Clark Rubber’s DIY pool fence has been recalled nationally following issues relating to opening the gate.
The Be Safe Portable Pool Fence was years in development with Hunter Products and had been extensively tested and passed by ALS Global, an ASX200 NATA-accredited testing company.
Anthony Grice, Clark Rubber’s General Manager (Merchandise) says he is disappointed with the result but Clark Rubber is very much focussed on safety, and the company’s absolute first consideration is for safety and compliance.
Clark Rubber sells thousands of portable pools each year, and the logic of the fencing product was to provide a compliant barrier solution to that market.
“It was many years in development,” says Grice. “Because there was no room for mistakes. Mistakes could cost lives.”
However, earlier this year, they were informed of an instance of a child reaching around the fence to enable access to a pool.
“We withdrew the product and started an investigation (with Hunter and ALS) and found it was an installation issue,” he says. “We went through the instruction text and put it back on sale. Then the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) wanted some extra testing – and as a result of that testing, I formed the opinion we should withdraw it from market.”
The additional testing found that in some circumstances a thin object such as a tent peg could be inserted into the gap between the post and the latch mechanism, opening the gate.
The QBCC wanted the product recalled in Queensland, but Grice decided it was best to pull the product nationally. Grice says they fully participated in the testing with the QBCC and fully support the regulator’s decision.
“We built samples and we couldn’t reproduce the issue – but if there was any potential question about safety we wanted it out of the market. We are supporters of the position the regulators have taken and understand our obligations,” he says.
“There were 147 sold nationally and we have 45 back. Of the 102 outstanding we know the details of 73 customers and with our suppliers we are focussed on getting the remaining units back.”
Grice says they will consider other fencing solutions being put forward by suppliers.
Clark Rubber Franchising Pty Ltd — Be Safe Portable Pool Fence
PRA No. 2018/16784
Date published: 17 May 2018
Product description: DIY installation portable pool fence starter kit, consisting of 1 gate and 2 fence sections
What are the defects?
The latching device in the Product does not comply with the Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 3.4 and Australian Standard AS1926.2007.
What are the hazards?
The latching device may be accessed and operated from the outside of the gate allowing a child to enter a pool area unsupervised, posing a risk of drowning.
What should consumers do?
Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to a Clark Rubber store as soon as possible for a full refund, or immediately contact Clark Rubber to arrange for disassembly and removal, while taking all steps necessary to ensure that any pool is fenced in accordance with applicable laws.
All enquiries please call Clark Rubber on 13 80 90 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplier: Clark Rubber Franchising Pty Ltd
Traders who sold this product: Sold exclusively by Clark Rubber
Where the product was sold: Nationally
Dates available for sale: 1 December 2016 – 5 April 2018