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TMV provision too hot to handle?

The government is inviting industry professionals to comment on its consultation proposing changes to Part G of the Building Regulations for hot water safety, but TMVs have not been proposed.
The consultation document invites the industry to give information on options including measures to provide for consistent safety of hot water systems and proposals to update and bring Part G into line with current standards, legislation and industry practice.

The department of Communities and Local Government pledged to review Part G relating to heating and hot water systems to determine whether rules can be re-written to prevent deaths like Rhianna Hardie's.

Ten month-old Rhianna Hardie was killed in 2006 when scalding hot water poured into her cot after a water tank exploded in the attic of her council home. Coroner Michael Rose said the problem with an outmoded thermostat allowed hot water to flood the cold water tank which could have nationwide implications with other homes in danger from the same fault.

TMVs are not proposed in the consultation document but the CLG says they have not been ruled out completely. The consultation document states 'The government would very much like to support a provision that would help to reduce the risk of scalding incidents from sanitary appliances.

'However, our initial analysis suggests that the cost of requiring the installation of TMVs are considerably out of proportion to the benefits that would be realised, even if we were to only limit the provision to baths in new homes.

'Through this consultation we are seeking more information and evidence from our stakeholders on the likely costs and benefits of installing protective measures such as TMVs. If this information and evidence changes the analysis of costs and benefits favourably we will reconsider the position in formulating our final policy'.

A spokesman for the CLG said it had already taken action to try to prevent death's like Rhianna's including issuing the HSE safety alert setting out the danger signs to look for are in certain types of hot water systems to the plumbing and heating industry and housing associations. It has also written to local authorities to remind them of responsibilities for maintaining housing safety standards.

The consultation closes on August 5, 2008 and can be accessed via the Communities and Local Governmentwebsite
20 May 2008


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