Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Alarming levels of ignorance & complacency about fire safety

research has shown that people are shocking complacent about fire safety.

 Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires every day.

 New research published to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week (15-21 September 2014) reveals that almost half of the public (47%) have never been shown or told about the fire safety procedures where they work.

 If a fire alarm was to sound, 14% of people say they would see what everyone else was doing and ‘go with the flow’. One in 10 people (11%) would go into the corridor and investigate, and one in 20 admit they would simply ignore it, assuming there must be a fault on the alarm system.

 When respondents with formal responsibility for fire safety in their organisations were asked if they were fully aware of their legal obligations, almost half (46.5%) said they either did not know what they were or admitted they were unclear.

 A similar proportion (45%) say they really would not know how to spot a dodgy fire door – one of the most critical passive fire protection features in the buildings we use every day.

New wiring regs on the way and it may mean a NEW fuse box to many of us!!!

We (Andrew Woolgar, Tom Lane, Darren Meakin and me) have just left the a NIC Tech advice seminar in Barnet, London on the new regs coming in next year.

Big changes in fuse boxes...

An amended version of the wiring regulations will be published in January.

The new version will include changes to the electrical condition report section, new requirements for mobile and transportable electrical units and changes for the installation of luminaires and light fittings – bringing them in line with the latest international and European standards.

Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2008 incorporating amendment 3:2015 will be available in January 2015 in both print and digital formats.

The IET Wiring Regulations sets out the national standard for which all new and amended electrical installations are to comply.

This latest amendment is the third, following Amendment No.1, published in 2011, and Amendment No.2 in 2013.

The biggest change that will affect you and I - The forthcoming edition will also include the new Regulation 421.1.200. This regulation requires that within domestic (household) premises, consumer units and similar switchgear assemblies shall comply with BS EN 61439-3 and shall have their enclosure manufactured from non-combustible material, or enclosed in a cabinet or enclosure constructed of non-combustible material and complying with Regulation 132.12. This has been developed to mitigate fire risk.

This is going to be a really significant change.

More later...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Power out after electrical manhole cover blown off by explosion in West Molesey

A electrical manhole exploded in Balmoral Crescent, West Molesey at about 4am (17th Sept).

The explosion was related to an electrical unit in the road that was thrown into the air with the force of the blast.

A firefighter from Esher said: "People had seen fires coming out of the ground."

No one was hurt, and the firefighters were called to the scene but did not take any action because when they arrived the situation was under control.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: “UK Power Networks would like to apologise to 140 customers in the Balmoral Crescent area of West Molesey who are currently without electricity supplies.

“At 4.20am today (September 17), we received a call from the fire service about a fault on our underground distribution network. In order for our engineers to work on repairs as safely and as quickly as possible, we had to interrupt supplies to 27 customers at 5.20am, 38 at 6.43am, 49 at 6.48am and a further 26 a minute later.

Network overloaded?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

UK retail sales boosted by vacuum cleaner sales

UK retail sales rose by 0.4% during August, helped by shoppers looking to snap up high-powered vacuum cleaners ahead of an EU ban on the products.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also said sales were up 3.9% compared with the same month last year.

Demand for household goods - notably furniture and electrical goods - was behind the rise in sales, the ONS said.

It also said that prices in stores fell over the year, with food prices seeing their first decline since 2004.

Average store prices in August were down 1.2% from a year ago, the ONS said, the largest annual fall since July 2009.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Mixed messages on electctric cars this week

First we are told the Electric Car Isn’t Making the Air Any Cleaner then we are told Electric Cars Greener Than The Average Car In 100% Of USA

Confused? I know we are!

You can now use your mobile ona a plane - if you can get a signal

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says electronic devices such as mobile phones can be left switched on during flights.

EASA says that electronic devices do not pose a safety risk.

The announcement clears the way for airlines to permit the use of mobile phones, once they have conducted their own safety reviews.

Currently airline passengers have to switch devices to flight mode and make calls from the airport terminal.

The EASA sets the framework for airlines making safety decisions.

