The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is calling for thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) to be made compulsory.
CIPHE wants the Government to change the law to help reduce the risk of household scalding.
Hospital admission stats from NHS Digital show that the most vulnerable in society are at a high risk of household scalds and burns. Those aged nine and under, and 60 and over, make up a combined 24% of the UK population. But those groups account for 53% of scalding admissions.
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show that around 500 children a year are admitted to hospital with bath water scalds. And RoSPA says the elderly are five times more at risk of a fatal burn or scald injury than the general population.
NHS Digital figures also showed that 29% of admissions for contact burns from heating appliances, pipes and radiators were aged nine years or under. Some 7% of admissions for contact burns from heating appliances, pipes or radiators were aged 60 or over.
CIPHE believes the compulsory introduction of TMVs (valves that mix hot and cold water to ensure a safe temperature) is necessary.
Kevin Wellman, the Institute’s CEO, said: “I find it unacceptable that so many innocent people are suffering scalds and burns. The majority of scalding incidents can be avoided, however a lack of legislation and general knowledge continues to hinder efforts to eliminate these incidents.
“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.”