Reassurance On Holiday Hot Tubs

Reassurance On Holiday Hot Tubs

UntitledFollowing an entrapment incident involving a five-year-old British boy while on holiday in South Africa, UK hot tub suppliers are strongly emphasising that such cases are extremely rare and the vast majority of UK hot tubs pose no risk.
In April, Sam Leathes was holidaying with his family when he became trapped underwater in the hot tub. Sam had swum over the hot tub’s drain and his tummy covered the grille, when the suction pressure from the circulation system entrapped his stomach on the drain.
Quick-thinking family members frantically found the hot tub’s control buttons and managed to release the vacuum. Sam was pulled unconscious and blue out of the water, but came round and has since made a full recovery.


While it is important for owners of holiday hot tubs and swimming pools to be constantly vigilant of all potential risks surrounding spas and hot tubs, manufacturers say entrapment cases are rare and the majority of hot tubs pose no risk.
Commenting on the incident, Lloyd Burden of leading hot tub manufacturer Hydropool said: “We sympathise with the family involved in this incident but can confidently say that, because of the methods of modern portable spa construction, it would be unlikely for a similar incident to happen in the UK,” he said.
“But for older or non-portable spa installations such as concrete spas, we would strongly recommend an
independent safety check.”
Burden adds: “If any holiday park operators would like reassurance, then I would suggest they go back to their suppliers for confirmation on a brand by brand basis.”
Many companies within the UK’s pool and spa industries have been campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of entrapment for years, much of which fall on deaf ears.
These include Mineral Supplies International (MSI), which has supplied the Vac-Alert anti-entrapment device to UK and European markets since 1996.
Installed on both pools and hot tubs, the Vac-Alert responds within a millisecond to any increase in filter pump suction; spring-loaded pistons open the pipe to atmosphere, freeing a person trapped by life-threatening suction.
“Entrapment has severe consequences and in many recorded cases globally can be fatal, particularly in the case of younger children,” said MSI’s Bob Kent.
“This is why we have been working with major holiday operators and cruise liners who want to demonstrate when it comes to their customers, they will put duty of care first every time.”

Hot Tubs Are The Golden Goose

Hot tubs are a highly profitable addition to a holiday letting. Pic: Caldera Spas.

Hot tubs are a highly profitable addition to a holiday letting. Pic: Caldera Spas.

Hot Tubs Are The Golden Goose

Hot tubs are the must-have ingredient in the recipe to holiday booking success it has been revealed.

According to self-catering specialists Hoseasons, a private hot tub is the number one searched for item on the website, accounting for more than 100,000 searches each month.

“Hot tubs really are the golden goose of the holiday market,” comments Jon Moxon, business development manager at Hoseasons.

“There’s been a meteoric rise in the popularity of hot tub holidays since our first unit went on sale at Faweather Grange, Yorkshire, in 1997. These days there are more than 2,500 lodges and luxury holiday homes with hot tubs across our portfolio, with unit numbers increasing by 21% since 2013.”

A highly profitable addition to a holiday letting, there are however, potentially hazardous pitfalls to avoid before taking the hot tub plunge. Although more affordable, domestic hot tubs are designed solely for home use and are not intended for commercial use. “Avoid the temptation of buying a cheap spa on the internet,” advises Chris Brady of Lincolnshire-based 1 Stop Spas, who is heading up the UK branch of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.

“We come across plenty of customers whose opinion when buying was ‘I only want a cheap spa because I’m only renting it out’. Like most electrical equipment, buying cheap isn’t always cost effective over a few years.”

He adds: “Cheap spas can cost up to ten times as much to run, meaning higher overheads. They are often fitted with cheap components, therefore the reliability is not very good meaning in inconvenient downtime for you and rental customers.”

Safety First For Holiday Hot Tubs


Peter Heffer, director of holiday parks at Lorica Insurance warns hot tub owners to ensure they have the right insurance cover.

Safety First For Holiday Hot Tubs

The increasing popularity and demand for holiday hot tubs can be a double-edged sword for holiday park operators.

