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Category: News

Ten Year Anniversary Brings ISO 9001:2015 Re-certification

We’re delighted to announce that in our tenth year of trading, we have been successfully re-certified to ISO 9001:2015 standard.

The industry recognised standard was awarded following an audit in line with UKAS and IAF requirements.

Despite the assessment being held remotely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our fantastic team were able to demonstrate full compliance of every area of the standard in relation to Quality Management Systems.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge well done to everyone involved and thank you to all our wonderful partners and clients for their continued support.

A Successful 2017 Advanced Principles of Fire Dynamics with Dr James Quintiere! 2018 bookings being taken now!!

With 16 delegates fully engaging with the theory and practical lessons delivered by Dr Quintiere and Mr Bob Schaal during their three day course last week, bookings are now being taken for the 2018 offering. Feedback from the delegates was extremely positive and each candidate successfully passed the course and was awarded 22.5 hours CPD with the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

Although the delegates were a mixture of forensic fire investigators and fire engineers, all were from the private sector. This course is also extremely beneficial for operational firefighters and fire officers as understanding fire science and fire dynamics enables a safer operational fire scene with the application of correct fire fighting tactics.

Please email if you wish to know further details for the 2018 course which will be held at the BRE Academy on 12, 13 and 14 June 2018.


Another Anniversary

Fire Investigations (UK) LLP (FI-UK and FI Global) have just completed their third successful trading year. Our client base continues to grow as insurers, loss adjusters and lawyers recognise our enthusiastic, refreshing approach to providing unbiased, professional expertise in respect of their fire claims. These include domestic and commercial properties, vehicle and marine losses and product liability claims.

First Winner of the Fire Investigations UK Development Award 2013

The first winner of the Fire Investigations UK Development Award received her prize for the essay competition, improvements in Fire Investigation. The award winner is 19-year-old Victoria Brand of Bridgend College of Further Education.

Victoria was studying for the Level 3 BTEC Award in Forensic Science when FI-UK’s Mike Flanagan treated her and her fellow students to a presentation on fire investigation. It was Mike who initiated the award on behalf of FI-UK (LLP) challenging students to reflect on what they had learned and to explain how they thought fire investigation could be improved. Victoria’s entry was the winning submission according to Mike, for “…it’s engaging and interesting style and content.”

Victoria’s award is the first in the UK for FI-UK and it is hoped to repeat the success of the award next year. FI-UK Partner, Peter Mansi said “This type of award is designed to encourage and attract young people to pursue a career in fire investigation and allied forensic disciplines, based on knowledge and understanding, and not by the glamorous images portrayed by the TV. Victoria is a worthy winner of our first award of this kind.”

Victoria received £50 worth of book tokens to support her continued studies in fire scene investigation


Honda recalls cars amid fire fears

Honda has recalled nearly one in three of its Swindon-made CR-V sports utility car in Britain because of a fault which could lead to the driver’s door catching fire.

The Japanese manufacturer is contacting 77,000 who bought the car which was made at the Wiltshire plant between 2002-2006. It is part of a global recall involving nearly 500,000 vehicles.

Drivers have been asked to bring the car to a dealer for the repair to the switch after five drivers – one in Britain and four in the United States – said they could smell burning.

The fault has been identified as a faulty seal on the switch, which means that water or liquids could seep into the master switch, controlling all the windows.

Over time, according to the manufacturer, the liquid can cause the switch to overheat, melt and eventually cause a fire.

The fault applies to the second series CR-V. Honda is now on the fourth version of the car, which costs upwards of £22,000, there are about 200,000 on Britain’s roads.



Manchester Gas Explosion: Homes Evacuated

Around 100 homes have been evacuated after a fire in a factory complex triggered a gas explosion.
The blaze broke out at the industrial site in the Radcliffe area of Greater Manchester at around 9.45 pm on Thursday.
Around 50 firefighters were called to the scene on Schofield Street as the flames spread across a number of units.
A gas mains pipe in one of the properties then exploded forcing emergency workers to evacuate nearby properties as a precaution, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said.
There are no reports of any injuries and nobody was believed to be inside the building, which is thought to belong to a freight company when the fire broke out.


‘FI UK contracted by Samsung following reports of fire in flagship handset’

Samsung contracted Fire Investigations UK (FIUK), an independent third-party organization, to determine the exact cause of the damage inflicted on a GALAXY SIII unit, which had allegedly been affected by heat.

