Combatting Legionnaires disease – What can we do?

Silent but deadly, Legionnaires disease is a health risk for businesses to look out for in their building systems as we head into the peak of summer. We take a look at how digital thermometers from Martindale Electric can help target the disease.

Legionella bacteria is found naturally in freshwater environments, such as streams and lakes, and rarely causes illness in people. However, the bacteria have found an agreeable home in our urban environments, thriving in installations such as cooling towers, and air conditioning and industrial cooling systems in larger buildings, such as hotels and hospitals.

If these systems are not properly maintained, small droplets of water containing the bacterium can get into the air where people breathe it in. It can then cause a serious form of pneumonia, called Legionnaires disease. While treatable, Legionnaires can be fatal, with a mortality rate of up to 10% (higher in the immunosuppressed). Therefore, those responsible for building maintenance and estate management should maintain their water HVAC systems properly and effectively to mitigate the risk of infection.

Part of the solution, according to Martindale Electric, includes monitoring building systems with digital thermometers. Used in both hot/cold water systems and wet cooling systems, the DT173 digital thermometer is suited to HVAC servicing and monitoring. The tool is a single input digital thermometer, supplied with a bead thermocouple as standard.

The ThermokitLGN Legionella Testing Thermometer Kit, includes two surface and immersion probes, which can monitor and test the temperature of both standing water, and the surface of pipes and tanks which form part of a water system, and so is reported to meet the revised Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) issued by the Government’s Health and Safety Executive.

Whilst most are enjoying the summer months, the warm weather can encourage legionella bacteria which can grow in water temperatures of around 20-45°C. The DT173 thermometer is said to have a measuring range of -200°C to 1372°C and a MIN/MAX/AVG mode for recording extremes of readings. When used like this, the auto power off function is said to disable to allow you to record over longer periods of time.

The thermometer is supplied in a tough holster to protect it from a multitude of work environments and has large digits and a back light for easy viewing in all light conditions. There is a fold away built-in stand, and its readings can be displayed in either Centigrade or Fahrenheit.

The symptoms of Legionella’s disease are similar to the flu and can include a high temperature, cough, muscle aches amongst others, and, if not severe, can be treated with a course of antibiotics.

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