Rules and Regulations
In Hampstead, as in many other jurisdictions, there are many obligations when it comes to swimming pool safety. Pool safety is everyone's responsibility, because the risks are so high. According to the Canadian Lifesaving Society:
- Drowning can occur very quickly, in as little as 10 seconds, and is often silent. This is less time than it takes to answer the phone or the doorbell.
- Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years of age.
Whether or not you have children at home, pool safety is still your concern, for the sake of your family, your guests and your neighbours. In Hampstead, pool safety is governed by By-law 760 (By-law concerning swimming pools) and its amendments, as well as the Quebec Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act , RSQ, c S-3.1.02. In brief, pool owners must abide by the following regulations:
- Pools must be enclosed by a safety barrier on all sides, and must NOT be directly accessible from your home or from any other open area on your property. This safety barrier must be at least 1.2 m (4 feet) high and prevent the passage of a spherical object 10 cm in diametre. (Mandatory for all pools installed after October 31, 2010, however the Town strongly recommends this safety barrier for all other pools.) Hedges or shrubs do not constitute an appropriate safety barrier.
- Any property on which a pool is installed must have a perimeter fence at least 1.85 m (6 feet) high that prevents access from outside the property. Hedges or shrubs do not constitute an appropriate perimeter fence.
- Any gate providing access to the pool area must use a self-latching, self-closing device on the inside of the enclosure. The latch must be at least 1.3 m (4.3 feet) above the ground. This latch must be locked with a key or a padlock when the pool is not under the direct supervision of an adult entrusted by the owner of the pool to undertake such supervision.
- The filtration system or other similar pool equipment must be installed at least 1 m (3.3 feet) from the pool enclosure, so that children cannot use it as a step to get over the fence.