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Advice on faulty thermostats in wake of tragedy

Following the tragic death of a Somerset baby who died from being scalded by water from a hot water tank which had a faulty thermostat, Cotswold District Council is urging private landlords, homeowners and tenants to watch out for telltale warning signs with their water system to help prevent any further tragedies.

The guidance, based on Health and Safety Executive alerts, has warned that particular consideration should be given to hot water systems more than 10 years old and systems where homeowners and landlords may have other reason to suspect the adequacy of the initial installation or any subsequent work.

The warning signs people in any home should look out for include:-

  • Excessively hot water coming out of the hot water taps;
  • Excessive noise or ‘bubbling’ from the hot water cylinder;
  • Hot water coming out of certain cold water taps (some storage cisterns also feed cold water taps in the bathroom);
  • Steam/moisture in the roof space.

Private Sector Housing Manager Claire Locke said: “Councils treat their role of protecting local residents exceptionally seriously and are urging residents to make checks to try to prevent any further tragic losses of life through faulty thermostats.

“Local people with systems more than ten years old should be aware of how to spot whether their thermostat is faulty and who to contact to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

“In the first instance, we would advise homeowners with concerns to contact a plumber. Worried tenants should contact their landlord or housing association.

“Where serious problems exist, grant funding may be available from the Council to help vulnerable owners, who are in receipt of certain means tested or disability benefits, to carry out essential works, subject to conditions and availability of funding.”
Source: Cotswold District Council

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