Is Your Water Heater Too Hot To Handle? Safety Tips For Parents

23 September 2014
 Categories: , Articles


By the time your children is a toddler, they develop a certain level of independence. During the toddler years, you will often hear the phrase, "I can do it myself." As a parent, you want to encourage that independence while standing close by to ensure you can prevent any injuries, especially in the bathroom. Believe it or not, your water heater can pose significant dangers to your child, but there are ways to minimize those dangers.

Prevent Bath Time Burns

Every year, emergency room professionals treat approximately 35,000 children aged 14 and under who suffer from burns. Of those children, more than half are 4-year-old and younger. Although burns can occur based on a number of reasons, your bathroom is one location that can prove menacing for a young child.

Your water heater has an adjustable thermostat. Though most water heaters arrive with a setting of 120 degrees or less, it is best to double check the temperature setting, especially if you recently installed your water heater. If the temperature is set too high, it can result in serious injury. In fact, 17% of all burn-related hospitalizations among children occurred because of overheated tap water.

At 140 degrees, your water heater can cause third-degree burns in as little as five seconds. For best results and the prevention of injury, make sure you adjust your thermostat to 120 degrees or less. You will need to check your child's bathwater to make sure the temperature is tolerable for your child. If adjusting the thermostat does not work, you may be looking at a broken thermostat, in which case you will need to contact a professional.

Stop Unnecessary Fires

Laundry room appliances, particularly the water heater and the dryer, cause approximately 7% of all house fires and 4% of all fire-related deaths. Although the statistics seem small, they are enough to make any parent take notice. In many homes, the water heater is often in the same room is the washer and dryer.

Piling clothes around the water heater causes the clothes to heat up, which in turn runs the risk of a fire breaking out in your home. While it is normal to have your children assist you with laundry, make sure you designate an area in your home for dirty laundry, such as placing a hamper in the bathroom or bedrooms.

Your child may make the mistake of placing clothes near the water heater, which can pose a significant hazard. No matter how independent your child might seem, the laundry room is no place for a young child. Your child may easily face any number of injuries while in the laundry room, especially if there are any flammables near the water heater.

Your best bet is to escort your child to the laundry room to ensure clothes reach their proper destination. Assist your child in removing clothes from the washer and dryer so no clothing accumulates around the water heater. If there is enough room in your laundry room, place wicker or plastic hampers away from the water heater to prevent possible melting and fires.

Make sure you contact a water heater repair professional near you for routine inspections. The professional can inspect your water heater to determine if there are any fire hazards near your water heater. There may be fire hazards lurking near your water heater that you are unaware of, which is something a professional can assist you with.

Aside from routine maintenance, make sure you hire a professional at the first sign of trouble with your water heater. A malfunctioning water heater can prove dangerous to you, your home and your young children. Fortunately, you can provide your children and your home the right level of safety by hiring a professional near you for assistance with water heater repairs.