All too often we hear on the news about how overly hot water is causing serious injuries. Last year, a hotel was sentenced after a pensioner was left with ‘catastrophic’ scalds after it ignored unsafe water temperatures and failed to fit thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs). Similarly, in 2016 an elderly man was scalded to death while taking a bath at his sheltered home.
These reports are extremely distressing, and in response, calls have been made to raise awareness across the industry about installing the right products to ensure such terrible accidents never happen again.
Hot water remains a problem
Despite this, hot bath water is still responsible for the highest number of fatal and severe scald injuries in the home.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA):
“Every day 21 people are admitted to hospital following a serious burn or scald. The very young and the very old are most at risk from burns and scalds in the home. The treatment of burns and scalds is often very long and painful, sometimes involving repeated skin grafts in the case of children. Burn and scald injuries can result in disfiguring scars. Many of these injuries are preventable.”
So, when considering matters of safety, it’s vital that appropriate products are correctly installed.
At STH WESTCO we would argue that anti-scald products are the safe choice when fitting and updating bathrooms. And we believe that the industry should do more to urge installers to choose them.
For example, by blending hot and cold water to ensure it’s supplied at a safe temperature, TMVs are designed to regulate the temperature of water. Crucially, TMVs also allow water to be stored at a temperature higher than 60°C, so that Legionella bacteria is destroyed.
Should installers use anti-scald products as standard?
Today, while there is an ongoing campaign ensure the use of TMVs in care homes (all properties which fall under the Care Standards Act are required to have TMV 3 level thermostatic protection), we’d argue that TMV 2 valves – which are suitable for most domestic properties – should also be more commonly used.
In 2010, an amendment to The Building Regulations 2000 came into effect. This stated that all new-build homes across England and Wales must have devices fitted to baths to limit the temperature of the water to 48°C. Three years previously, TMVs became a requirement in new homes in Scotland.
But despite this, there is still no legal requirement to limit water delivery temperatures in older homes. So, neither homeowners nor landlords are required to retrofit TMVs in existing buildings.
However, the right products go a long way towards reducing scalding risks in the home. As such the industry must do more to promote the importance of safety through the use of appropriate products – and regular maintenance – to ensure that such tragic accidents are avoided in future.
At STH WESTCO, we are dedicated to designing, developing and manufacturing products of the highest quality. Our products, where applicable, comply with the relevant British, European and International standards.
With many of our products British Standard (BS), A-rated and WRAS approved, they can be relied on in any and every situation. What’s more, many of our products meet the requirements of the TMV3 scheme (manufactured to meet the highest specification and the standard for Mixing Valves within healthcare premises in the United Kingdom) or the TMV2 scheme (for use in hot water systems in domestic premises). We also have products that use our ColdOpen, anti-scald system.