Change is afoot in the spa pool sphere, change for the better. The new standards in place in the Building (Pools) Amendment Bill came into effect in the beginning of January of this year. The new regulations implemented by New Zealand’s Parliament in order to help save the lives of children are warmly welcomed. They should help to ensure regulations are simple and easy to follow, whilst ensuring their effectiveness; as well as ease the practical burdens of keeping in line with them. The life-saving intent behind these changes in particular though are to be applauded.
“The most important safety improvement in this Bill is the compulsory nationwide requirement for all swimming pools to be inspected and certified every three years. This addresses the problem that most drownings today occur because gates no longer close, fences have not been maintained or other changes have occurred that enable children to get access,” Dr. Nick Smith, Building and Housing Minister, announced upon the passing of the new laws. Opponents have questioned the newly ratified changes; however, the easier maintenance and ability to more rigorously enforce regulations should provide adequate proof of the quality of new measures.
Encouragingly for prospective buyers, both spa pool and swim spa manufacturers, and their respective retailers are now required to inform you of any legal obligations you will have. Spa baths are not included.
Alongside this tools to aid in the meeting and following of standards will be provided, as well as help identifying any infringements be they present or potential. Inspection and certification in order to ensure standards compliance, are necessary on a three-year basis.
Under new measures, spa pools are now free to be without fencing, as due to their size, they pose much less of a possible hazard to children. Not only does this now, welcomingly, acknowledge the better safety of spa pools, but helps ensure they remain an aesthetically attractive addition to the home. As long as a spa pool is elevated 76cm (760mm) above the ground, and a childproof cover in place when not in use, owners will be complying with regulations.
For those of you unable to avoid the use of fencing, if your pool is inaccessible on one or more sides, fencing is no longer required there. For example an infinity pool design, or a cliff face, will also be in keeping with the new standards. Boundary fences can be incorporated as a part of your pool fencing, provided there is no climbable access. Walls of your house may also qualify, providing all windows and doors in the pool vicinity comply with safety standards.
Newer latch, and lock technologies, on doors and gates, are also now free to be used in order to help prevent access to young children (those under the age of 6). Such as gates and doors that incorporate magnetic latching in their locking mechanisms. These include sliding and bi-fold doors that are a part of your property. Meaning no need for structural changes. As well as this, gates that are alarmed will also now qualify under the new safety guidelines.
All of this means that there has never been a better time to own or purchase a swim spa, or spa pool. The inherent and obvious perks to ownership, along with the ease of ensuring safety, and more straightforward regulations; means it is now easier than ever before for the whole family to enjoy a spa pool. Not only does your household reap the benefits, your home sees the value.