If you could revisit a home that was built 100 years ago, it would have been heated by coal fires, lit by gas lights, and the mains water supply in the property would have been controlled with a brass valve called a stopcock.
In the last 100 years we have seen fantastic innovation in the way modern homes are built.
Our homes are kept warm with central heating and thermostatic controls which can now be wirelessly operated. We can also control our lighting at the flick of a switch, but we still control our water supply with a difficult to turn brass stopcock!
So why is this a problem?
Every other service that we use in our home has evolved so that a homeowner can easily access it and use it. However in today’s new homes the brass stopcock is normally hidden behind our fitted kitchens. Out of sight is out of mind, and as a result 30% of the population do not know where their stopcock is located and are therefore powerless to do anything in the event of a water leak.
For the elderly or the 10 million people in the UK who suffer with arthritis the brass stopcock is almost impossible to use.
This inability to control mains water in our homes has meant that insurance claims for escape of water have doubled since 1993, and escape of water is now a bigger risk for insurers than fire or burglary. During December 2010 there were over 100,000 UK insurance claims for burst pipes at an average cost of £6600 each.
However there is now a solution
The range of Surestop stopcocks and water switches now allow you to easily control your mains water supply at the flick of a switch. Our remote water switches can easily be located in an accessible position such as just above the worktop or inside a kitchen cupboard door.
The Surestop was invented in the UK and is manufactured using components from UK suppliers. Since its launch in 1999 hundreds of thousands have been sold. The Surestop is specified by over 250 different local authorities and housing associations as well a large installation groups such as British Gas and Homeserve.
In the UK, our Winter conditions adversely affect many homes, causing water pipes to expand and rupture in properties and ultimately causing irrevocable damage, as well as triggering what has been reported as the most common type of homeowner insurance claim during the winter period – the escape of water, as a result of burst water pipes.
Polypipe Surestop, the leading manufacturer of innovative leak defence stopcocks, are pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Earnshaw as their new Managing Director.
Property maintenance is essential if you want to keep your property in a good condition. Negligence in dealing with small repairs runs the risk of escalating into major issues. For instance, a small drip can result in significant water damage if it is not fixed. Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord or tenant taking charge and protecting your property will benefit your home.