Use of AIANO guards in care homes
Care home providers regularly approach AIANO to supply wire mesh safety guards. Thorners Homes, for instance, chose AIANO because of our exemplary health and safety standards, highlighted by the fact we are the only heater guard manufacturer recommended by heater manufacturer Dimplex (GDC Group) in their catalogue and on their website. All AIANO radiator guards come with a minimum of 3 inches (75mm) clearance on all sides between the heater and the guard. This makes the guard finger safe – the heater cannot be touched through the mesh – and also means that the surface of the guard remains at a safe temperature. This is essential to ensure that the guards meet health and safety needs.
Marilyn Lodwick at Thorner Homes writes:
‘We have been very satisfied with the level of customer service and goods provided by AIANO. From the initial time of enquiry to the receipt of delivered goods AIANO kept us informed of the status of our order and when we could expect delivery. We have found their products to be of an excellent quality and would definitely recommend AIANO’.
AIANO site surveys – collaboration between Edmundson and Aiano
For smaller projects, AIANO can usually work from photographs and detailed measurement provided by the customer to devise a guard design. For larger projects such as Apex Care Homes in Luton, and MPS Care Homes in Gainsborough, AIANO carried out a detailed site survey taking precise measurements and photographs of every radiator.
The project for Apex Care Homes in Luton was a collaboration with Edmundson Electrical Bedford, the two companies working together to ensure the customer had exactly the right products for this complex environment.
There were 72 radiator guards of varying sizes. The site survey meant the customer could ensure that guards were made to the correct size and would allow for enough clearance to make sure the guards were safe.
Designing a guard sympathetic to the environment
Many care homes are based in buildings that were formerly ordinary domestic houses rather than purpose-built accommodation. Sometimes judgments must be made to ensure the optimum solution for the environment. For example, applying strict rules of clearance between the heater and the guards can result in the guard being over deep for the available space, which can in itself create a hazard by, for example, restrict space for wheelchairs and walking frames. In a case such as this, the management of the care home has to weigh up the different factors and make an informed decision as to the safest solution. In the case of Apex Care Homes, for example, during the AIANO site survey, we were able to take into account the varying needs for each and every radiator whether it be located in a corridor, a sitting room, bathroom or resident’s bedroom.
Health and safety regulations for heaters in Residential Homes
The Health & Safety Executive guidelines on health & safety in care homes (HSG220) covers the risks vulnerable people may be exposed to where there are hot surfaces such as pipes or radiators. Care homes, residential homes, sheltered housing, retirement homes – AIANO has been manufacturing wire mesh safety guards, in particular heater guards to protect elderly and vulnerable residents for several generations.
The HSE ‘Health and Safety in care homes’ specifies any heater that vulnerable residents may come into contact with heaters, it should be designed so that the temperature of the surface does not exceed 43 degrees.
Contact with a surface that is hotter than 43 degrees can lead to serious, life changing injuries. These injuries often occur when residents fall and cannot move due to their condition or mobility, or are trapped by furniture. Incidents often occur in areas where there are low levels of supervision, eg in bedrooms, bathrooms and some communal areas. The surface temperature of conventional electric storage and panel heaters can reach between 70°C and 80°C. During our own AIANO testing programme, we have recorded heater surface temperatures in excess of this.
At these temperatures, a person can receive superficial burns in under a second, or full thickness burns in 10 seconds. Most people have a natural reaction to move their hand away if they encounter something hot to touch. Some vulnerable groups do not have this automatic reaction and as such, there is a risk of serious injury.
In order to prevent accidents occurring health and safety guidelines state that radiator covers must be installed on any radiator or exposed pipe work. Radiator guards ensure that the surface of the guard remains safe to touch when the radiator is turned on. AIANO has also recently designed a range of Low Surface Temperature heater guards for certain models of heater.
Please call Scott or Gokay on 020 7987 1184 or email us if you would like to discuss your requirements, or for further information or advice on AIANO heater guards