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Hot Water Safety

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
(Angela E. Smith)

The Government are committed to ensuring that Building Regulations support the safety of hot water systems in the home. We have been working closely with the industry to develop guidelines and training notes to help ensure that those who install and maintain these systems are aware of the problems and dangers posed. I am very grateful to the industry for the work that has already been done.

However, it's clear we should do more as in the last six months there have been a number of tragic incidents as a result of defective hot water systems. I am therefore announcing today that I will undertake a new review of Part G of the Building Regulations to determine whether changes are needed, and can be made, that would improve the safety of these systems in the future. This review will cover the whole of Part G dealing with sanitary installations and the hot water systems that serve them as one package. The Department is now considering the scope of the review with the intention of beginning informal consultations shortly.

It is clear that a balance must be struck between ensuring health and safety risks are tackled without placing undue regulatory burdens on industry. The proposals for any amendments will be subject to full consultation and regulatory appraisal.