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Anti-Scald Devices

Two ways to prevent getting burned in the bath.

It's not hard to get burned in the bathroom. It only takes a few seconds—and about 130 degrees.

Water burns can happen to anyone. Your mother could slip and fall in the shower. If she breaks a bone and can't move, she could get trapped under running hot water. Your grandson might climb into a tub of water that is hotter than he thought. Or he could run his hand under burning tap water. The result could be very painful. It could also leave scars.

The danger is very real. Thousands of children and older adults are burned each year in kitchens and bathrooms. You can take two steps to keep your family safe.

First, check your water heater. Is it set at 140 degrees? Most water heaters are. And that's way too hot. Turn your heater down to 120 degrees.

Second, look for an anti-scald device. You can put these gadgets on your sink, tub and shower. They make sure your water doesn't get too hot. Set your device so it takes action if your water gets hotter than 115 degrees.

Many Ways to Prevent Burns

Some anti-scald devices are very simple. One device locks your tap so that kids can't move the handle too far toward "hot." Other devices turn off the water when it gets too hot. You can install these devices on your own.

A few models are more complex. One keeps track of how hot your last shower was. It gives you the same water hotness for your next shower. Another system starts working when there is a drop in the force of the cold water coming out of your tap. When this happens, the device makes the force of the hot water drop too. This keeps your shower from getting too hot.

Don't buy a complex device just for the sake of it. Be sure that everyone in the house will feel comfortable using it. A simple device might work just as well. And it will cost you less money.

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