Every year small children and the elderly suffer serious scalding by high temperatures being set on household hot water taps. What’s more worrying is more than 90% of all scalds occur in the bathroom.When a hot water tap is set too high children and the elderly don’t have the fast reactions or knowledge to be able to act quickly and avoid serious harm. Hot water at 60ºC takes only one second to cause a full skin thickness scald to a child.
How do we protect ourselves at home?
Reduce the top temperature from 60ºC to 50ºC. It will immediately give both children and the elderly more time to adjust. Generally it will take up to five minutes before serious scalding occurs at this level, which allows time to react. This temperature reduction needs to apply to your bathroom bath, shower, hand basin.
Bear in mind that 50ºC on its own is still very hot so cold water still needs to be mixed in with it to get it to the temperature that’s needed to take a shower, bath or to warm wash your hands. The best temperature for bathing a young child is 30ºC so mixing your cold in is critical.
Best ways to control hot water temperature
Over the years we’ve found these three ways to work well:
1. Install what’s called a “tempering valve” to reduce the hot water temperature.
2. Install a “thermostatic mixing valve” – they can be set to deliver hot water at safe precise temperatures.
3. You can also install a device that shuts off the water if it exceeds a safe temperature.
To find out more about installing one of these three mechanisms or to checking if you already have those in your building, please contact us on 1800 319 522.