Maintenance Safety & Pool Cleaning
When maintaining your pool, it is always important to remember to be safe, especially when handling chemicals. You also want to be sure to safeguard your friends and family as well as protect your property, and using common sense is a key factor in pool safety. Here are a few tips:
An aspect of pool ownership that needs to be monitored is the maintenance of pool pumps, filters and other mechanical parts. These pool devices are electric and can cause injury or death if not used carefully.
- Never use extension cords around a pool or spa.
- Never enter the water when a utility pump is running.
- Never put an aluminum vacuum handle into the pool.
- Never swim in your pool or hot tub during an electrical storm.
- Pool chemicals and chlorine should be stored in a locked area and kept out of the reach of children and pets.
Everyone who owns a pool knows that it needs care and maintenance. One of the major things is that a non-treated and improperly cared for pool can be the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects that can carry diseases to your family.
Also, if you do not keep up with your pool cleaning and maintenance, the water could become a breeding ground for bacteria and algae that could make your family ill if it is ingested or gets into the skin through an open wound.
Some pool tragedies occur when people are trapped by suction drains. To help keep that from happening, never use a pool or hot tub with a missing or broken drain cover. You can install a Safety Vacuum Release System that can automatically shut off the pump if a drain gets blocked. Get your pool inspected on a regular basis by a professional who can pinpoint possible hazards. Plainly mark the cut-off switch for the pool pump and make sure everyone knows to hit the switch as soon as someone is trapped. Because many entrapment incidents involve hair getting trapped in a drain, keep long hair away from the suction fitting drain cover. Pin up long hair or wear a swim cap.
Pool and hot tub chemicals can cause chemical burns if mishandled. They may also present a health hazard if inhaled. Proper safety precautions must be followed at all times. Pool chemicals are meant to be dissolved in large quantities of water. If they are mixed with small amounts of water or mixed improperly, the reaction may cause injuries, dangerous vapors, or damage to property in the form of a fire. Certain chemicals used in swimming pools will break down over time, even if they are kept dry, with negative consequences.
Care should be taken when storing pool chemicals to avoid spilling on the pool deck or the ground. You need to be mindful of the environmental consequences of choosing to use these products, and you don't want them contaminating the soil or the ground water.
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on all packaging carefully. Be familiar with emergency procedures, so that in the event of a chemical spill or accident, you will be able to act quickly.
- Keep chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
- Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
- Store in their original containers. Do not use contents of unlabeled containers.
- Containers should always be kept closed when not in use.
- Be sure storage area is well ventilated.
- Never store oxidizers and acid near each other. Oxidizers will release chlorine gas if they come in contact with acids.
- Do not store liquids above powders or solids. Do not stack containers.
- Do not store materials or chemicals above your head.
- Do not store pool chemicals near gasoline, fertilizers, herbicides, grease, paints, tile cleaners, turpentine, or flammable materials. This tip is especially important when pool chemicals are stored in sheds or small storage rooms.
- Always read and follow the chemical’s instructions to ensure safe use of chemicals.
- Wear appropriate protective equipment and clothing including gloves, footwear and eyewear.
- Handle chemicals in a well-ventilated area.
- Use separate, clean metal or plastic measuring cups for each chemical to transfer or measure chemicals. Never use wood scoops.
- Protect chemicals from moisture and water—such as a cup of water or coffee. Even putting the wet scoop back in the pail may cause a reaction.
- When applicable, always dilute chemicals by adding to water, never the other way around unless the container’s label instructs you to do so.
- Do not mix different chemicals together.
- Do not put spilled chemicals back into their containers.
- Do not smoke when handling chemicals.
- Do not expose to heat or flames.
In Case of an Emergency
If you get any chemicals in your eyes, flush them immediately with water for 15 minutes and get immediate medical attention. See instructions on the chemical packaging.
If you get any chemicals on your skin, flush them immediately with water and get immediate medical attention.
If you have a burning sensation in your nose or throat, feel dizzy, nauseous or vomit, and/or have difficulty breathing while handling chemicals or after handling chemicals, get fresh air immediately and get immediate medical attention.
If any pool chemicals are swallowed, call the poison center immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed.
If a fire breaks out, do not use a “dry chemical” fire extinguisher. Only use large amounts of water. If you can’t extinguish the flame immediately, leave the area and call the fire department.
Immediately clean up any chemical spills according to manufacturer’s directions. If a violent reaction has occurred, contact the fire department immediately and they will instruct you on steps to take until their arrival, if any.