Beyond limiting BS Kitemark standard flood prod...

Beyond limiting BS Kitemark standard flood products

Flood charities like the National Flood Forum and the UK government, in trying to standardise flood products to provide certainty and reassurance to potential flood victims, have created and promote an expensive test to British Standards to determine how well a product works under specific test conditions.

“Nothing new in that,” you say, all products must pass British Standards and / or EU standards to be sold in the UK so, "what is the problem"?

Here are two key questions:

  1. What are the limitations to the standard, and how it is applied?
  1. What are the benefits or disadvantages of restricting your choice to products the government and councils deem worthy of your attention and money?

The answer to the first question is simple. All tests are limited because the results are only applicable to the one sample that was tested and the actual conditions under which the sample was tested.

So what does that mean to you and me?

Think about it this way. We were convinced to buy a diesel-fuelled car because the government thought it generated fewer greenhouse gases than petrol because they travelled further per litre of fuel. They tax incentivised Diesel engine purchases that consume less than petrol. ‘Great,’ we thought, ‘who wants to damage our climate when we can do better and save money?’

Ah, but then it was realised that our air was becoming so dirty that it broke EU safety standards. Not that the World Health Organisation or the EU or the British government did not know that diesel fumes included unhealthy particulate matter – that is why they kept upping the exhaust standards.

The point is that the standards were limited; they checked a pristine condition new engine’s exhaust and emissions under very specific test conditions and the government focused on one element more than others intervening in the market by subsidizing & promoting diesel. In real life due to: natural wear and tear, poor maintenance, and the way the vehicles were actually driven stopping and starting through heavy traffic, the results were quite different.

A BS Kitemarked flood protection product; if not well maintained or mounted precisely as in the test lab, where no debris is blown between joints and everything is new and square not warped by time or wear and tear, is just as likely to fail as one that is not BS Kitemarked.

As to the second question, what are the benefits or disadvantages of restricting your choice to products the government has deemed worthy of your attention and money?

Consider this.

Did you know that fewer than 1 in 3 people who have actually been flooded invest in any kind of flood protection? Imagine a significant emotional, physical and financial setback in your life and once you are back on your feet you decide not to be better prepared for that eventuality again.That would be like having a car crash, finding out that an air bag and wearing a seatbelt would have made all the difference and - after recovering - deciding you would not upgrade to a car with airbags or wear a seatbelt.

If the airbags were expensive to buy, fit and maintain or required you to upgrade your vehicle beyond your budget that could influence your decision. You may say, “No, it costs too much, it’s too much hassle and I will just use seatbelts in the future.”

Imagine a product like Flood Traps is like using a seat belt. In an ideal world, you would have both the airbag that automatically works when you have a crash and the seatbelt you have to fit yourself every trip.

If you restrict your choice to the government & council promoted / endorsed BS Kitemarked flood mitigation products, you could talk yourself out of taking any action to be prepared. Before you upgrade, at least take the first step to reduce the cost and heartache of being flooded, buy low cost easy-to-use effective Flood Traps for your doors.