BISHTA issues fatality risk alert

BISHTA has issued a nationwide hot tub consumer safety alert about the dangers of heat stroke and the fatality risk of hot tubs within the UK that are operating at more than 40°C.

An investigation by BISHTA into the UK market has revealed a small number of hot tub brands and models that are advertised to exceed the maximum recommended safe temperature of 40°C are putting consumers’ health at risk.

The European Standard for domestic spas and hot tubs (BS EN 17125), and current HSG 282 guidance to holiday park operators, recommends a maximum upper temperature of 40°C and BISHTA has highlighted that reputable brands will be factory configured in such a way as to make an increased temperature above 40°C impossible.

In the USA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued guidance as far back as the late 1970’s warning of 10 recorded deaths in hot tubs that were heated more than the safe maximum temperature of 40°C, with three of these ten deaths being alcohol as well as temperature-related. These conditions can be fatal even to fully healthy adults.

“While there are many benefits from warm water immersion, typically between 36°C to 38°C, but not more than 40°C, there is growing concern from BISHTA that soaking in water over 40°C during hot tub use can increase the risk of heat stroke, or impairment of the body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature and even cause fatalities,” said BISHTA PR and Marketing Manager Sallie Leslie-Golding.

As part of further guidance within its alert, BISHTA is now recommending to consumers that they keep on hand a good quality thermometer to double check the water temperature against that temperature figure showing on the hot tub’s display.

The alert follows BISHTA highlighting vital contributions from leading specialists within the hot tub and wet leisure industries as part of the launch of the new 2019 BISHTA Standards that can be accessed on mobile devices.

As well as being made available to BISHTA members in a paper format, the 2019 Standards are also available online via the members’ area of the BISHTA website, at, allowing members ‘24-7’ access to the information they need. As the website is responsive, the information can be easily viewed on mobile phones and tablets.

This new version of the BISHTA Standards replaces the 2010 version. There are now nearly 100 pages in the revised BISHTA Standards, including useful appendices.

These 2019 Standards incorporate the many changes in the industry guidance over the last few years, such as HSG 282; which replaced the Health and Safety Executive’s and Health Protection Agencies’ joint publication – ‘Management of Spa Pools’, PWTAG’s ‘Hot Tubs for Business’ publication and the development of a European standard for domestic spas and hot tubs (BS EN 17125); as well as revisions to the existing electric spa standard BS EN 60335-2-60.

BS EN 17125 defines Scandinavian hot tubs as a ‘spa for single use of water, where the water temperature is increased from an external heat source and which is sited outdoors’. These products are being sold for both domestic and business settings, with the need for emptying the products every few hours; depending on whether the water is potable or non-potable; and BISHTA believes these products need better guidance from the manufacturers to ensure they are used appropriately.

The ‘Electrical’ section of the 2019 Standards has been compiled following feedback from experts in various fields, but special thanks has been made by BISHTA to its partners NICEIC, who have not only delivered electrical courses to 100 people but have also provided feedback on the wording used in the electrical section. Now, as part of the new Standards, BISHTA strongly recommends the use of an earth electrode or earth mat for properties that do not already offer this type of earthing arrangement.

Within the 2019 Standards there is also a new section on ‘Energy Efficiency’ to take note of some of the content in BS EN 17125. BISHTA expects this section to evolve as this important topic of sustainability grows ever more popular with customers wanting energy-efficient products.

It is envisaged that the number of pages within the BISHTA Standards will continue to increase; due to the development of new and the revision of existing materials; with the development and revision of member factsheets as a vital additional support service. These factsheets are also available in the member’s area of the BISHTA website.

As part of the new 2019 Standards launch, BISHTA has stressed that the importance of HSG 282 for hot tubs used in a business activity, such as holiday parks and homes, cannot be overestimated. Although HSG 282 was a follow on from the Management of Spa Pools, which was published in 2006, BISHTA has reported that the industry has embraced the guidance so that the visitors to these locations are kept safe.

Much of the HSG 282 guidance, which is featured within the debut edition of WhatSpa? Holiday Park magazine, has also been included in BISHTA’s Water Hygiene Management Course that was updated in 2016, and more than 1,000 people have been through this training since 2016.

This has been proclaimed as an ‘incredible figure’ by BISHTA and it has thanked the various tutor teams that run these courses on its behalf; including Howard Gosling at Pool and Spa Advice; Chris Brady and his SpaTech Training division; Martin Rigby, Matt Roberts, John Key and Keith Pescott at Complete Pool Controls; as well as Jimmy Lamb and Lesley Hipkiss at Pollet Pool Group. Other tutors, including Robin Flux from Lonza / Arch Chemicals, can also offer the course and provide tuition when there is sufficient demand.

BISHTA has revealed that the revision of the 2019 Standards has only been possible thanks to the hard work of the BISHTA Technical Committee, compromising Howard Gosling, Stephen Crabb, Pete Grinnall, Chris Brady, Karl Rowntree, Lesley Hipkiss, and Matt Middleton.

There has also been specialist input from many of the BISHTA Committee members, who are currently not on the Technical Committee, and these include Tony Welsby, Martyn Winstone, Jonathan Bunn, Dorian Davies, Jimmy Lamb, Shaun Pickles, Kevin Newby and Dave Ramsden.

As part of its current nationwide alert, BISHTA has invited reputable dealers to report any manufacturers or retailers who are advertising that their hot tubs are exceeding 40°C; so that they can inform the relevant agencies and other consumers.

For information about having access to industry resources and the 2019 Standards by joining BISHTA, which is highlighting the importance of purchasing top quality hot tubs from a BISHTA member as part of consumer advertising within the latest edition of WhatSpa?, contact the Andover office on 01264 356211 or email