Every year in the US, over 100,000 individuals experience water scalding, and hot water burns, as a result of a hot water tank being set to high. Unfortunately, at least a third of all burn victims are 14 years and younger, and many more are elderly, or those suffering with a disability.
Too many times, children are lowered into water in the bathtub that is too hot, often ranging as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. With the temperature set that high, it takes less than five seconds for humans to receive severe third-degree burns from the hot water. Children four years and younger run the greatest potential of suffering injury leading to death, at a rate of two times higher than children between five and 14 years old.
One in four scalding burns involving children are associated with hot tap water accidents. Hot water leads in the number of victim death, or injured individuals requiring hospitalization when compared to burns from other hot liquids.
Lowering Hot Water Temperature Settings
The United States CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) urges households to lower their water tank temperature settings to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At this lower temperature, human skin can still receive a second-degree burn with exposure to this heated water. However, it takes eight minutes for a second-degree burn and 10 minutes for a third-degree burn. This lower temperature provides the opportunity to get out of the water, before the intense burning causes severe harm and damage to skin.
Lowering the temperature of the hot water tank is an inexpensive way to prevent serious water scalding accidents involving hot water burns. Many faucet manufacturers now offer anti-scald devices with easy installation by a professional plumber. These devices can reduce or eliminate hot water burns and scald injuries. Unfortunately, gyms, nursing homes, hotels, workplaces, hospitals, apartments, condominiums and other facilities do not always implement the safety procedures, which can often produce catastrophic accidents.
Steps to Avoid Injury From Steam and Scalding Water
Children, the elderly, disabled and loved ones need to be protected from extreme pain, severe injury, and possible fatalities caused by scalding water. The following steps can help households avoid serious injury caused by water it too high a temperature. The steps include:
- The hot water tank temperature should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Every hot water valve in the home or business should be changed to an anti-scald device as a way to interrupt hot water flow once temperatures reach a specific pre-set level.
- Bathwater needs to be tested for hot water intensity by an adult using an elbow or wrist before placing a child, disabled individual or elderly loved one into the tub.
- No one should be placed into an empty tub before running the water to avoid the potential of water being too hot, causing injury.
- Children should be placed into the bathtub with his or her back toward the faucet to minimize the potential of turning or grabbing the knob.
- Ensure that all faucets on the sink, tub and shower are clearly labeled “COLD” or “HOT”.
Seeking Financial Remedies After A Hot Water Burn
Victims injured in a hot tub, shower a bathtub often have the legal rights to file a claim against the responsible parties that were negligent by providing unsafe water temperatures. Many times, those that can be held legally responsible include the manufacturer, the plumbing contractor that installed the faucet, and licensed companies hired to maintain the hot water tank, plumbing lines and faucets.
Seasoned attorneys that specialize in hot water burn accidents can recoup financial recompense that includes lost wages from missed work, ongoing medical expenses, financial debts associated with the injury, and damages to cover pain and suffering. The attorney will fight aggressively to protect the rights of the injured victim and hold property owners, managers, supervisors, contractors, technicians, and faucet manufacturers accountable for their negligent action or inaction.
Victims with water scalding burns caused by improper installation, maintenance or service of mixing valves, faucets and water heaters can file a lawsuit or claim. The Rosenfeld injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 can assist Illinois burn victims when bringing a claim for damages against the company, maintenance crew, or installer. Victims have a variety of legal options, and cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront fees required when hiring a skilled attorney to pursue a claim for financial compensation.