Hot water bottles
New hot water bottles that don't meet the specified version of the British Standard are banned under an Unsafe Goods Notice.
Unsafe Goods Notice
The import and sale of hot water bottles that don't meet the specified standard were banned following incidents where hot water bottles split, perished or leaked, and in some cases caused serious burns.
It was found that, in some brands of hot water bottles, the rubber or PVC was too thin — making them prone to failure. Many of these were marked as complying with the British Standard, but on closer inspection didn't appear to meet the standard.
New hot water bottles are subject to an Unsafe Goods Notice, which bans the import and sale of hot water bottles that don't meet the British Standard (BS 1970:2012).
Using a hot water bottle safely
Check the safety standard stamp
Check the safety standard on your rubber or PVC hot water bottle. This should be permanently marked on the bottle — usually stamped on the bottle neck. The accepted versions of the standard are British Standard:
- BS 1970:2012
- BS 1970:2006
- BS 1970:2001.
All new hot water bottles available for sale should only have BS 1970:2012 marked on the neck.
If you're unsure whether the standard listed on the bottle is genuine, either:
- dispose of the hot water bottle, or
- report it to the Commerce Commission.
- Always be careful when filling and using hot water bottles.
- Use a cover or wrap the bottle in a towel before using — this will help prevent burns.
- Check hot water bottles regularly for any splits or perishing — if the bottle is split or perished replace it with a new one.
- Make sure the top is firmly closed before using.
- For children and the elderly, use the bottle to warm the bed, then remove before the person gets into bed.
- Never use boiling water to fill your hot water bottle as this can cause the bottle to split or leak. Very hot water is fine to use.
- Don't lie or sit on the hot water bottle.
- Don't overfill.
- Don't use a hot water bottle that's showing signs of wear or splitting — replace it with a new one.
Reporting an issue with a hot water bottle
If you have a safety problem or concern with a hot water bottle, let us know.
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act you can get a refund, replacement or compensation if goods are unsafe. The Consumer Protection website has more information about what to do when you have a problem with goods.