Project Summary

The threat from flooding to life and property is expected to become a pressing concern in the future. Ongoing research has identified the potential contribution that small-scale flood protection technologies can bring to flood risk management. Although an emergent sector within the United Kingdom, these technologies (including window and door guards, pumps and non-return valves) could offer greater protection to homes and businesses exposed to several types of flooding. But importantly, devices will only be effective if appropriately fitted and correctly used. It is vital, therefore, that those who may benefit from these innovations are helped to understand the complexities of flooding, and are directed to sources of support that will enable them to take informed decisions.

Some guidance to help homeowners install and maintain such ‘property level protection’ has been developed by Dr Paul O’Hare at Manchester Met with the Building Research Establishment and colleagues at the University of Manchester. The Guide “Six Steps to Flood Resilience: Guidance for property owners”, includes advice for the initial surveying of properties, help to identify measures that are most appropriate for individual circumstances, and information regarding the long-term maintenance and operation of protective devices. The guidance was developed through collaboration with manufacturers, government agencies, insurers, local authorities, and with communities that have been subjected to past flooding. It is accompanied by a more detailed guidance document for local authorities and others responsible for civil protection.

The guidance can be freely downloaded from below: 

The research was funded by the EU FP7 funded SMARTesT Project and has been endorsed by the National Flood Forum, the Association of British Insurers, Defra, Environment Agency, the Flood Protection Association, and the Local Government Association.

For further information, please contact Dr Paul O'Hare, email: or visit the project website.