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Social Housing has always been a market where the Surestop is a popular product.
Many social landlords now fit Surestop Water Switches and stopcocks as part of their decent homes specification particularly for kitchen upgrades with the switch often integrated into the kitchen design.
Just one of our Social landlords with long-term experience of fitting Surestop products is South Lanarkshire Council. South Lanarkshire Council is currently working through a £190 million investment programme called ‘Home Happening’, which aims to provide a new kitchen and bathroom in every one of their 25,000 homes.
More than 21,000 homes across South Lanarkshire have already been completed and the majority of these homes have had Surestop's fitted.
One South Lanarkshire Council tenant said:
"I have just had my kitchen and bathroom upgraded by the council, and the Surestop switch was put in as part of that. To be honest, I had never heard of this sort of switch before, but I think it is a great idea. Previously, if there was ever an emergency where we needed to turn off the water immediately, it would be odds-on that we would never find the right place to turn it off. Now, we know that the switch is available should we ever need it in a hurry, and that sort of peace of mind is invaluable.”
Multi–story flats and apartments present a particular risk with regards to water leaks. A burst pipe in one flat or apartment can not only affect the occupier but all of the surrounding properties as well, which could in a worst case scenario mean having to re-house a number of families while the affected properties are dried out and refurbished.
Sandwell Homes manages and maintains 29,200 properties for Sandwell Council and within the housing stock are 3,000 high rise flats. Around £65 million has already been invested in bringing twenty one blocks up to the Government’s Decent Homes standard, making living conditions better for all who live in them as well as radically improving the Sandwell skyline.
The Investment Team at Sandwell Homes recognised the particular risk posed by water leaks in high-rise properties.
Paul Arundel, Sandwell Homes Senior Building Surveyor commented:
"Surestop devices provide an innovative solution where conventional stop valves are inaccessible or the householder has a mobility difficulty that
makes the operation of a conventional valve impossible"
Surestop Water Switches have emerged as a solution to a long running challenge faced by the prison service in the UK. Difficult and disruptive prisoners will sometimes cause damage to the plumbing systems within their cell to create a water leak. This is often timed to create the maximum disruption, often happening just after the prison’s on-site maintenance team have left for the day and there are fewer staff present within the prison.
The prisoner then needs to be moved to another cell and it may not always be possible for the staff present to deal with the burst pipe. It can take a considerable amount of time for the water leak to be dealt with and in this period considerable damage can be done to the cell and the refurbishment process can take weeks or months.
The Surestop water switch provides the solution to the problem. The valve can be installed on the incoming water supply with the switch which can be located up to 12 metres away from the valve in an easily accessible position allowing a prison warden a very easy way to shut off water in a cell should this problem occur.
Surestops have been trialled successfully by a number of prisons around the UK including HMP Acklington, HMP Wellingborough, HMP Preston, HMP Castington and HMP Bedford.