Last year was the UK’s second wettest since records began, affecting almost 8,000 thousand homes and businesses. In July we experienced our warmest driest month since 2006, but flash flooding still hit the headlines with a month’s worth of rainfall falling overnight in Leicestershire.
Approximately 185,000 commercial properties are at risk of flooding across England and Wales and the figures from last year relating to business claims are quite shocking:
- A total of 47,000 business property claims were made in 2012 following flood and storm damage, which totalled a £373m pay out (ABI 2013).
- Insurers handed out £40m to firms to help them continue trading while their premises were repaired. (ABI 2103)
As we now head towards the winter months the threat of flooding again looms. So what can you do to protect your business facilities?
Water ingress can result in many thousands of pounds worth of damage to a building’s structure or contents and result in damaged stock and costly downtime. As the Environment Agency point out most businesses can save between 20 and 90 per cent on the cost of lost stock and movable equipment just by simply taking action to prepare in advance for flooding.
It is worthwhile asking for a survey to identify those points of your facilities that may be at risk from flooding. This will identify all potential points of water ingress and recommend a range of suitable flood mitigation measures.
Flood mitigation solutions for businesses have now come a long way from the humble sandbag. Many products are now ‘passive’ – situated permanently on your premises and working using the power of the water alone to activate, requiring no people or power. These are essential if your facilities are unmanned at certain times, or weather conditions prevent staff from accessing the area.
One of our newest additions to the Flood Angel® range is a great example of a passive product that is multi-functional and designed specifically for use on commercial and industrial premises. The Flood Angel® Steel Security and Flood Door is the only kitemarked high specification steel flood proof and security door on the market. This highly versatile and cost effective security rated door effectively protects against fire, flood and unauthorised entry, providing the ideal solution for unmanned or remote locations, such as utility sites, where high security levels are required.
A good example of where this product has successfully been applied is the Wessex Energy Centre, one of E.ON’s substations.
If you already know your business is located in an area of high flood risk, then you can sign up for the Environment Agency’s 24/7 flood alert service - Floodline Warnings Direct, which gives you instant access to the latest flood risk updates.