The damaged device and additionally provided devices were examined and exposed to a series to tests. The investigation summary states that “The energy source responsible for generating the heat has been determined as external to the device” and “the device was not responsible for the cause of the fire.”


Brigade smashes safety targets

West Yorkshire has smashed the ambitious district-based targets it set itself for reducing fires and other emergencies.
The number of turnouts in 2011/12 were:

  • Leeds 10,593 (3 per cent better than target)
  • Bradford 7,951 (2.1 per cent btt)
  • Kirklees 4,914 (8.8 per cent btt)
  • Wakefield 4,093 (4.8 per cent btt)
  • Calderdale 2,541 (2 per cent btt)

All districts recorded a fall in arson and there was a general pattern of fewer house fires and fire deaths and injuries. Well over 45,000 free home fire safety checks were carried out.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Craig McIntosh explained that 2011/12 had been the first year that districts had been given risk reduction targets in an attempt to tailor work to local circumstances. This approach was reflected in individual station targets. “Obviously, what may be high risk in Bradford may not be mirrored in Huddersfield or Wetherby so we wanted to focus our activity on what would make a difference locally. I’m glad to say that overall this seems to be working and much more effective working relationships are already being formed on the ground with other agencies such as neighbourhood policing teams and councils. “Achievements across all five districts in reducing risk has had an impact on the service’s headline performance: fewer fires result in fewer casualties and pleasingly 2011/12 saw the lowest number ever of five accidental domestic fire deaths. This is five more than we would like as each represents a tragedy, but we are delivering lower numbers year on year and this demonstrates that our risk reduction work is making the people of West Yorkshire safer.” Mr. McIntosh said that the targets would be refreshed every year to make sure they were still relevant and stretching.

Vehicle bursts into flames on driveway in Fairweather Green

The owner of a Mini Cooper which mysteriously burst into flames while parked on the drive of his Bradford home is in talks with the manufacturer as an investigation into the blaze continues.

Firefighters were called to Higher Downs, Fairweather Green, at 3.30 am yesterday after a fire started under the bonnet of the Mini, which had been parked for about five hours.

A West Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman said the fire was unusual in that it took so long to start after the engine had been turned off.

He said electrical fires in cars usually began while the engine was still warm.

The spokesman said Fairweather Green crews got to the scene just in time, as the brake cable had severed in the heat and the car was beginning to roll towards the house.

He said: “Had we been a couple of minutes later the flames would have damaged the house.”

A Mini UK spokesman told the Telegraph & Argus it was in contact with the owner, who did not want to be named, as the investigation into the cause of the fire was held.

The spokesman said: “We have already established contact with him. We take all incidents involving our cars very seriously and will continue to liaise with the owner as the investigation gets underway.”

The fire came a week after nearly 30,000 different models of Mini Cooper – the Mini Cooper S and Mini John Cooper Works – were recalled in Britain after makers detected an electrical fault with the water pump which could lead cars to catch fire.

The owner of Mini, German car giant BMW, said the recall concerned 235,000 vehicles worldwide.

Safety checks revealed a problem that can cause the water pump to fail, potentially causing the car to overheat. Manufacturers are investigating one case in Britain where a fire is being linked to the water pump, a spokesman said.

Owners are being issued with a recall notice in the next few weeks.

But a spokesman insisted the vehicles remain safe to drive and there is a “very low incidence” of the fault.

“In more extreme cases, it could create a heat build-up in the wiring and some smouldering,” he said.

“Potentially it could cause a fire.

“We are not aware of any accidents or injuries connected with this. The important thing is that when people receive the letter, they simply go to their dealer and get a new water pump fitted if there is a problem.”


Southampton flats evacuated over roof blaze

A small block of flats in Southampton had to be evacuated when a fire broke out in the roof space.

Emergency crews were called to the four-storey building in Ordnance Road, off London Road, just after 07:00 BST.

No-one was injured and about 20 residents were given shelter in a nearby pub, which was specially opened.

The fire was quickly brought under control and crews spent time damping down. The cause is not yet known but an investigation is under way.

The blaze caused water damage to a number of flats and extensive damage to the roof.

The road, which is a dead end, was closed.


