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Scalding accidents change lives

It’s two years on from the launch of the ‘Hot water burns like fire’ campaign, fronted by Amanda Redman MBE, which blazed across the media on 6 October 2014. Initially launched to stop scalding incidents by raising awareness of the dangers of hot water and promoting the use of thermostatic devices (along with a big dollop of common sense), the initiative has now moved on with the primary aim to limit water temperatures in all homes to 48°c.

While regulations have been brought into place to ensure all new-build homes have thermostatic devices fitted, there is still no such law extending to existing homes.

But why should that be a problem, surely the fact that new-builds have to comply is enough to make a difference? While yes, it is a great step forward, but the move to install thermostatic mixing vales has to go further. According to the Children’s Burns Trust, 5195 children under 5 were so badly burnt in 2015 that they had to be admitted to a specialist burns service - that's 4 toddlers every single day. Sadly common sense alone cannot bring a universal drop in these figures - having TMVs installed in every single home can.

But it’s not all gloom and doom. The launch of the initiative back in 2014 hailed a big step up in burns awareness, with the first ever National Burn Awareness Day being held a couple of weeks later on 22nd October (more to come on this year’s National Burn Awareness Day, being held on the 19th October in a later blog). The impact of the campaign and the general shift towards thermostatic technology has been felt throughout the plumbing and heating industry, with TMVs now being a natural choice for retrofit in existing homes and premises. As we go forwards, it can only have a positive impact on scalding incident numbers across the UK however, without compulsory legislation, how big a drop this brings remains to be seen.

The CIPHE is also proud of its role in the campaign, having been a partner from the start, along with a number of other high profile charities and expert bodies including the Children’s Burns Trust, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Bathroom Manufacturers Association, Child Accident Prevention Trust, British Burn Association, RoSPA and Age UK. The CIPHE has worked to provide expert plumbing and heating information – for both families and installers - for the campaign as well as create tools such as the hot water burns test.

So while there is still much work to be done, we should not forget how far things have come. Keep an eye out for National Burn Awareness Day later this month and make sure your family, friends and clients are all burns aware.

You can take the Hot Water Burns test here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGVFP3R

And you can find out more on the campaign here: http://www.hotwaterburns.org/