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CIPHE demands regulations overhaul to tackle scalding fears

Organisation calls on government to support improved focus on industry competence alongside introducing legislation requiring TMVs to be used in all homes

Government is facing renewed calls from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) to tackle fears about scalding risks facing vulnerable people by introducing thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) regulations.

The professional body is seeking to mandate use of TMVs in all properties as a proactive means to limit instances of serious scalding, as well as pushing for concentrated focus on ensuring industry-wide competence and training. The calls have been made as UK Building Regulations are in the process of being reformed to address a range of health and safety aspects that will have significant impacts on HVAC specialists and installations.

CIPHE has cited hospital admission data provided by NHS Digital that it says highlight that domestic scalds and burns from taps were a significant health issue in the UK.

34 per cent of scalding admissions were for children aged nine or under, according to the data. 19 per cent of admissions were attributed to people aged 60 or over.

The organisation also highlighted findings from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) that found hot bath water was responsible for the highest number of fatal and severe scalding cases affecting younger children.

CIPHE chief executive Kevin Wellman has said that the majority of incidents raised in the data could be avoided, but legislation and improved overall knowledge remained major barriers.

He said, “In my opinion, it is unforgivable that government officials have continued to avoid taking responsibility for household burn and scald injuries.”

“The CIPHE’s perspective on this is clear. We need to reduce the risk by raising general awareness of the dangers in our homes, we need to change legislation to enforce the use of protective devices such as TMVs in all homes (not just new build), we need to educate the public on the importance of regularly maintaining these devices and we need to ensure that all those working on plumbing and heating systems are qualified and competent to do so.”

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