The agency said each airline would still have to go through an assessment process, ensuring aircraft systems are not affected by the signals from portable electronic devices before establishing their own rules for their operation.

As a result there could be a delay in implementing the new rules at some airlines.
It also says that airlines may opt for different policies on the use of mobile devices.
Fair enough no more regulations but if I get some woman (or man) babbling on about nothing for hours I going to request a seat move..

You can't get a signal at 33,000 feet. Not yet anyway.

British Airways, already has a business-class-only flight from London to New York that lets passengers use wi-fi and send texts - but they block voice-calls, because whenever they survey passengers, most don't want everyone around them talking on the phone during a flight.

Friday, 26 September 2014

As the temperature outside gets colder

As the temperature outside gets colder you can rely on a tumble dryer to help dry your laundry more quickly. Make sure your appliance is working efficiently by cleaning all the filters and save money on your utility bills by drying at night if you have dual tariff meters (economy 7)

Friday Fact

When a massive power outage struck southern California in the 1990s, Los Angeles residents reportedly called 911 to express alarm about strange clouds hovering overhead; they were seeing the Milky Way for the first time.

The affects of light pollution.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Fire safety clarity call after Sophie Rosser death

A man whose daughter died in an apartment block blaze wants clearer rules on fire safety responsibility.

Sophie Rosser was returning to a flat in London's Canary Wharf in August 2012 when she saw the building alight and rushed inside to warn her fiancé.

A coroner criticised safety failings but said the Cardiff-born 23-year-old's death was accidental.
Ms Rosser's father Julian said: "Nobody was blamed because the coroner wasn't sure who the responsible person was."
Rescue attempt.

Executive PA Ms Rosser was returning home from a birthday party in the early hours of the morning when she saw smoke pouring from the fourth floor of Meridian Point in London's Docklands, an inquest in April 2014 heard.

She had rushed into the burning building to alert her fiancé Oscar Silva who was in their fifth-floor apartment.

He had escaped to a balcony and was rescued by fire crews, but Ms Rosser collapsed in the smoke and later died in hospital from her burns.

Coroner Mary Hassell told the inquest in Poplar, east London, that Ms Rosser's death could have been avoided if a self-closing fire door had not become stuck on the floor preventing it from closing.
Other safety failings - including a lack of testing of smoke alarms and risk assessments - were also criticised but were not blamed for the fatality.

Mr Rosser, from Whitchurch, Cardiff, said the family was frustrated that the coroner was not able to identify where the blame for poor building maintenance lay - with the owner, the property management company, or fire risk assessors.

"I want changes in the law to make it clear who's responsible for fire safety," he said.
"Nobody was blamed because the coroner wasn't sure who the responsible person was.

"We would have hoped as a family that the coroner would have cleared the way for corporate manslaughter charges to be brought against the companies involved.

"The problem with the law at the moment is that it does not make any single entity responsible for the regular inspection and maintenance of fire doors in communal areas so that everybody can pass the buck as happened in Sophie's case."

Mr Rosser has spoken out as part of Fire Door Safety Week, backed by a range of organisations including the UK government

found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-29213648

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Cleaning Smoke Alarms

Follow these steps when cleaning alarms:

1. Turn off the mains power to the alarm – green light should go out
2. With the thin nozzle attachment, vacuum around the vents

3. Clean the cover using a damp cloth. Dry with a lint free cloth
4. Turn the mains power back on – green light should be on

Alternatively, using a hairdryer on its coolest setting, blow out all the grooves and vents on the alarm then repeat the above steps.

found at http://www.aico.co.uk/How-do-I-maintain-alarms.html

 simple :)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Google buys Lift Labs, tremor-cancelling spoon for Parkinson's

Google has bought Lift Labs, the maker of a tremor-cancelling spoon aimed at improving the lives of people suffering from Parkinson’s and essential tremor.
The acquisition marks a further move into the biotech industry for the Silicon Valley giant -and Google said it hopes to explore how the technology could be used in other ways to improve the quality of life of people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Lift Lab’s Liftware spoon detects tremors in the hand via sensors in the handle, working to cancel them out and consequently stabilise movement.

