Improperly mixing pool chemicals can lead to burns and toxic vapors

Hampden County

The warmer weather has a lot of people getting ready to open their swimming pools.

State Fire Marshall Peter Ostroskey recommends owners make a pool chemical safety plan before they take that first dip of the season. 

Swimming is one of the most popular ways to cool off on a hot summer day, but there are important steps to take before opening your pool.

Pools and spas require multiple chemicals to keep clean but, improperly mixing those chemicals can cause fires and spread toxic vapors.

West Springfield Fire Lieutenant Micheal Dickson told 22News what can happen if you breathe those vapors, “It can increase your respiratory drive, you can get dizzy or disoriented, depending on the amount of gas in the air.”

The owner at 21st Century Pools and Spas in Chicopee, John Whiting, told 22News it’s important to use different scoops when putting different chemicals into the water.

“Use good hygiene with your chemicals keep them dry cool, separated. The main thing is to not mix different chemicals together and keep them clean,” said Whiting.

Every year, across the country, more than 5,000 people go to the hospital with pool-related injuries.
“A customer happened to come into the store just this morning, he happened to put granulated shock into a chlorinator which is supposed to use tablets and it exploded on him and he had second degree burns all over his legs and feet,” said Whiting.

It’s recommended to add chemicals to your water, and not to add water to your chemicals.

Until you’re ready to open your pool, it’s recommended to keep the chemicals away from the water, stored in your garage or shed.

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