Installing a hot tub is a substantial investment that can add real value to a holiday property. Even so, unexpected events can happen which can result in serious damage to the tub or to the bathers. For this reason park owners should be aware of the risks and ensure that they’re fully protected by their insurance policy.

“Firstly, there is the risk of damage to the hot tub itself and an insurer needs to appreciate that they are providing cover for this aspect,” explains Peter Heffer, director of holiday parks at Lorica Insurance.

"For example, is the tub an intrinsic part of the holiday or residential home structure or is it a standalone unit, which is arguably contents.”

Peter adds: “Other important questions to think about include does the sum insured cater for the hot tub? Does the insurer provide full policy cover or are certain losses, such as escape of water and accidental damage, excluded? Will cover operate if the home is sub-let?”

There is also the question of cover for injury to third parties. When it comes to hot tubs there can be increased risk of disease if the tub is not properly cared for and maintained to a high standard. With this in mind, Peter stresses the importance of ensuring that you are covered for legal liability to members of the public should they contract an illness or suffer an injury whilst using the hot tub.

Peter adds: “Lastly, you should consider if your insurance policy involves any special conditions that require you to conform to manufacturers’ safety and maintenance requirements. Whether the hot tub was professionally installed or not can also affect the policy.”

Lorica strongly recommend that you check your individual requirements and cover position with your insurance advisor. Talk to the Lorica team today to be sure you are prepared and fully covered for all eventualities.

Lorica Insurance Brokers
Tel. +44 (0)7827 895671



Hot tubs can add value to holiday lets but operators need to look before they leap.

Hot tubs now regularly feature on the wish list of holiday makers looking to book a range of holiday accommodation from cabins, lodges and chalets to some of the more luxurious ‘glamping’ packages at holiday sites throughout the UK and Eire.

For holiday park operators, the addition of a hot tub is a tempting prospect. It makes a lodge stand apart from a comparable cabin at a competing location, while creating the option for a premium price level for ‘superior accommodation’ with hot tubs. It also adds to the kudos of the site generally as a ‘five star’ holiday venue.

A handful of the bigger holiday park operators have invested in ‘adapted’ portable tubs with remote commercial filtration and chemical dosing for their luxury lodges. These are generally much larger than the average portable spa with bigger and better filtration and sanitation systems along with other features that suit much heavier use in theme parks and health spas.

But, over the past ten years, a vast majority of smaller holiday park operators and holiday let owners, have just purchased and operate what are in fact domestic hot tubs only designed for home, and not intended for commercial use.


While holiday park operators rush to meet the demands of prospective customers and a welcome boost to sales – hot tub suppliers should make clear about the health and safety considerations that come with every holiday hot tub installation – advising customers appropriately and not succumbing to lower standards for the lure of quick or bulk sale.

“Any pool of water being used by a paying customer would bring it under the category of commercial use. It is the case for hot tubs installed into a holiday lodge. They are there for commercial use,” advises Jimmy Lamb, UK Bayrol product manager for the Pollet Pool Group, and a leading expert in hot tub care.

“It’s not as straight forward to simply plonk a hot tub into any log cabin, chalet or holiday lodge and expect the hirer to get on with it. If the water is not maintained properly things can quickly go wrong,” warns Lamb.

“One risk is the fast dissipation of the disinfection residual as the holiday maker, his family and all of their friends embark on the inevitable hot tub party.

“Once the disinfectant is allowed to diminish, bacteria are allowed to multiply exposing the risk of cross contamination between bathers. Rashes and skin complaints will result in an unhappy holiday maker seeking some form of compensation but, we all know that other waterborne diseases can develop in poorly treated pools that can become a lot more serious than just a rash.”

And he stresses: “A legally-required risk assessment should highlight the requirement for operating procedures of such an installation to include regular draining, disinfecting of the tub, pipework and filter after each letting.”

The HPA (Health Protection Agency) has produced a booklet called ‘Management of Spa Pools’. This booklet offers advice on the installation of what is generally a product designed for domestic use being installed into a commercial facility. It states that if there are a number of premises sharing the pool then a commercial spa is required. The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association also offer member fact sheets about these installations and have further advice within their standards.

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