Staying safe around water
- Take care when using your hot water to avoid scalding, especially if you don’t have a mixer tap.
- Always stay with children in the bathroom and kitchen.
- If you feel sleepy while having a bath, get out.
- If you have a pond, putting a fence around it or a grill over the top and never leave children alone in the garden.
It’s important to keep your water supply clean and safe
Taps, showers, and toilets can harbour harmful bacteria that can make you unwell.
Some top tips include:
- Run your water regularly. Taps, showers, and other water outlets should be run for a couple of minutes each week.
- Going away for a long time? Try to arrange for someone to flush the toilets for you and always flush them when you return.
- Close the toilet lid to avoid bacteria spreading into the air.
- Clean showerheads and taps regularly. As well as weekly cleaning, soaking them in a mild bleach or limescale solution once a month will help.
- Set the thermostat on your hot water system to a minimum of 60°C and leave it on for at least one hour before use. This will kill any bacteria in the system.
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal condition caused by legionella bacteria. People become infected by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria.
Everyone is potentially at risk, but people over 45 years of age, smokers, those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease and people with a low immune system are at greater risk.
Symptoms of legionnaires include:
- high temperature
- fever and chills
- muscle pains
- pneumonia in severe cases.
If you develop these symptoms and you are worried it might be Legionnaires’ disease, see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, please contact us on 0300 561 1111.