74 HPM 1216

HPM-12-DEC-2016

74 R A D I ATORS & TOWEL WARMERS Low surface temperature radiators are still key products in settings where there are potentially vulnerable end users, as Myson product manager, Kelly Smith, explains There will always be a need to safeguard the vulnerable in applications such as hospitals, care homes, children’s nurseries and special needs schools, so we will always need low surface temperatures (LST). Developed to protect the elderly, the very young and those with disabilities or underlying health issues, LSTs are designed to emit heat without presenting a risk of burning or scalding. With ordinary panel radiators, there has been a historic risk vulnerable end users might fall against the hot panel and be burned. This can happen very quickly, but if the person is unable to get up again, prolonged contact with the high temperature can be very serious indeed. In order to safeguard against this risk, the NHS Estates Health Guidance Notes 1998 introduced a limit of 43°C on the surface temperature of radiators for use in NHS properties. The response of radiator manufacturers was to design the LST radiator, which has been widely adopted to provide safer warm environments for the vulnerable in other settings too. The LST radiator consists of a traditional panel radiator enclosed in an outer casing, the air gap between the two preventing the outer surface of the casing from rising above the recommended 43°C. The LST radiates the heat generated by the internal panel radiator but, as it never comes into direct contact with the water content, the outer casing does not overheat. Despite the fact that many modern systems now operate at lower temperatures, they can still be turned up to higher level. In a system using only conventional panel radiators, a scalding hazard can be introduced accidentally, but with LSTs in place, even if the system temperature is inadvertently turned up, the outer casing will not overheat and the end user will still be protected. Care settings require a lot of equipment which takes up wall space, so it can be a challenge to heat a hospital ward or multi-bedded room comfortably and evenly. To tackle this problem there are now much narrower LST models which contain either a single or double panel heat emitter within the safety casing. A larger number of narrower LSTs can be specified to ensure a good circulation of warmth in larger and longer rooms, without creating cold spots and while still accommodating essential medical equipment. In addition to providing a guaranteed lower surface temperature, the profile of the LST outer casing is also designed to minimise the risk of injury in the event of a fall by an end user. The LST casing has smooth, rounded edges and corners, which reduces the likelihood of injuries and also makes it an attractive and stylish option. This also, beneficially, makes it very hygienic and easy to clean. As very hot pipework is itself also a safety hazard, it is vital that the casing completely encloses the pipework coming to and from the radiator, eliminating this further risk. Myson recommends that any surface mounted pipework leading to the radiator should also be boxed in. Should the end user fall against it, it is essential that the LST has a secure fixing system that will stand up to occasional knocks and prevent it becoming detached. A simple, double security, screw mechanism will ensure that the casing stays in place to maintain safety when in use, but will also allow the casing to be removed quickly and easily for routine maintenance, redecorating or deep cleaning. Efficiency is just as important as safety, so the LST should be fitted with a robust thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) to allow the room temperature to be effectively controlled. An ‘A’ rated TRV kit should be supplied with both close coupled kits and direct fit kits to ensure maximum energy efficiency on every model. A vandal resistant ring and collar is also an important feature for an LST as it protects the TRV against accidental damage. Like their more conventional counterparts, LST radiators must be manufactured and tested in accordance with BS EN 442 and made from high quality materials. They should carry the BS Kitemark to indicate their quality of manufacture, and should be sourced from a manufacturer with a proven track record and a Quality Management System ISO 9001:2008 certification. We believe that, like panel radiators, LSTs should carry a full ten-year guarantee on both casing and radiator, but not all do, so it is important to specify with care. Selecting a robust, reliable LST with all these factors will also provide peace of mind that the radiator will stand the test of time and represent value for money. The LST is one of the most important heating products to get the specification right – end user wellbeing may depend on it, as well as warmth and efficiency. Warming to safety www.hpmmag.com December 2016 enquiry number 159 Selecting a reliable and robust LST is not only important for quality and efficiency, but it can also help to reduce the risk of burns or scalding “Developed to protect the elderly, the very young and those with disabilities or underlying health issues, LSTs are designed to emit heat without presenting a risk of burning or scalding”


HPM-12-DEC-2016
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