In a parody video celebrating the close-to-real-life gameplay of Grand Theft Auto V, a character is shown needing to get the shower temperature just right, lest he instantly die from the water being too hot. Of course, the entire thing is exaggerated—but there is still an all-too-real harm in taking a bath with water that is too hot.
Hot water injuries are serious enough that some lawyers offer litigation services for them. Studies show that 37 degrees Celsius is a safe temperature for hot bathing water. However, if the temperature gets any higher, people can anticipate third-degree burns in a matter of minutes or seconds. The American Burn Association says kids, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities will be at risk of scalding.
This should be a cause for concern in homes with operating gas water heaters, as these devices can get hot faster than electric ones. Their thermostats always have to be checked and adjusted so the water will be aptly warm. Defective thermostats can keep the too-hot setting permanently and must be repaired or replaced.
If, for some reason, you can't adjust the temperature because the knobs won't work, shut off your heater to prevent scalding. Never attempt to diagnose problems yourself especially if you have a gas water heater, due to the risk of an explosion. Allow a professional to handle it.