CIPHE CEO, Kevin Wellman, shines a spotlight on the need for change in legislation for TMVs.
I have been reporting on plumbing related scalds and burns incidents for quite some time, in fact, since 2013/14 statistics there have been nearly 6,000 admissions to hospital for those suffering with scalding and over 7,500 admissions for burns from pipes, radiators and heating appliances. Whilst low temperature heating systems may help in the future it seems it will be some time before we see incidents declining.
Given the increase in incidents it is surely time for the legislation surrounding thermostatic mixing valves (TMV’s) is changed to mandate installations to all premises including existing housing stock. It is equally important to carry out regular maintenance on TMV’s to ensure they are fit for purpose and not ‘fit and forget’ devices.
In addition to the costs of medical care which can result in years of hospital treatment and procedures there is the unseen costs relating to stress and anxiety for the patient and their family and friends.
CIPHE’s website contains the latest press release on scalds and burns and encourages members to carry out health checks on houses whilst undertaking other maintenance and plumbing work, see www.ciphe.org.uk.
Another helpful source of advice is the Children’s Burns Trust, see the following: https://www.cbtrust.org.uk/
The CIPHE has invested in the creation of a safe water guide and legionella risk management course, to help members keep important water safety information front of mind. A small investment in time to update your CPD on water safety could prevent injuries to the public and, in some instances, could help to save lives.
In suggesting two calls for action I would firstly like to see TMV’s installed in all premises, especially for vulnerable people. Secondly, I encourage you to raise awareness of these issues with your local Member of Parliament preferably alongside a call for better regulation of the trade.