Hot Water Safety

Hot water safetyDid you know that on average more than 200 children per month are admitted to NHS Burns Services in the UK following injuries concerning hot liquids. The vast majority of these burn and scald injuries occur at home with one of the most common causes happening in the bath. Figures from the Children’s Hospital in Bristol state that about 30% of incidents are linked to baths and showers.

So what are the main concerns with using hot water at home?

To limit the growth of microorganisms that could pose a threat to our health, such as Legionella bacteria for example, our domestic hot water is stored at 60°C or above. This means that if water should come out of the the tap at above 60°C, people can end up suffering third degree burns in just six short seconds. This is one of the major causes of burns and scalds to children as well as adults experienced at home.

What can be done to reduce the risks?

Every concerned parent will want to reduce the risk of burns and scalding to their loved ones, especially young children and elderly relatives who’s reflexes may not be so good as they were. It is recommended that you use a fully qualified plumber when having any work done on your hot water and central heating systems. They can also give you good advice on the use of thermostatic mixing valves, or TMVs for short. Installing TMVs can greatly reduce the risk of burns and scalds from hot water and should have an annual inspection to ensure they are working correctly.

What thermostatic mixing valves do is to allow your hot water to be stored at a temperature that will effectively kill off any potentially harmful microorganisms, but will also reduce the water temperature to a safe level as it exits the tap or shower head. This is done by mixing the hot water with your cold water supply shortly before it comes out of the tap.

TMVs are also able to maintain the pre-set safe water temperature during times when the water pressure may vary according to demands placed on it by other appliances. Should your hot or cold water supply fail, then the TMVs will automatically shut down the flow.

Are there any risks involved with using TMVs?

The only downside of using TMVs is the risks from microorganisms growing in areas of water pipes with a reduced temperature. This can be avoided by adding TMVs close to where they will be actually used. This will cut down on the length of pipework that water will travel through at a reduced temperature. This is why it is essential that you hire a fully qualified and registered plumber to carry out this work for you.

If you are worried about the risks of burns and scalds to your loved ones and would like some advice about the steps you can take to reduce your risks, then give our friendly GPS customer services team a call. We will be more than happy to help and advise you.