NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Aston Science Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2007/03/22 - A pioneering home protection device which was developed by two Birmingham taxi drivers has now reached the market with support from Advantage West Midlands’ Innovation Networks programme.
The DoorDefender is a unique mechanism that fits to the hinge side of a doorframe and cannot be broken or snapped like a conventional door chain.
It allows residents to check identification of callers but if the door is pushed or kicked from the outside, the DoorDefender will snap shut, using the aggressor’s own strength to close the door.
The device has been tested to withstand up to 750 kg of force and has passed independent testing by Birmingham City Council.
The idea was developed by Willearn Ltd, set up by Kingshurst taxi drivers Ernie Griffin and Bill Whelen, and is completely manufactured in the West Midlands.
Innovation Networks is a project funded by Advantage West Midlands (advantagewm.co.uk) which provides grants to groups of companies who are collaborating on the development of an innovative product, process or service.
The Innovation Networks programme helped Willearn develop and test the DoorDefender to tough market and safety specifications.
Ernie Griffin, Director of Willearn Ltd, said: “The idea first came about a few years back me and Bill read about a doorstep attack on an elderly woman and there was a pretty terrible photograph of the beating she’d taken.
“I used to be an engineer and decided to see if I could come up with a better way of stopping intruders than simply the traditional security chain which is only as strong as the fittings around the door.
“The idea I eventually came up with was to have the device on the hinge-side of the door so it braces the door against forced entry.”
“The way it works is by absorbing the force of anybody pushing from the outside and literally striking back at the intruder meaning you keep your security.”
“The DoorDefender has gone through a number of designs and now, finally, the product is on the market.”
“The support we received from Innovation Networks was instrumental in enabling us to test the product and get it ready so it can be made.”
“We’re very proud of the fact that the DoorDefender is actually manufactured entirely in the West Midlands and also that we’ve done something that will keep people safer and even save lives.”
“It’s taken time to get the product right but now it’s on the market it’s full steam ahead and we’re hoping to develop a version with an alarm in the future.”
Dr Phil Extance, Advantage West Midlands Director of Innovation, said: “One of the key challenges our region faces is in innovation and the development of new products and processes.
“DoorDefender is a fantastic example of how innovation can come from the most basic of ideas and, with a bit of support from Advantage West Midlands, has been able to bring the product to the market.”
“Conventional door chains are more of a deterrent than a functional safety device but the DoorDefender is able to do both.”
“Having a great idea is one thing – getting it to the marketplace is a different thing altogether and we’re delighted to have been able to help make this happen through Innovation Networks.”