Multigenerational housing is on the rise, with 1.8 million homes now spanning two or more generations, according to CBRE. There are many causes contributing to this, including providing care for elderly family members, a lack of retirement homes, childcare support, and rising housing costs. 

Existing properties are frequently renovated to accommodate multigenerational use; approximately 125,000 homes are converted each year for this reason, and ensuring the bathroom is family-friendly and accessible to all is crucial, not only for comfort, but for safety as well.

Addressing the burning issues

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering warns that scalding and central heating system-related contact burns continue to pose a grave risk to households, as NHS Digital reveals its latest hospital admissions data. The NHS Digital Hospital Admitted Patient Care Activity 2020-21 for England shows that between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, there were 602 admissions for scald injuries from taps, and this figure continues to rise year on year.

Hot water splashback can cause serious scalding injuries in less than three seconds, therefore fitting Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMVs) is critical since they allow hot water to circulate at a high temperature, preventing legionella bacteria from growing in the system, while also ensuring safe water temperature from the outlet to prevent injuries.

In 2012, TMVs became a legal requirement in all new domestic and commercial builds, as well as in any properties undergoing a change of use (Part G Building Regulations). There are a wide range of TMVs available to meet the requirements of different applications to different safety levels, while still providing the desired aesthetic. 

Ensuring all TMVs adhere to the TMV2 scheme and are WRAS-approved is crucial in order to guarantee the highest level of safety. It is also important to remember that these valves need to be annually serviced.

TMVs maintain an exact water temperature and will automatically protect the end-user from any sudden changes in the temperature of the water supply. These are normally caused by the flushing of a toilet or when another tap is used at the same time within the household. 

The NHS Digital Hospital Admitted Patient Care statistics for 2020-2021 states very young children and the elderly are the most at risk for scalds and burns, with children between 0-4 accounting for 24% of finished consultant episodes, and the over-70s accounting for 24%.

Thermostatic showers are one way of ensuring the safety of residents of all ages, as well as providing an easy to use showering solution. Thermostatic bath shower mixers provide the best of both worlds, offering a single, cost effective solution. They are also ideal for installers who are working to a budget, and need a quick and easy product to install, while being assured it adheres to the highest safety standards.

It is crucial that thermostatic showers and mixers are installed correctly, by a professional plumber, to ensure they are calibrated to the correct temperature. They should then be serviced annually so that the correct safe temperature is maintained. This not only ensures the end-users’ safety, but also years of use.

Suitable for all the family 

The family bathroom is usually the largest, and fittings and finishes should be selected with safety and durability in mind. 

Many thermostatic mixer showers maintain pre-selected water temperatures, enabling the end-user to enjoy their showering experience, while offering high standards of thermostatic protection. Installing a shower unit that includes cool to touch surface technology is also another way to prevent scalds and burns for end-users. 

To reduce hospital admissions and injuries caused by scalding or burns, installers must choose bathroom products with the end-user’s safety as top priority. 

New technologies are continually improving the heating and plumbing offering when it comes to temperature control, nonetheless, it is critical that the correct and most appropriate solutions are selected and installed to keep members of the whole household, no matter their generation, safe.