Importance of Kitemark Certified Flood Protection Products
Choosing flood protection products - an area where, until recently, there has been little readily available guidance - can be made easier if you now look for the Kitemark symbol on flood protection products. This is of particular relevance since 2007 when the UK's worst floods in 60 years resulted in an estimated £3.3 billion worth of insurance claims.
In response to the need for information and advice in choosing and using flood products, a host of partners, including the Environment Agency, commissioned HR Wallingford to develop a test facility and certification scheme. The scheme is managed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and will result in approved products being awarded a BSI Kitemark.
Performance specifications for two types of product have been developed by HR Wallingford in conjunction with BSI:
Removable products for installation as barriers across building apertures, e.g. doors and airbricks
Temporary, freestanding barriers which are assembled close to, but not in contact with, building(s)
Property flood skirt systems
Products are tested in a purpose designed test rig at HR Wallingford and are subjected to a factory test to ensure product quality.
Many insurance companies are now starting to offer flood cover based on the actual level of risk. This means that the companies will want to know what local flood protection measures have been put in place, and will take into account effective actions taken to protect homes and businesses. Appropriate actions may include the use of flood products bearing the Kitemark, where these reduce the flood risk affecting the properties.