17 Jun Using Pool Chemicals Safely This Summer
If you’re a pool owner, you know just how important it is to monitor your pool water and keep it clear and safe for swimming in! You also probably know that dealing with all of the chemicals you need to keep it this way is just as important! On average, you should be testing your swimming pool’s water 2-3 times a week, and adjusting the balance of chemicals according to what your pool water needs. That’s a lot of exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals, and that’s a lot of chemicals you will have to have stored at your home to add to your pool water. Per the CDC’s guidelines, we have some best practices for keeping you and your family safe around pool chemicals at home.
- Always store pool chemicals in compliance with local or state building and fire codes.
- Keep chemicals stored securely and inaccessible to children and animals.
- Keep pool chemicals in a cool, dry place. Make sure that the area you choose is well ventilated.
- Don’t place containers of pool chemicals on top of each other.
- Protect stored pool chemicals from getting wet.
- Protect individual stored chemicals from mixing together or with other substances by storing each pool chemical separately in a dedicated location and storing incompatible chemicals away from each other.
- Store chemicals in original, manufacturer-labeled containers.
- Consult with the chemical manufacturer if the container is damaged.
- Dispose of deteriorating, unwanted, or unlabeled pool chemicals safely.
- Contact the product’s manufacturer or the local or state hazardous materials group for proper disposal procedures.
- Protect pool chemicals from heat sources and flames.
- Do not store possible ignition sources, particularly gasoline-, diesel-, or gas-powered equipment in the area where you are storing your pool chemicals.
- Do not smoke in the area where you are storing your pool chemicals.
- Prioritize good housekeeping in the chemical storage area. Do not allow rags, trash, debris, etc. to collect in the area.
- Always store and consume food and drinks away from pool chemicals.
- Don’t add chemicals to the pool water while the pool is in use.
- Only allow those who have been trained in pool chemical safety practices to handle pool chemicals.
- Do not allow children to handle pool chemicals.
- Read the label on the container before using chemicals and follow the instructions carefully.
- Don’t smoke while working with chemicals; the chemicals (and the dust they create) may be flammable.
- Avoid inhaling the dust or fumes from pool chemicals.
- Chemicals should never be mixed together, since the reaction may cause an explosion.
- If you need to mix water and chemicals, add the chemicals to the water instead of adding water to the chemicals. The mixture may splash out of the container onto your skin, causing irritation or a painful burn.
- Don’t place a wet scoop back into the container after measuring pool chemicals.
- Make sure that pool chemicals don’t come into contact with your hands, mouth or eyes. Wear gloves and protective eyewear when working with these products.
- Cover your skin while using these products by wearing a shirt with long sleeves, and opt for pants instead of shorts when mixing and adding chemicals to the pool. Wear sturdy shoes that cover your feet completely, instead of sandals or flip-flops. You will want to avoid slipping or falling while working with pool chemicals.
- In a situation where a pool chemical is swallowed, check the label for instructions on what to do. Contact the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) or go to the Emergency Room for treatment. Be sure to take the container with you so that medical personnel know what has been ingested.
- You can post instructions on pool chemical safety practices in the chemical storage area. The CDC allows you to order laminated posters for FREE.
- Respond to pool chemical spills immediately by using separate dedicated materials to clean up spills.
- Finally, chemical containers should not be used for any purpose other than storing the original product.
Alright, now that we did our best to suck all of the fun out of owning a pool… go test your water, add the chemicals it may need, and get back to enjoying your summer!