The company is joining Google’s research division. Google X is dedicated to making major technological advancements though projects - known as  “moonshots” - such as self-driving cars and drones.

Google made the announcement on its Google + page on Wednesday:  “Today we’re welcoming the Lift Labs team into Google[x]. Their tremor-cancelling device could improve quality of life for millions of people.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Would you drive (sorry sit in!) this...

This is the EN-V 2.0 Electric Car

General Motors is using the occasion of the 21st Intelligent Transport Systems Conference in Detroit to demonstrate a self-driving version of that same EN-V 2.0 vehicle, along with a slew of other advanced vehicle technologies designed to make the roads of the future safer, less congested, and greener.

Looking more like a bubble than a car, the EN-V 2.0 — wearing a Chevrolet badge —  has been built with confined spaces in mind. Instead of a conventional hood, there’s a small snub nose and large windshield, while upward-opening front-hinged doors give access to a spacious interior.

Like the EN-V 2.0 showcased back in June, the self-driving EN-V 2.0 features seating for two adults and a full set of conventional vehicular controls. But while it features the standard steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal, the diminutive EN-V 2.0 also contains a full complement of cameras, lidar sensors and V2X technology to allow the car to see the world around it.

For the uninitiated, V2X technology is a term given to a variety of advanced vehicle technologies which allow a vehicle to not only connect to other vehicles on the road but also interact with pedestrians and infrastructure.

This not only makes it possible for the EN-V 2.0 to know where other vehicles are on the road thanks to vehicle-to-vehicle technology, but also avoid pedestrians, road maintenance staff or other road users fitted with special armbands that communicate their presence to the vehicle.

Combine this with vehicle-to-infrastructure technology which allows stop lights to communicate their status to approaching vehicles, and the technology fitted inside the EN-V 2.0 lays a framework for a future where large queues at stoplights, congestion and slow-moving traffic are a thing of the past.

With a limited speed of 25 mph and a range of 25 miles per charge, the EN-V 2.0 won’t be replacing the family car any time soon, but its existence as a prototype vehicle does open up an exciting future vision of multi-modal transport.

NOT FOR ME THANK YOU, I've seen what happened in Minority report.

Found at http://transportevolved.com/2014/09/09/gm-unveils-self-driving-en-v-2-0-electric-car-advanced-safety-tech-2014/

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Volkswagen e-Golf is the ultimate stealthy electric car

Have you seen the new e-Golf???

we like it that the e-Golf looks just like, well, any other Golf.

Barring some badging and wheel design, you'd never know from the outside that this Golf is electric.

That means the e-Golf's lithium battery is fully integrated into the chassis floor, rather than being a great lump randomly bolted on.

It comes with a 15hp electric motor and a 24KWh lithium battery pack and has an official NEDC range of 118 miles and starts at £25,845 in the UK

Nought to 62mph in 10.4 seconds and a top speed limited to 87mph.

that will do me fine.

The other thing that pops into your head initially is what's the point of all this? Isn't the Golf the jack of all trades? What are you supposed to do with a Golf that will only go 100 miles and takes four hours to charge, even with a beefy 30 amp power supply (it's about double that on a standard UK / European socket, double again on a standard US socket)? - we can install one for you, piece of cake!!!

if you don't do long distance travel it will be fine for you...

The e-Golf makes sense as an urban / suburban runabout.

think you might give it a punt??? it's not that over the top compared to the Golf GTD for price...

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Smart meters will save only 2% on energy bills

Installing smart meters in every house in the UK will save consumers "only 2%" on their annual bills, a committee of MPs has warned.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that, on average, consumers will save just £26 a year.
MPs also warned that the technology could be out of date by the time the roll-out is complete.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said smart meters will lower bills and make switching easier.

Installing the meters - which begins in earnest next year - will cost £215 per household, or £10.6bn.
Customers will be charged an annual amount on their bills to cover the cost, peaking at £11 a year in 2017.

