Tom Reynolds, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), underscores the significance of prioritising safety in product selection.

You may have recently seen a safety alert regarding stop-button showerheads either from the BMA or via Trading Standards, with whom we collaborated. It served as a reminder that while we can all be seduced by new innovations, all is sometimes not as it seems when products are poorly marketed. And here is where the professionalism of designers, installers and bathroom manufacturers is paramount.

Electric showers, renowned for their efficiency in on-demand water heating, pose a unique challenge when paired with fittings like these stop-button showerheads. The fixtures, while fashionable and all-over social media, can lead to unexpected complications, such as fluctuating water temperatures that can result in scalding injuries if used with electric showers.

In this instance, there have been significant scalding incidents. It appears retailers selling these products were not providing clear warnings not to use their products with instantaneous electric showers. They have now been instructed to clearly label the showerheads as not suitable to use with electric showers, with some issuing product recalls. While it is a manufacturer and retailer’s responsibility to ensure these products are used with the correct shower type, all professionals in the bathroom space have a duty to reinforce safety.

The BMA has always championed water-saving bathroom products, and stop-button showerheads, when used with mixer-valve showers, make it easy for consumers to halt the flow of water temporarily. However, we must spread awareness of when these products can be safely utilised.

Designers, as always, play a crucial role in educating clients about the compatibility and benefits of various products, ensuring that aesthetic enhancements do not compromise safety. Advocating for the selection of safe, reliable and, above all, appropriate products is an often unseen designer duty, but proactively engaging with clients, offering expertise and insights that mitigate risks will ensure a seamless bathroom experience.

The BMA advocates for collaboration between manufacturers, retailers and installers to uphold safety standards in bathroom design. While consumers are encouraged to consult product manufacturers regarding compatibility, designers are also trusted advisors, offering personalised recommendations tailored to each client’s unique needs.

The design of bathrooms embodies a commitment to well-being, safety, reliability, and peace of mind. By prioritising the integration of beneficial products for the correct use, designers uphold their duty to create spaces that are not only visually appealing but also inherently safe. Through collaboration and vigilance, the industry can collectively ensure that every bathroom reflects the values of trust, safety, and quality craftsmanship.

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