How to safely handle and store pool chemicals

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(WWLP) – As temperatures continue to rise, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey reminds pool owners to handle and store chemicals properly.

According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Department of Fire Services, Ostroskey listed safety tips on how to handle the chemicals and how to properly store them after receiving several emergency calls involving pool chemicals this year.

CDC Pool Chemical Safety Guidelines

Pool chemical handling safety tips:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully. Use gloves, eye protection, and masks as indicated on the packaging
  • Children should never handle pool chemicals, and even teenagers should not do so without constant adult supervision
  • Put a lid on chemical containers every time when you are done with them. When containers are left open, water can get in and react with the chemicals. Remember: powder in the water, not water in the powder
  • Thoroughly clean tools and equipment that was used to handle one chemical before using them with a different chemical
  • Spilled substances (from damaged containers or accidents) must be cleaned up and disposed of properly to avoid creating an inadvertent chemical reaction
  • Mixing chemicals can lead to a chemical reaction that may generate temperatures high enough to ignite nearby combustible materials. Mixing can also lead to the release of highly toxic and dangerous chlorine gas
  • Mix pool chemicals outdoors only in a well-ventilated area

How to store pool chemicals:

  • Separate incompatible substances. The most common pool chemicals are inherently incompatible with each other, so be sure to keep them apart
  • Avoid storing containers of liquids above containers of powders or other incompatible substances to prevent accidental mixing caused by leaking containers
  • Avoid mixing old chemicals with fresh chemicals, even if they are the same type
  • Use separate, designated scoops for each chemical. Handle only one chemical at a time and make sure that tools used with one substance are not used with another unless all residues are removed
  • Use separate, designated containers for cleanup of spilled materials to avoid inadvertent mixing of spilled substances. Consult your local hazardous waste disposal facility for more detailed information on proper waste disposal
  • Store pool chemicals outside the home or attached garage. A locked stand-alone shed is recommended
  • Lock your storage area to keep children, pets and unauthorized users out
  • Keep your storage area free of rags, trash, debris, or other materials that could clutter the area. Keep combustible and flammable substances away from the area

Pool owners are asked not to store old pool chemicals in the trash or down the drain. Old chemicals should be taken to a household hazardous waste collection day or a commercial hazardous waste facility.

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