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Macon Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Burn Injury > How Tap Water Injuries Causing Thousands of Burn Injuries Every Year

How Tap Water Injuries Causing Thousands of Burn Injuries Every Year


According to a recent study, hot tap water (from baths, faucets, showers, and sinks) caused approximately 60,000 burn injuries and 110 deaths in the U.S. between 2016 and 2018, resulting in more than $70 million in hospital costs. These injuries reflect one-third of almost 500,000 burn injuries that people in the U.S. are treated for every year, and scald injuries are most common in children under the age of five, as well as seniors and people with disabilities.

These injuries are, at times, occurring outside of people’s own homes and in businesses, such as in hotels and restaurants, due to an overall lack of awareness on the issue.  As a result, tap water scald burns remain a significant public health risk, especially in older buildings, and those exempt from requiring new water heater installation.

A Simple Fix

The laws on these issues are somewhat outdated: In 1988, water heat manufacturers agreed to set all water heaters to 120 F, but the agreement did not involve requiring the one, simple, inexpensive device that helps prevent the problem: a thermostatic mixing valve, also known as anti-scalding valve, and consumers can also make manual adjustments to water heater settings (and often do, resulting in buildings with water heater temperatures above 120 F). In addition, since 1988, researchers have realized that scald burns still happen – especially to children – even with the 120F setting on the water heater.

To date, it is shocking how many buildings are still missing these based devices, and the injuries that result from this serious oversight. These devices can be installed in water heaters, or at tap and shower fixtures, to reduce the risk of tap water scald burns by automatically mixing cold and hot water. Still, many buildings do not currently have safe hot water temperatures: The study found that homeowners were more likely to have a safe temperature than renters, and installation of the mixing valve devices is not currently required unless a plumbing system is being replaced.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Those who suffer from these burns not only face urgent care visits, but also infection treatment and control, medication, and rehabilitation. There are also often additional costs in the form of burdens on caregivers, pain and suffering, and more. If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury, contact our Macon burn injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill as soon as possible to find out more about your options and rights.



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