‘Promote thermostatic valves,’ BMA urges industry

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has urged the bathroom industry to promote thermostatic devices after a woman died from severe scalding when showering.

The family of a tourist who died after being scalded in a shower at an Edinburgh hotel has recently received compensation and an apology.

Kalyani Uthaman, 59, from India had been on holiday in Scotland in August 2012 and was severely scalded at the Premier Inn in Newcraighall.

She died in hospital several weeks later from multiple organ failure.

The family sued the hotel for a six-figure sum, claiming that the hotel failed in its duty of care by not having fitted a thermostatic mixing valve to regulate water temperature.

Yvonne Orgill (pictured), chief executive of the BMA, said: “This case is so sad and one that shouldn’t have happened. The BMA campaign ‘Hot Water Burns like Fire’ was launched to raise awareness of the dangers of hot water in the last place you would expect deadly accidents to occur – the bathroom.

“It’s a fact that people do die in the bathroom from scalding accidents due to uncontrolled hot water. The young and the old are the most vulnerable. But it needn’t be so with the installation of thermostatic devices that are well maintained, as they can and do prevent such devastating accidents.

“The BMA’s campaign, supported by Children’s Burns Trust, has one goal – to eradicate these types of unnecessary deaths and reduce the number of accidents. In 2015, more than 5,200 children under the age of five suffered from serious, life-changing scalding accidents.”

She added: “The portfolio of thermostatic products is extensive and will suit all budgets. It doesn’t have to be in the product, it can be installed anywhere along the pipework. Merchants, retailers and installers need to be encouraged to promote these products to all their customers.”

Sundar Uthaman, Mrs Uthaman’s son, said: “I feel vindicated in the sense that a settlement is an acknowledgement by Whitbread that they did wrong. I’m still angry at what they did and the fact it wasn’t until Thompsons Solicitors raised the court proceedings that they issued an apology.

“The settlement has prevented the evidence being heard in court. I would really like this to be discussed in the court to make sure such a tragedy never happens to anyone else.”

A spokesman for Premier Inn commented: “We are very sorry for the tragic accident that occurred to Mrs Uthaman in 2012 and our thoughts are with her family. We take millions of bookings every year and we would like to reassure our guests that this was an isolated incident.

“We constantly monitor and regulate the water temperature of our showers in line with industry best practice, which is based on Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulatory guidance and NHS health care guidelines.”

Home > News > ‘Promote thermostatic valves,’ BMA urges industry