Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities
SECTION 03: KEY SAFETY MESSAGES
Incidents Scald burns associated with children are often the result of the caregiver placing the child in the water without checking the temperature. Older adults’ burn injuries are often due to their slower response time, or slips/ falls in showers that expose the victims to hot water for a long period of time. Twin-handle faucets can also increase the risk of burns because the hot water faucet supplies water that is not mixed with cold water, as it is in single-handle faucets. • A mother was bathing her 9-month-old child in a bathroom basin. The mother left the child unattended to check on another sibling. While the mother was out of the room, a 3-year-old sibling turned on the hot water. The 9-month- old experienced third-degree burns over 80% of her body. The natural gas utility, water heater manufacturer, plumbing contractor, and property owner were sued. • An elderly man was taking a shower and had a seizure that may have been related to his medication. In an attempt to break his fall, he grabbed the mix valve handle, and accidentally turned on more hot water. The bathtub began filling with excessively hot water, causing third-degree burns over a major portion of his body. These tragic incidents, which may have been prevented if the individuals involved were aware of the hazards associated with excessively hot tap water, reinforce the importance of utility Public Safety Communications Programs.
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