Following three years of research and development, a Hebburn-based manufacturing company is the first in the UK to secure a much vaunted British Standard kitemark for its composite flood defence doors.
Watergate Flood Solutions, based on the Holystone Estate, already has an established customer base for its flood defence products, and this is now set to expand rapidly following the award of British Standard Institute (BSI) PAS1188-1-2014 for its composite doors. The same kitemark for its PVCu flood doors was also obtained.
All of the production for these two products is going to the 2015/2016 Storm Desmond hit areas of the UK namely the Scottish Borders, Cumbria, Lancashire Northumberland and North Yorkshire.
The Environment Agency has identified that around 5.2 million properties in England, or one in six properties, are at risk of flooding. More than 5 million people live and work in 2.4 million properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, one million of which are also at risk of surface water flooding. A further 2.8 million properties are susceptible to surface water flooding alone.
All flood prevention products that have a BSI kitemark are vigorously independently tested at a BSI facility in Hertfordshire and the manufacturing plant is assessed for the quality of the production of the product which is continued on a regular basis, typically once or twice a year.
The doors were tested against the standard set of tests as defined in BSI PAS 1188-1:2014 which represent typical conditions that might be experienced during a flood in the UK. This includes testing the product for leakage under static water levels of 600MM above aperture threshold levels, waves of up to 0.1 meter high and parallel currents of up to 1.0m/s.
The Watergate composite flood door has a fifteen point locking system that extends all the way down the lock side along the bottom and 600 mm up on the hinge side. The outer frame and door sash are fully reinforced with steel. The sash consists of two 5mm glass reinforced plastic (GRP) panels that are filled with high impact foam. The door has an extended disabled access handle to enable easier action when locking the door. Bespoke designed gaskets ensure the doors are totally watertight and the product is covered by a ten year manufacturers’ warranty.
The Watergate PVCu door has all the above features, but the centre panel has a double reinforced PVCu panel as opposed to the GRP skinned panel.
Paul Briggs, managing director, for Watergate Flood Solutions, said: “After three years of intensive research and development, we now have both a PVCu and composite door kitemarked to British Standard Institute (BSA) PAS1188-1-2014 – the only company in the UK to achieve this double success. BSI is the world leader in testing of products and certification standards and our products are the first of their type to have achieved this standard in the UK.
“We will, in the near future, also have our composite door tested to carry the Secure By Design logo, which is only issued to companies that have subjected their products to rigorous security testing. So, in essence, we now not only have a product that is BSI kitemarked for the prevention of flooding, but will also soon be certified as meeting the most rigorous standards of security. A combination of both these factors makes our doors unique to the market and provides a compelling case for specification by the insurance industry, building contractors and householders.”
All of the production for these two products is going to the 2015/2016 Storm Desmond hit areas of the UK namely the Scottish Borders, Cumbria, Lancashire Northumberland and North Yorkshire. Most of the work goes to agents acting for the various authorities who administer the household flood resilience grant scheme, entitling flood victims to a £5,000 grant for flood defences.
Paul Briggs, added: “While we are delighted to have achieved the kitemark this is tempered by the fact that of the 12,000 properties flooded in Cumbria alone only 4,100 (just over 30%) have taken up the scheme. We are unsure as to what the take up is in the other areas. It may just be because of a lack of good communications to householders, but we are concerned that the message is not getting through to flood victims that there are flood door defence products available, of which ours are the only ones kitemarked.”