threat to children's safety.
Pool fences, pool gates and latches should be regularly checked and maintained as parts can break or become defective over time.
Visit www.royallifesaving.com.au and download the home pool safety checklist to make sure your pool fence, pool gate and latch is in working order.
The checklist does not substitute for a pool inspection. We urge you to get professional advice about your pool's compliance, check regulations with your local council or go to the local hardware or pool shop to discuss how to ensure the pool is made safer in time for summer.
Adequate pool fencing is not a substitute for active supervision. Always keep watch of children around water.
We don't want to see the same devastating impact this summer, so please make this weekend your home pool safety weekend.
JUSTIN SCARR, Royal Life Saving Society