An important new campaign has been launched to combat the alarming number of hot water scalding incidents in the UK. Called “Hot Water Burns Like Fire”, the campaign, launched in October 2014, is sponsored by various organisations and businesses, including the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, The Public Health and Safety Organisation, and Children’s Burn Trust. The campaign’s goal is to educate people about the dangers of hot water and to provide them with the tools they need to prevent related injuries and deaths.
Aside from education, however, the campaign also wants to limit home water temperatures to 48°C through the use of simple thermostats. The temperature cap on existing homes would match the new home requirement that’s been in place in England and Wales since 2010.
Scalding Injury Statistics
According to the Children’s Burns Trust, an estimated 2,000 children are seen annually in A & E for scalding due to bath water. In 2012, an astonishing 3,951 children under five years old were admitted to the hospital because their injuries were so severe. On average though, there are about 300 people in the UK every year who are burned badly enough to be admitted to a burn unit due to an overheated bath, shower, or sink tap water. About two-thirds of those are children. All totalled, these accidents cost the NHS about £11M each year.
The temperature of water can rise much faster than we think, and it doesn’t take long for it to get hot enough to cause injury. Here are some important numbers to keep in mind, according to the Hot Water Burns campaign.
- 36°C: The maximum temperature at which a baby should be bathed. Never put a child in the bath while the water is still running.
- 43°C: This is the maximum surface temperature recommended for radiators and connected pipework, though it is still hot enough to cause injury.
- 44°C: Bath and shower water should not be set above this temperature, as it increases the chance of scalding. Additionally, since baths and showers expose the entire body to water, burns can become severe, leading to death.
- 50°C: At this temperature, burns can develop with exposure of just over a minute.
- 60°C: This is the temperature at which hot water is typically stored in the tank. However, burns occur in adults within 5 seconds of exposure, and for children and the elderly, it takes just one second. Cool the water before using or serving.
Contact the plumbing professionals at DPG Plus Ltd to find out how we can help ensure your home or business water temperature stays at a safe level. Our team can recommend and then install the necessary valves and taps required, and that will most certainly give you some peace of mind.