Does Certification for your Walk in Bathtub Matter?
Standards touch your life every day. Products that you encounter and use in daily life should be expected to conform to certain standards and certifications. Whether you are using your toaster, driving your car, using the elevator in a building or purchasing clothing or toys for your children, we all look to standards to ensure that product quality conforms to our expectations.
Canadian Standards International states “A standard is a document that has been prepared, approved, and published by a recognized standards organization, and contains rules, requirements, or procedures for an orderly approach to a specific activity. Standards may include product design requirements, test methods, classifications, recommended practices, and other considerations.
Many standards define safety requirements intended to reduce the risk of personal injury due to electrical shock or fire. Some standards set levels of performance for products. Some address social concerns, such as how our environment is managed or how information is used.” http://www.csa-international.org/who_accepts_csa/
For manufacturers, the process of certification is time consuming and very expensive. That cost is in-turn passed on to you the consumer, but it means a higher quality product and you can be confident that the manufacturer has put great effort into ensuring your safety. It also means that a product will be compatible with other household components such as electricity and plumbing.
There are a variety of walk in bathtubs on the market today with a great range in price. Those that are selling at an unbelievably low price are often not certified to Canadian and US standards. This may be because the manufacturer has just not wanted to spend the time or money to certify the product or it may be because the product is being manufactured in a country where such standards are not important.
When a qualified installer comes to do a walk in bathtub installation in your home, he/she must abide by the rules set out the trade industry which insist that the product being installed conform to CSA/UL standards for Canada and the US. If the product and or its components are not certified, a tradesperson cannot install it without putting his license as a tradesman in jeopardy. If there are problems with the product in regards to quality or safety you can go back to the manufacturer and expect to have the problem corrected.
A walk in bathtub is expected to ensure safe bathing for the user. What can be more important than safety, particularly to those who are most vulnerable, seniors and those with disabilities?
Does walk in bathtub certification matter? Yes, of course it does and though there may be models on the market that are so much less money than others, pay attention to their certification – it may mean the difference in your safety and yes, in even getting it installed.
Pat Krushen is a former teacher and sign language interpreter, hugely aware of lifestyle limitations due to physical abilities. She is currently a web designer and free lance writer, now involved in the walk in bathtub industry.