As I have stated in previous blogs, I run a pool service company. I see a lot of things as I go to client’s backyards to provide service, some good, some not so good. As more and more pool owner’s are taking care of their pools, there are more and more accidents occurring due to the lack of knowledge on how to store and handle the chemicals to keep the pool fresh and clean. As a pool professional and pool owner, this is disturbing to me so I wanted to write this blog to share some of the DO’S and DON’Ts of pool chemical safety and handling.
I NEVER leave chlorine on site and NEVER leave lid loose(well if I have to be honest I have forgotten twice but lid was always secured). I am always aware of the possibility of water seeping in and ruining the chlorine, which would be costly as well as creating fumes that have the ability to overpower. I am more afraid of a small child investigate the chlorine bucket, push off a loose lid, take a sniff and fall into the bucket. Causing serious injury or even death thereafter.
I always make sure I have a different scoop for each chemical I use, especially after what happened to another pool guy I know of. He apparently couldn’t locate his chlorine scoop so he cut the end off an empty algeacide bottle to use as a scoop. Well there was residual algeacide in the bottom, now mixing with the chlorine. When he was finished using the scoop he tossed it into the truck where it landed into a drum of Cal Hypo. Within the 10 minutes he was finishing up in client’s backyard, his service truck was on fire. I can tell you, his boss was not happy and neither was the client. Thankfully no one was injured.
Here are some tips to help you avoid injury and use the pool chemicals safely.Storage
- Store chemicals out of reach of children or pets. This means keeping them off the ground, in a locked cabinet or high shelf.
- Store chemicals in a cool, dry location. Keep away from heat, windows or any flammable material.
- Store chemicals separately and in original containers! Keep acids away from chlorines. This is especially important during transporting, in the event of an accident you could shut down Rt. 18,( and anyone from the area knows its already a traffic jam all the time.)
- Keep lids tightly secured on all chemicals.
- Always follow label instructions very carefully. DO NOT skip a step.
- Keep water away from chemicals.
- Clean any chemical spills immediately.
- Add chemicals one at a time to the water- NOT water to the chemicals.
- Follow protective measures by wearing protective gear.
- Use a clean, dry scoop for chemicals. Any mixing of chemicals can cause a violent reaction.
- When adding chemicals to the pool, be up wind. Strong winds may blow chemicals back into your face, on your clothing or all over the pool deck.
- Any difficulty breathing, dizziness or nausea when in storage area, go outside into fresh air and call 911.
- If chemicals come into contact with eyes – rinse with water and call 911
- If chemicals come in contact with skin or clothing – remove clothing, rinse skin thoroughly and call 911.
- If chemicals are ingested – CALL 911
I hope you have read this blog and will follow these basic steps for your safety and that of your family and friends when storing and handling chemicals for your pool. Remember if you are not sure, ask your pool professional, and the stock person at Walmart or K-Mart DOES NOT count!!
Have a Safe and Happy Summer!