Residential and nursing homes: focus on user safety and protection

7-minute read

Residential and nursing homes provide all-round care to their vulnerable inhabitants, helping elderly and less mobile people whose immune systems are no longer fully functional or whose reaction speeds may also be impaired. In many applications here, special rules apply concerning drinking water hygiene and the operation of a drinking water installation. After all: diseases that can be caused by Legionella, for example, are considerably more dangerous for these individuals than for young and healthy people. Accordingly, residential and nursing facilities should use equipment with features such as anti-scalding protection and ensure routine, automated stagnation flushes, for example. 

The contamination of drinking water installations with bacteria that are harmful to health is especially critical in buildings that are used by people with a weakened immune system. Various factors need to be considered in order to prevent such a situation. Key questions to be addressed include the quality of the products installed, as well as professional planning and operation. This is where SCHELL provides valuable support and suitable products.

Optimum support for drinking water hygiene 

To ensure first-class drinking water hygiene, avoiding the excessive spread of bacteria is the first and most important step. The three relevant parameters are nutrients, temperature and time. To minimise access to nutrients for these undesirable organisms, only products whose materials have passed microbiological testing to DVGW W 270 should be installed. Temperatures must be kept above 55 °C for hot water, while cold water piping should not rise above 25 °C. Installing hot and cold water lines in separate sets of ducting avoids reciprocal heating or cooling occurring between them. The third factor, time, is relevant for the building operator, who is responsible for specified normal operation. Accordingly, operators must ensure a complete water exchange across all tapping points every three days (72 h). 

Staying safe with SCHELL SWS
With the SCHELL SWS Water Management System, all of this can be handled digitally and automatically. Networked electronic fittings regulate the exchange of water in the entire drinking water installation while minimising costs for maintenance and servicing, as less work needs to be completed on site. Even in old, oversized installations, the turbulent flow necessary for good hygiene can still be ensured across these integrated tapping points. This avoids situations where bacteria cross the critical thresholds for growth. The water management system can be deployed throughout a building, or only in specific parts or sections. Temperature sensors monitor drinking water temperatures. All activities are logged, along with temperatures. This creates a drinking water hygiene audit trail that helps operators to comply with regulations such as the German VDI 6023. 

Site-independent monitoring with SMART.SWS
For easy monitoring of drinking water quality, SCHELL SMART.SWS can also be used. This supplementary online service provides worldwide access to the drinking water installation. All data is of course encrypted during transmission. As a key benefit for nursing and residential homes, which often consist of multiple buildings, SMART.SWS lets facility managers control and monitor fittings in all properties simultaneously. As a consequence, this saves time and money, and allows easy and efficient planning of maintenance work.

Bluetooth module: the practical alternative 
Alternatively, the SSC Bluetooth® module  makes electronic fittings Bluetooth-ready, and so enables data transfers between a smartphone or tablet and the SCHELL fitting via a paired wireless connection. The fittings can be programmed using the Bluetooth® module together with the free app developed by SCHELL for iOS and Android. The module also offers additional functionality for the programming of stagnation flushes.

Perfect products for construction and renovation

The SCHELL portfolio has the right products for the high-risk situations found in residential and nursing homes. Many of the fittings for wash basins, kitchens, showers, WCs and urinals are equipped with infrared sensors for contactless triggering and automated stagnation flushes. This avoids contact with the fitting during operation and therefore prevents the transmission of diseases. Automated stagnation flushes provide support for maintaining drinking water hygiene. One product that is an ideal choice for use in nursing applications is the VITUS exposed fitting. Offering a wide range of models – including those with infrared sensors, arm levers and shower fittings – this is especially suited to renovation projects. In new-build developments, too, optimum support for drinking water hygiene makes this fitting an appealing choice. The CELIS E electronic wash basin tap is a robust fitting offering a compact module height combined with harmonious proportions: its timeless design, contactless actuation and optional stagnation flush activation makes this fitting the perfect solution for residential and nursing home fit-outs.

Better safety with anti-scalding protection

Elderly people and those in need of care are often limited in terms of their mobility and reaction speed. This makes them more likely to suffer scalding injuries. The SCHELL angle valve thermostat with anti-scalding protection offers the ideal solution here, in cases where fittings do not have built-in anti-scalding protection – such as the XERIS E-T or VITUS mentioned above. This small, additional fitting is the perfect choice for public and semi-public facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, nursery schools, etc. – as the thermostat means that a previously set maximum temperature is never exceeded. Users and residents of these facilities can no longer suffer burns from excessively hot water, and a thermal disinfection to protect against Legionella can also be performed at any time. The angle valve thermostat from SCHELL offers a reliable, easy to install and visually attractive solution for anti-scalding protection. The thermostat is installed above the angle valve for the hot water pipe, with a connection pipe to the cold water line, thereby guaranteeing that the draw-off temperature remains constant, e.g. at 38 °C – irrespective of pressure fluctuations. 

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