HOT WATER SAFETY
SCALD BURNS CAN BE EASILY PREVENTED
LOWER THE TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER
HOT TAP WATER
Temperature /Time Relationships in Scalds:
Temperature
120°
125°
130°
135°
140°
145°
150°
155°
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
Time to Produce Serious Burn
More than 5 minutes
1.5 to 2 minutes
About 30 seconds
About 10 seconds
Less than 5 seconds
Less than 3 seconds
About 1.5 seconds
About 1 second
HOT TAP WATER SAFETY PROCEDURES
1. Lower water heater temperature to 120° - 130° F.
2. Install thermostatically controlled faucet or shower head.
3. Provide continuous supervision of young children while they
are in the bathtub.
The water heater thermostat should be adjusted to provide a
maximum Temperature at the bathtub of 120° F (48.9° C).
Generally, the thermostat setting should not exceed
130° F (54.4° C).
HOT WATER SAFETY
HOT WATER IS A FRIEND WHEN …..
…It washes people.
…It washes clothes, dishes, and other things.
…It feels good in hot water bags.
HOT WATER IS AN ENEMY WHEN …
…It scalds people.
Hot water is a great convenience in the
home, but it can cause a serious burn-quickly. It
can maim or even kill.
Very young, handicapped, and elderly
people are particularly vulnerable to tap water
burns.
Children cannot always tell the hot from
the cold-water faucets. They have delicate skin,
and often cannot get out of hot water quickly. So
they suffer hot water burns most frequently.
Elderly and handicapped persons are less
agile, more prone to falls in the bath tub, and may
have less ability to sense when water is too hot.
HOT WATER CAUSES THIRD DEGREE
BURNS…
People associate burns with flame. In fact, liquids
cause burns more often than flames.
USE CARE, AND HOT WATER WILL
ALWAYS BE A FRIEND.
HOT WATER BURNS ARE 100%
PREVENTABLE.
1. Keep hot liquids out of the reach of
children.
Babies-the most frequent victims of hot liquid
scalds-need only a split second to grab a coffee cup,
or bump a sipping parent’s arm. Spilled hot coffee
or tea, usually hotter than 160° , will cause severe
injury.
Toddles can spill hot liquids by pulling at
tablecloths, pot handles, and cooking appliance
cords. They may be underfoot while you’re
carrying pots around the kitchen.
Protect babies or toddlers by placing them
in a high chair or playpen during cooking and
coffee hours.
2. Supervise children and older people in
tub baths.
Young children are able to turn on the hot
water by themselves. Elderly or handicapped
people are prone to falling. They should never be
left alone in the tub, even momentarily. Always
test their bath water: it should be about 100° F.
3. Set water heater thermostat at safe level.
Most water heaters are set to heat water well
above 140° F. But a tap water temperature of 120°
F to 125° F should be hot enough for washing
clothes and dishes. And few people bathe at
temperatures above 110° F. Set your water heater
thermostat at low, which is usually about 120° -for
safety, and to save 18% of the energy used at 140°
F. (Although many automatic dishwasher
instructions suggest 140° F, cleaning is usually
satisfactory at much lower temperatures). If you
live in an apartment, and
the water is too hot, show this to your landlord,
and ask that the water temperature be lowered.
4. Check tap water temperature.
Let hot water run for three to five minutes.
Test the temperature with a candy, meat, or water
thermometer. Set the temperature on your water
heater thermostat. Wait a full day to allow the
water temperature to change, then re-test and readjust the thermostat, if necessary.