Burns and scalds from hot water are certainly no laughing matter. These accidents can be extremely painful and in some cases could lead to much more serious health problems. The scariest part about burn injuries from hot water? They can occur to any member of your family at any time unless you find a way to lock household water temperature into a safe and predictable range. This can be easier said than done, and could require you to update your current water heater with expensive heat monitoring equipment.
Alternatively, you can permanently reduce burn risks to a minimum by changing the way your home heats water in the first place. A heater upgrade, along with a few new household habits regarding drawing water from the tap, could have a huge positive impact on hot water safety around your home.
Burns are painful and sometimes deadly
It's important to understand just how dangerous burns from tap water can be. Minimal exposure to overheated tap water can result in mild inflammation, slight swelling and soreness for several days. Extended exposure, or burns to children and older adults, can quickly escalate to second degree burns. These injuries are considerably more vulnerable to infections and require burn victims to regularly clean and dress their wounds. Untreated scalds at this stage can rapidly develop into more dire health issues without the proper treatment. That's why it makes sense to minimize burn risks at home before such an accident can take place.
Understanding the risks will help you avoid accidents
One of the main reasons that homeowners don't anticipate and address burn and scald risks is because they don't recognize the dangers. For example, data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission noted almost 4,000 injuries and dozens of deaths occur each year as a result of interactions with overheated tap water – just thirty seconds of exposure to water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to serious injury in grown adults.
Young children and seniors are especially vulnerable to hot water, and can receive critical burns from just a few seconds of contact with a stream of piping tap water, noted Michigan State. This means you're tasked with keeping a close eye on younger and older family members in the home to make sure they don't burn themselves while trying to bathe or wash their hands.
Going tankless is a reliable, long-term solution
The easiest way to eliminate burn risks from the home is to make sure the water in your home never exceeds a safe temperature. The Saint Francis Memorial Hospital recommended water heaters be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less to prevent deep skin tissue damage. Keeping the temperature steady in your home may be easier said than done, however.
"Keeping water temperature steady in your home is easier said than done."
Heat control knobs on traditional water heaters can be accidentally adjusted and the distance between a central hot water heater and points of use in the home can lead to irregularities in water temperature. High-performance tankless models are built with internal heat controls integrated into the appliance, and this construction ensures water temperatures stay within a narrow range of safe temperature. This design helps homeowners to circumvent uncertainty when it comes to hot water and offers a long list of other notable benefits.
Lower scald risks while reducing waste
If the opportunity to lower injury risks for family members isn't enough motivation, there are plenty of other reasons to seriously consider going tankless this summer. First and and foremost are the savings your household can earn by heating water on-demand and near points of use. Compact tankless water heaters can be installed just about anywhere in the home. This advantage makes it easy to keep the source of hot water and its eventual destination relatively close, preventing heat and water waste.
Going tankless is also a great choice because high-performance models are expected to serve your home faithfully for twenty years. Investing in a tankless water heater now will let you protect you and your kin from tap water dangers for decades to come.