Hot Water Bottles Safety Standard BS 1970:2012

BS 1970, the internationally-recognised UK safety standard for rubber and PVC hot water bottles, has been amended as BS 1970:2012.  The main changes are as follows:

  • New filling requirements:
  • The inside faces of the hot water bottle shall not stick or block together during filling.
  • The hot water bottle shall fill to its recommended capacity within 30 s.

A filling procedure isn’t included.  However, filling time will partly depend on the filling aperture which is specified.

  • Reduction of the minimum elongation at break for PVC materials from 200 % to 150 %.
  • Additional and amended safety instructions:
  • “Do not overfill as this might cause the bottle to burst.”
  • “Finally, make sure the funnel is empty.  If there is a possibility that prolonged contact with the skin could occur, an adequate cover should be used to prevent burns.  Under no circumstance should the hot water bottle be used as a cushion and be sat on.”
  • “Do not place anything on top of the bottle during storage.”
  • “Check the bottle and stopper for wear and damage prior to use.”

Please note, these new and amended safety instructions are embedded among other minimum instructions (see BS 1970:2011).

In the absence of European or international hot water bottle safety standards, BS 1970, as the foremost hot water bottle safety standard may be used as a benchmark to assess hot water bottles under the general safety requirement of the EU General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC.

Furthermore, in Australia the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Hot Water Bottles) Regulations 2008 are based on several requirements of the earlier BS 1970:2006, covering capacity and thickness, filling requirements, stoppers, leakage, seam strength, pressure test and selected labelling.  However, please note:

  • These changes in BS 1970:2012 are additional to the mandatory Australian requirements based on the 2006 version of the standard.  So hot water bottles complying with either the 2012 or 2006 versions of BS 1970 will also comply.
  • The Australian requirements have the following additional labelling requirements compared to either version of BS 1970, hot water bottles shall be
  • Permanently and prominently marked with the warning:

“Do not use boiling water”

  • Accompanied by either of the following warnings (whichever is applicable):
  • “This hot water bottle is designed to be partly filled.” or
  • “This hot water bottle is designed to be completely filled.”

Should you have any queries on the above information, please contact: Richard Smith, tel: +44 (0)116 263 9620 / fax: +44 (0)116 282 4586 / e-mail: