Following a recent case of Legionnaires’ disease which has left a Birmingham woman in hospital, The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering has issued advice to help people stay safe.
The disease is potentially life threatening and is caused by a specific bacterium in the water system which can cause a rare type of pneumonia if inhaled, for example from a shower or spa bath.
Legionella can grow at temperatures between 20 and 50 degrees Celsius so it is important to ensure that hot and cold water systems are designed, maintained and operated in a manner which will prevent the bacteria growing. This means getting taps and showers professionally fitted using the correct approved materials which help to prevent the build up of this type of bacteria.
Blane Judd, Chief Executive of The CIPHE said, “Legionnaires’ disease is rare but is potentially lethal if not treated quickly and correctly. The holiday camp at Blackpool has done the right thing by checking and thoroughly cleansing all the water systems, just in case that was the source of the outbreak.
“Prevention measures are even more important. There is a risk in both domestic and commercial environments so we would always recommend that plumbing is carried out by someone who is properly qualified and understands the preventative measures that need to be taken to reduce the risk.
All registered professional within the CIPHE will be constantly updated on how to manage the risks of Legionella and other waterborne diseases. We check plumbers’ qualifications before allowing them to join our register and support them in keeping up to date with changes in legislation and technology to help safeguard public health.”
The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the professional body and voluntary regulatory body for the UK plumbing and heating industry.
Its primary objectives are to protect the safety and health of the public and protection of the environment. It also seeks to advance the science, practice and principles of Plumbing and Heating Engineering in its role as an educational charity.
Plumbing and heating engineers registered with the CIPHE have their qualifications checked by the Institute prior to registration. Each individual agrees to abide by a six point Code of Professional Standards www.ciphe.org.uk/Consumers/Code-of-Professional-Standards, which requires them to act professionally, competently and responsibly.
They are also required to maintain high levels of competence on existing and emerging technologies during their registration through continuous professional development.
The CIPHE is represented in the UK and globally by over 12,000 individuals some 1000 of whom operate in 29 countries around the world. In addition it has the support of over 260 manufacturers and distributors, which support its work as Industrial Associates.