7 Essential Tips to ensure Swimming Pool Safety

7 Essential Tips to ensure Swimming Pool Safety

Pool Safety: 7 Essential Tips

Posted on May 13, 2013 by Johnson Pools and Spas

No matter how much experience you have owning and operating your pool, it’s still important to receive a refresher course on essential pool-safety procedures. With summer right around the corner, now’s a great time to revisit pool safety to ensure a fun-filled summer free of accidents and injuries.

Your pool-safety refresher course should cover proper procedures for storing and handling chemicals, posting signage and making sure areas around the pool are safe for family and guests.

Here are seven pool-safety tips.

1. Organize chemical storage

The start of the pool season is a great time to fine-tune your pool chemical storage procedures. You might be light on inventory and ready to make your first trip to your local dealer. But before doing so, look at your storage area and consider making a few changes. Jerry Pierrottie, environmental health and safety (EHS) manager with Arch Chemicals, Inc., now part of Lonza, suggests creating a divider to separate sanitizers, shocks and other maintenance products to avoid chemical reactions.

“Put a divider in between [chemical containers] or make cubby holes,” Pierrottie says. “If you don’t have a divider, keep containers four feet apart or put liquids in secondary containment to control possible spills.”

2. Don’t mix or pre-dissolve chemicals

Pool chemicals are designed to work alone, and Pierrottie cautions against mixing different chemicals together.

“Some products are very reactive, and some are less reactive,” he says. “Mixing chemicals can result in a little generation of heat, gasses and chlorine odor or [can escalate to] excessive heat and explosions.”

Jane Merritt, owner of Anchor Pools in Easley, S.C., adds that pool owners should never pre-dissolve chemicals in a bucket before treating a pool, especially for shock treatments. Instead, apply the products directly to the pool water to avoid potential chemical burns or a chemical reaction.

3. Safely clean up chemical spills

Chemical spills are a part of owning and maintaining a pool, but it’s how you deal with the spills that’s most important. Pierrottie suggests incorporating safe clean-up practices to make sure spills don’t escalate from a minor incident to a hazardous situation.

“Clean up one chemical at a time to avoid causing any reactions,” he says. “Liquids should be mopped up or absorbed, and solids should be swept up and put directly into your pool.”

If you wipe up spills with a rag, place the rag in the pool to let the chemicals rinse off in the water, Pierrottie says.

4. Read pool product labels and MSDS

Before handling any chemicals, it’s important to read the directions on chemical labels, Pierrottie says. Additionally, Pierrottie suggests keeping material safety data sheets (MSDS) on hand so you can refer to them should any questions arise.

Merritt gives her customers an online safety checklist provided by The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). “Before summer, you can go through the checklist on your own to make sure everything is up to [the APSP’s] safety standards,” she says.

5. Texturize your deck surface

Safety procedures go beyond the products you use to maintain your pool. A shiny finish on your deck or the concrete surrounding your pool can be aesthetically appealing, but it can cause slips and injuries. Merritt suggests washing slick concrete areas with muriatic acid, which eats away at the top layer of concrete and leaves a textured, slip-free surface.

“With proper research, this is a preventive measure that pool owners can do themselves,” she says.

6. Establish rules and post safety signage

As a pool owner, you also act as lifeguard. So it’s important to post signs that communicate your pool’s rules to visiting friends and family members. Pierrottie suggests posting signage that displays depth levels and in which parts of the pool you allow diving. Additionally, signs that say “No Horseplay” and “No Running” can help prevent injuries outside of the pool.

“Since it’s a private pool, homeowners can put up any or no signs,” Pierrottie says. “Signage can help inform your kids’ friends or help to avoid legal issues should someone get hurt.”

You are responsible for every swimmer who gets in your pool, so Merritt suggests discussing rules before parties or when your child’s friends come to visit.

“Make sure to perform a swimming test with every child,” she says. “That way, you’re able to keep an eye on the weak swimmers.”

7. Install safety ropes and buoys

To create a safe pool experience for all those who visit your pool, Merritt suggests installing safety rope that’s noticeable from shallow depths all the way to the deep end of your pool.

“Always have the safety equipment out,” she says. “Avoid drowning hazards by providing life hooks and buoys to swimmers, especially when children are in the water.”

article from poollifemag.com