Special report – Freezer fires light up regulation concerns

In June, when a fire ripped through a concrete tower block in Bermondsey, a low-income neighbourhood in south-east London, residents initially blamed it on a lightning strike. “It was only later we heard the truth on the television,” said Kathy Pullady, who lives across a chipped tile-covered landing from the 17th-floor flat where the blaze took hold.

The London Fire Brigade had in fact been investigating the probable cause of the fire for years. In July it publicly pointed to a faulty fridge-freezer made by Turkish company Arcelik, Europe’s third-largest appliance manufacturer. The fire brigade says timers in certain models of Arcelik fridges have caused at least 20 fires in the UK since 2006. One man has been killed and at least 15 people injured.

Since 2005, the European Commission has recorded fire safety warnings for 37 fridge-freezer models. Sixteen of those models were made by Arcelik under the Beko brand, 18 by Swedish-based Dometic (including some fridge-freezer-oven combinations used in mobile homes), and three by South Korea-based Samsung.

Fire chiefs told Reuters they took the unusual step of issuing a public statement about the Arcelik appliances because the company itself had failed to publicise the danger. Consumer groups also charge the company — along with British regulators — with dragging its feet when it came to warning customers.

Link to story

Failed fire project wasted £469m, says committee of MPs

A project to set up nine regional control centres for fire and rescue services in England was a “complete failure” and wasted £469m, MPs say.

The public accounts committee said the Fire control scheme had not achieved any of its objectives and that eight of the centres were empty “white elephants”.

The plan to replace 46 smaller control rooms was scrapped in December 2010.

Fire Minister Bob Neill said Labour must be held accountable for the “comprehensive failure”.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the MPs’ committee, said the project had been “flawed from the outset” and one of the worst wastes of public money for many years.

“The taxpayer has lost nearly half a billion pounds and eight of the completed regional control centres remain as empty and costly white elephants.”

She said the project – launched in 2004 by the Labour government – had been terminated in 2010 “with none of the original objectives achieved and a minimum of £469m being wasted”.





Manchester house fire: Family of four critically ill after suspected arson

A man killed in a house fire that left a woman and her three children critically injured may have set himself alight, police said on Tuesday, as the Independent Police Complaints Commission was brought in to investigate.

David Potts, 39, was found with serious burns during a blaze at Barlow Road, Broadheath, Altrincham, in the early hours of Monday morning. He died later in hospital. Police said they were investigating the possibility that he set fire to himself.

The matter was voluntarily referred to the IPCC, as officers had previously had some contact with the family.

Tracy Jones, 40, and her two sons, Zak, four, and Shaun, 15, and her 18-year-old daughter, Cailin, remain in a critical condition in hospital.

Jones and her older children managed to escape the house before the arrival of firefighters, who broke down the front door and rescued Zak from an upstairs bedroom. They found Potts badly burned and unconscious in the downstairs lounge. He was taken to hospital, where he died.

Officers from Greater Manchester police’s professional standards unit have launched an internal investigation.

The IPCC said: “We have been advised by Greater Manchester police that we will be receiving a referral from them in connection to this incident. Once we receive the referral we will assess the evidence to determine our level of involvement.”

Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts, divisional commander for Trafford, said: “A dedicated team of detectives is working closely with the fire service to establish how this fire started. There is speculation in the media that David [went] to the house and started the fire. While this is clearly a line of inquiry we are investigating, until we have established the exact circumstances surrounding the fire, it would not be appropriate for us to speculate further. However, at this time, we are not looking for anyone further in relation to this incident.

“This is an extremely serious and tragic case, which has left one person dead and four others critically injured. Our thoughts are with the families of all of those involved.

“We are asking for people in the local community to come forward and speak to police if they have any information that may help us with our investigation.”

Denise Moulson, a neighbour, told the Manchester Evening News there had been shouting before the blaze. “My neighbour said there was a lot of arguing, screaming and then the kitchen window blew out. She said she heard Tracy say: ‘Stop it Dave, just go now’. Other neighbours heard them screaming, ‘Help, I am on fire!’

“It is so sad. They are a lovely family, very quiet, always said hello. We saw Tracy, Sean and Cailin on the grass at the front of the house, they were in shock and a lot of pain.”

Jones, who regularly attended King’s Way church, in Sale, had moved back to the UK from South Africa.