The photo above is of a typical sign on a door at a pool, for firefighters to know what is stored in a given space that might affect a fire or pose a danger to the firefighters.
Red means something flammable,
yellow means reactivity,
blue is a health hazard (which could include something simple like bleach)
and white is an ‘other hazard’, which could include environmental hazards
The numbers are on a scale of danger from 0 (zero) to four, 4 being the worst.
A couple of other symbols meaning danger include the skull and crossbones
and the corrosive chemical symbol:
A fire department hazmat expert told me that the main thing lifeguards and swim teachers should know about pool chemicals is that they should not move chemicals unless they have been trained to do so.
Pool chemicals are often concentrated acids and severe burns are a big risk.
He has had experience with lifeguards in swimsuits and flip flops (not a real stable platform for lifting anything) being injured.
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For lifeguards reading this page, this next section could be called
the Get Ready to be the Head Lifeguard links:
CPO What a certified pool operator (CPO) knows that lifeguards and swimmers should know.
lifeguard training, discussing professionalism is an in-service training project, or perhaps for lifeguard candidates who look at this page to consider on their own.
Preventative Lifeguarding has notes from various staff manuals, personal experiences and the Red Cross texts. It includes UNSAFE PRACTICES or potential problems TO WATCH FOR, areas where most accidents occur, accident prevention tips that USA Swimming coaches know and suggested disciplinary action for minor and major infractions.
Photos of lifeguards on duty who were not ready to rescue