A recent study conducted by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) has raised alarm about the safety of saunas in Uganda. The study, released on Monday, revealed that 90% of saunas in the country could potentially explode due to the use of firewood where the pressure regulation is done manually , posing a health risk. Flavia Gutto Bwire, the executive secretary of NBRB, stated that the saunas lacked qualified personnel to regulate the heat generated and often employed designs and installations not based on engineering principles, posing a significant risk to patrons.
The risk assessment survey, covering 21 health clubs (saunas) across Uganda, found that 9 out of 10 saunas surveyed were potentially explosive. In response to these findings, the NBRB has issued guidelines mandating safety measures for health clubs, including the installation of pressure relief valves, temperature gauges, visible timers, and proper ventilation for combustion.
The study’s revelations were underscored by past incidents in 2019 and 2021, where explosions in health clubs led to injuries and fatalities. Bwire emphasized the need for health club owners to consult professionals to ensure the safety of their clients and conduct routine maintenance. Additionally, the study recommended transitioning to electric devices, which adhere to standardized safety precautions against system overloads.
The findings have prompted urgent action, urging health clubs to implement the necessary safety measures and transition to safer heating methods, ensuring the well-being of sauna users across the country.