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Scalding and Legionnaire’s disease
Scalding is a risk that exists every day in many buildings, particularly in our homes. Within the bathroom, the majority of scalding incidents and almost all serious injury relates to accidents in baths. Showers present a reduced risk.
Of course the obvious thing to do, to reduce the risk of scalding, would be to reduce the temperature at which we store hot water, by turning the thermostat down on the boiler.
However, a bacterium that causes a pneumonia-like illness, known as Legionnaire’s disease, can exist in water systems where water is stored at less than 60oC.
The bacterium can multiply rapidly in water at temperatures between 20°C - 45°C, but as the temperature rises above 60°C the majority of legionella will be killed within 5 minutes. Below 20°C it remains dormant.
The approved code of practice & guidance for the control of Legionella bacteria in water systems can be found on the Health and Safety Executive Site
Therefore, hot water temperatures that are unable to cause scalding are ideal for the procreation of legionella and high temperatures that eliminate the risk of legionella can cause scalding.
Safe Hot Water Temperature Control
For many years, thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs), such as Triton’s Trimix, have been used to blend hot water (stored at temperatures high enough to kill bacteria) with cold water to deliver a constant and safe, outlet water temperature to baths and basins to prevent scalding.
Thermostatic showers are also installed as standard fittings in most new homes and commercial premises. They offer the user improved comfort and inherent safety, irrespective of variations in water system pressures.
The introduction of the TMV3 Scheme ensures that TMV’s installed in high risk areas deliver precise temperature control and are safer and easier to maintain.
The TMV3 Scheme is an independent third party approval system administered by Buildcert. It certifies thermostatic mixing valves and mixer showers, such as Triton’s Elina range, that have been manufactured to meet the highest specification required by the NHS Estates D08 standard, for use within health care premises.
For lower risk applications, such as in housing association, local authority and new house build installations, a new TMV2 Scheme has been introduced, also administered by BuildCert.
Both schemes guarantee that products are independently tested and certified to conform with a rigorous set of performance and endurance criteria.
TMV 3 - High risk environments, hospitals, nursing homes, schools
TMV 2 - Domestic homes, housing associations, local authorities, housebuilders, hotels
In 2003 ASTA BEAB Certification Services, now part of Intertek, launched the BEAB CARE Mark to demonstrate a new safety standard for electrical products. The first product area for which a standard was developed to gain CARE Mark approval was electric showers.
In a similar way to the TMV Scheme’s, Intertek, the UK's leading provider of electrical product certification, developed a rigorous Special Test Schedule, and application of the new CARE Mark will demonstrate compliance with this standard.
The CARE Mark can only be applied to products, such as Triton’s Safeguard T100 Care, that have existing BEAB Approval and comply with the relevant European Safety Standard as well as additional safety and performance requirements such as those outlined for water heaters.
For further information on any of these standards please click on the links below or for Triton’s range of approved products please click here