The £26 annual figure would be the net saving, after the installation costs have been taken into account.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Google and Apple - default encryption

Google has announced that its next mobile operating system, Android L, will encrypt users' data by default.

The measure will make it more difficult for private information to be hacked or handed to law enforcement agencies.

On Thursday, Apple said that devices running its new iOS8 software would be encrypted by default, with even the company itself unable to gain access.

Both firms have offered encryption for some time, but many users were unaware of its existence or had not enabled it.

Earlier this week, Apple's boss Tim Cook posted an online message assuring users the company's philosophy was that a "great customer experience shouldn't come at the expense of your privacy".

Friday Fact

The Prince Charles Cinema in London has volunteer "ninjas" that hush obnoxious moviegoers.


Jeans for Genes

If you notice the Directors are in their Jeans today

That is because we have a performance meeting with our biggest client today and they have informed us that they will be supporting the Jeans for Genes day.

Jeans for Genes raises money for Genetic Disorders UK and aims to change the world for children with genetic disorders.

Individually, genetic disorders are rare but together they affect 1 in 25 children born in the UK - that's more than 30,000 babies each year. Their associated health problems mean that genetic disorders are the biggest cause of death of children aged 14 years and under.

Jeans for Genes Day is an annual fundraising event and takes place on Friday 19th September 2014.
We have noticed more jeans on the street on the way in this morning including pupils attending private schools

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Electricity Demand Reduction pilot launched

The government has launched a £20 million Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) pilot, offering financial incentives to encourage businesses to install measures to reduce energy consumption.

The EDR pilot will help companies and organisations willing to install more efficient electrical equipment that reduces their peak electricity demand, such as LEDs instead old bulbs or improved motors and pumps.

It aims to reward those promoting “lasting reductions” in electricity demand, in order to assess whether the scheme can be included in the government’s planned capacity market.

Organisations interested have been invited to submit an application. Once they have qualified they will take part in a competitive auction, where they can bid in kilowatt (KW) savings from projects they plan.

Those showing the best value for money will win and will be rewarded once the savings are delivered.

lets see if it works...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Electric cars marketing to change

The way electric cars are marketed in the UK could be revolutionised thanks to a new deal between Westcountry academics and two Cornish businesses.

Ecodrive and Wattstor have teamed up with the University of Exeter’s Penryn-based Environment and Sustainability Institute to monitor and manage the monetary value of the most expensive element of an electric vehicle – its battery.

The ESI is now embarking on the first in-depth study to determine how the monetary value of batteries changes over time, depending on their use.

The study will enable sellers to more accurately determine the value of pre-owned vehicles.
This will help create a market for pre-owned EVs as well as boosting the market for used EV batteries for other purposes, such as energy storage for buildings.

One of the barriers to EVs being widely adopted is their costs, which are higher than the equivalent conventional vehicles.

Although the price has fallen by 40% over the last four years, batteries remain the most expensive component of EVs at around £5,000.

The large batteries used in EVs need to be managed and maintained if they are to provide a long life and keep the cost of EV ownership as low as possible.

When they are no longer suitable for use in EVs, batteries may still have many years of useful life left for other work.

Dr Xiaoyu Yan of the ESI is leading the team to develop an algorithm to pinpoint the monetary value of a battery and determine the best ways of extending its life.

He said: “By installing monitors on EVs, we will be able to capture a detailed picture of an EV battery’s whole life to ascertain its value, help users maximise its life and identify a range of second-life uses for EV batteries once they cease to offer the range the EV user needs.”

Director of ecodrive, Matthew Trevaskis, said: “We know that EVs carry a price premium, and the big unknown is still the long-term value of its battery.

“This partnership will give us some seriously robust data that will boost the re-sale market for EVs and will also open up new markets for batteries in other sectors, such as renewable energy storage for buildings.”

University of Exeter’s CoVentures intervention business mentor, Dr Mark Scibor-Rylski, added: “Electric cars actually have a much-longer life than conventional vehicles, but the battery is like a car within a car with its own depreciation and we need to know what this is.

