While there are a limited number of companies in South Africa capable of producing safety products for swimming pools, the real issue lies in the resistance or ignorance of the wider industry, and the public, to such safety covers.
The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) has been through a public participation process to agree the Standards around what constitutes Safety around Private Swimming Pools (SANS 10134). This Standard is also referred to in the National Building Act, SANS 10400D where it addresses public access to pools.
There is no real safety champion in the industry and this is a role which PowerPlastics Pool Covers finds itself increasingly adopting. Tragedies offer no benefit of hindsight as it is too late!! Pool Shops, Pool Maintenance businesses as well as Swim Schools, can be fantastic ambassadors for safety around pools if they embraced the idea sufficiently.
Modern safety covers are easy to use without hooks and eyelets – a fact which must be communicated to pool owners who have an impression that such covers use hooks and eyelets and are extremely difficult to operate.
In the current environment, the pool owner is safety proofing his own pool by directly contacting the few companies who produce the correct safety covers. This does not say much for the industry’s commitment to safety.
Pool safety does not mean unsightly fences, difficult to use covers and nets that require time and effort to use. Safety can be provided through an elegant cover which enhances the entertainment area and can be manufactured in the customers choice of colour. Safety covers offer other benefits too – reduced evaporation, cleaner pools, less chemical usage and do not accumulate rain water!
South Africa lags behind most of the world in pool safety. Let’s get involved, apply the Standard and make South Africa’s pools safe. Don’t wait until it is too late to save a little life. Don’t wait for legislation to force us to make a dangerous household item safe. Don’t wait for someone else to do something or for someone else’s tragedy to make you act.
By Carolyn Idas, PowerPlastics Pool Covers