Caveat Emptor

Emma Staniforth | 23 April 2020

How To Choose Your Sauna and Steam Room Specialists;

Recently, we have been called to several sites looking to have reports carried out on their existing sauna and steam units either for insurance purposes, repairs, maintenance or replacements that are required. In some instances, the facilities have been in situ for many years but unfortunately, in other locations, the saunas and steam rooms are very new but already displaying problems and potential hazards.

Saunas and steam rooms are facilities that run at high temperatures, with some in operation for 18+ hours a day in both domestic and commercial situations, meaning that not everyone utilising these pieces of kit treat them with the respect they deserve as they can potentially be dangerous if misused, or indeed, if they are manufactured or installed incorrectly.

When members of the public (but not limited to) are using these facilities, then the utmost care needs to be taken to ensure a safe environment is created but all too often, we are finding that inexperienced trades people are dabbling in areas where experienced personnel only should be working.

Recently, across several sites we have seen the following;

  • The misuse and incorrect installation of fire board which presents a very real danger and potential fire risk
  • Incorrectly installed glazing which has left walls moving and glass at risk of breaking in a commercial centre, poolside
  • Incorrect timbers installed within a sauna that has left resin literally running down the walls which presents a risk of third degree burns when the sauna is at temperature. This combined with the lack of backrests means that a member of the public bathing in these facilities may be hospitalised for treatment if they come into contact with the burning resin

These are a few of the more dangerous issues we have encountered recently as all were in commercial centres which not only leave the public vulnerable to injury, but also leave the commercial centres exposed to potential lawsuits and compensation claims for the injury.

When involved in the planning of a new sauna/steam room/spa project, we readily provide references and examples of our past work as we believe that testimonials from clients offer a true representation of quality of craftsmanship, customer service and professionalism that they received when working with us. It is easy for a company to create the illusion of these traits but we believe that testimonials and the ability to view or use our past installations are the only way to substantiate these claims.

Our recommendation to anyone looking to invest in these fantastic, but specialist pieces of equipment, is always ask your supplier for testimonials and evidence of past work and any reputable supplier should happily provide this. If you are met with resistance upon this request – as we are informed all too often from clients that approach us, how difficult it was to try and obtain this information from other companies – then this should ring alarm bells as to what the company may not be wanting you to find out.

If you would like to know any further information about our products, services or things to look out for, please contact us to discuss with a team member today.