"I believe the findings from this study could help the big car manufacturers market EVs in a new way.”

Tremough Innovation Centre business Wattstor worked previously with the ESI to develop its innovative building energy storage system for wind or solar power.

The company is now involved in this project to maximise the potential for used EV batteries being used for energy storage in homes, giving them value they would otherwise not have.

Mark Smith of Wattstor said: “With so many of us being off grid, Cornwall is an excellent position to lead the way in smarter energy storage.

"This collaboration has given us access to leading experts and research facilities to ensure our product is evidence based.

"Working with the ESI has also linked us into a wider network that is strengthening our skill set and boosting the industry in Cornwall.”

Read more: http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Way-electric-cars-marketed-change-thanks-new/story-22849009-detail/story.html#ixzz3CouODbsi

Bodymek and Action Coach-The Vosqes Challenge 2014

We are supporting the Andy and Steph (Bodymek) have been working with Emerson and Hannah (Action Coach) who will be Cycling 500 miles collectively through France and Germany over 3 days to raise money for The Cynthia Spencer Hospice  continue with the vital services and support they offer to people in need.

Good luck guys and if you want to show your support visit their  JustGiving page 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

How safe is your mobile phone charger?

Cheap import chargers and coming up the list to be the prime cause for fire hazards or electric shocks.

HALF are ‘unfit for sale’

In a recent investigation, more than 50 per cent of chargers sampled by East Riding Council's trading standards officers proved to be unfit for sale.

After recently removing 55 chargers from sale, the officers bought a sample of 11 from mobile phone accessories shops, discount shops, market stalls and e-cigarette shops across the East Riding.

Independent tests showed three had critical safety failures and another three had technical failures on the markings or instructions.

This is known to be a problem across the country, but the message does not seem to be getting across to buy quality chargers

The main faults found in unsafe chargers across the UK include inadequate insulation between the input and output circuits, leading to a risk of fire and electric shock.

Other faults include components not properly secured or poorly soldered, incorrect size and positioning of live and neutral pins and a lack of proper instructions for use.

The normal cost of branded one is between £15 and £20, so essentially you are getting what you are paying for. If you pay £2.00 for a charger – expect to get £2.00 worth.

Electrical Safety First, a UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents, is urging people to check the charger plugs easily into a socket and look for a manufacturer's brand name or logo and also a CE mark.

Visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk for more safety information.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Children will never own their own home...

Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG), Aragon’s parent company, has backed fears voiced by parents in a new poll for the National Housing Federation (NHF) that their children will never be able to afford a home and that politicians of all parties won’t solve the problem.

In research from a new YouGov poll for the NHF, 81% of parents in England of children 18 and under are worried about the impact of rising house prices on the next generation. Over two thirds of parents (69%) fear their children will not be able to buy their own home without financial help from the ‘bank of mum and dad’.

Graham Lennox, GUHG’s Group Director of Finance, said: “This is yet more evidence of the huge housing crisis we face in Britain. It is vital all political parties make housing a top priority if we are to find a solution which must include building more social housing.”

Many parents are making the effort to give the next generation a leg up, with a quarter already saving money specifically for their children’s first home. At the same time, six per cent of parents are still reliant on hand outs from their own parents to help with spiralling housing costs.

The National Housing Federation predicts that by 2020 a staggering 3.7m young people, today’s school children, will be living with parents and by 2030 house prices will soar to 13 times the average salary.

According to the National Housing Federation’s research, over three quarters of parents (76%) believe more attention and investment should be given to affordable housing but 80% do not think any of the main political parties will effectively deal with the issue of housing.

found at http://www.biggleswadetoday.co.uk/news/business/business-news/parents-fear-children-will-never-own-their-own-home-1-6282226

Sunday, 14 September 2014

'Big six' energy firms lose further market share

Britain's big six energy companies are continuing to lose market share to smaller independent suppliers, new figures show.

