Housing Associations are urged to check hot water systems after two fatalities in social housing properties

The HSE has issued a safety alert on hot water systems after two people were scalded to death.

The incidents occurred when boiling water poured through ceilings onto occupants sleeping below.

In June 2002 a 30-year old died in an incident at a housing association property in Penzance. A ten-month old baby died in December 2006 in a similar accident in Tuanton, Somerset.

As a result of the Somerset investigation HSE served an Improvement Notice on Taunton Deane Borough Council requiring action on hot water systems at similar council properties.

The warning is aimed at plumbers and landlords who maintain or install certain types of hot water system located in roof spaces above bedrooms.

The systems include fixed all-electric or part-electric immersion heater in conjunction with a plastic cold water storage cistern or ‘tank’ located in the roof space.

The HSE said particular attention should be paid to poor quality installation and systems over ten years old.

To find out more on the scalding risk from domestic hot water systems click on HSE safety alert