Natalie Di Paola
Around 90, 000 Australian property owners have been affected by a major flaw in pool gate latches that was identified by the Ku-ring-gai council compliance team.
The team discovered that the latch system, manufactured by SafeTech Hardware, doesn’t lock properly. This means that children could easily open pool gates that would appear to be locked.
“Once our staff had established without doubt that these gate latches posed a major risk to public safety, they alerted the manufacturer, the NSW Department of Local Government and the NSW Department of Small Business & Fair Trading,” said the Mayor of Ku-ring-gai, Jennifer Anderson.
“Ku-ring-gai has 15,161 swimming pools on the NSW swimming pool register and undoubtedly there will be pool owners in our community who will need to take preventative action as a result.”
For a short-term solution to keep the gate locked, Mayor Anderson suggests filling the hole with a waterproof adhesive or by disabling the key lock mechanism by removing the key from the striker.
“We recommend that gate checks be carried out regularly as part of ongoing pool maintenance,” Anderson also suggested.
The NSW Ministry of Small Business & Fair Trading has administered a voluntary recall of 80,700 swimming pool gates that have been sold across Australia. The gates have been sold over the past four years and are available at Bunnings.
The faulty gate latches include:
• G8Safe Top Pull Gate Latch (Key Lockable)
• G8Safe TriLatch (Key Lockable)
• SafeTech Top Pull Gate Latch (Key Lockable)
• SafeTech TriLatch (Key Lockable)
These latches are also included in the following kits:
• G8Safe MegaPack (Key Lockable)
• SafeTech Trade Packs (Key Lockable)
Consumers who have purchased any of these locks are encouraged to contact SafeTech Hardware. After, they will be offered either a key-less striker or a replacement lockable striker for the latch. This instalment comes with instructions and can be done by yourself.
Mayor Anderson praised the compliance staff involved, saying, “The background to this investigation has been lengthy and complex, but is testament to the tenacity and investigative skills of our compliance staff and their commitment to public safety.”
To register your pool details for the recall, phone 1300 034 096 or visit www.safetechhardware.com.au/index.php.