Added together, the large suppliers now have 92.4% of the market, down from 99.8% five years ago.
In other words, independent suppliers have increased their share from just 0.2% to 7.6% over the same period.

The largest independent has grown ten-fold in just three years, and now has more than a million customer accounts.

Many of the smaller firms claim to offer cheaper bills than the big six suppliers.

keep up the good work - put pressure on the big 6. we need competition in our energy market

If the trend continues, it may reduce pressure on the competition authorities to shake up the energy market.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Bank customers to sign in with a special scanner

A new way of accessing bank accounts is being launched which identifies individuals through the unique pattern of veins in their fingers.

Instead of having to use a series of passwords and numbers, users will be able to log on to their accounts by placing one of their fingers into a scanner.

The technology is quite distinct from fingerprint recognition.

To begin with, Barclays will offer the service to business customers only.

However, "finger vein authentication", as it is known, is likely to be offered to all customers in the future.

A portable scanner, the size of a tennis ball, is plugged into the computer's USB port and uses near-infra-red light to check the unique pattern of veins inside the finger.

Only a living finger is accepted by the scanner, reducing the risk that fraudsters will use substitutes or copies to break into a bank account.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday Fact

Jeremy Clarkson once published his bank account number and sort code to prove that the information couldn't be used to steal money.

Someone used it to set up a monthly direct debit from his bank account to a charity.

Gotta laugh!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

For Landlords

Electrical Safety First has found that landlords are exposing themselves to significant financial risks, from fines and invalidated insurance, through not acting on their electrical safety obligations.

Landlords are also putting millions of UK private tenants at risk of serious accident or fire. We have clarified your obligations for electrical safety in rental properties and provide a range of resources to help you keep your tenants safe.

Your responsibilities as a landlord

Landlords are required by law to ensure:
•That the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration.
•That a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has a periodic inspection carried out on the property every five years.
 If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to do this. However, we recommend that a periodic inspection and test is carried out by a registered electrician on your rental properties at least every five years.
•That any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).
To meet these requirements a landlord will need to regularly carry out basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.

Electrical Safety First recommends ...
•Making sure that your property has adequate RCD protection
•Using a registered electrician for any work on your property
•Carrying out regular safety checks on the electrical appliances provided as part of the rental agreement
•Downloading the ESC's 'Home Electrical Safety Check' smartphone app

Landlords' Guide
The Landlords' Guide to Electrical Safety sets out your legal obligations and our recommendations for keeping your tenants and properties safe. This booklet replaces the previous three publications:
•Landlords' Guide to Electrical Safety in England and Wales
•Landlords' Guide to Electrical Safety in Scotland
•Electrical Safety in Communal Areas of Residential Properties

found at http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-landlords/

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Jane Andain's story

Jane's daughter was electrocuted in her rented home. Six years on and there is still no law in place to protect tenants like her daughter. Jane supports our campaign to introduce mandatory five yearly checks on the electrics in rented homes.

Six years ago Jane's daughter Thirza moved to Cornwall to start an exciting new life with her husband and their two young children. Five months later she was found dead in the bath by her five year old daughter, electrocuted due to faulty wiring in the family's rented home, wiring that had not been checked for years.

Jane supports Electrical Safety First's campaign for a change in the law to introduce mandatory five yearly checks on the electrics in rented homes. This simple piece of legislation will save lives.

found at - http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/real-life-stories/jane-andains-story/

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Apple unveils bigger iPhone handsets

Apple has unveiled two new smartphones - the iPhone 6 and a larger model, the iPhone 6 Plus.

Both are bigger than its previous handsets - features that experts say should appeal to gamers, business workers and others.

They are also about half a millimetre thinner.

Apple also upgraded the displays' resolutions, included a faster processor, added image stabilisation and has promised longer battery life.

The smaller model's screen measures 4.7in (11.9cm) and the larger one's 5.5in (14.0cm).

Cat litter puts out electrical fire

A man tackled an electrical fire at his home using cat litter and managed to put it out.

Firefighters were called to the address in Dunsfold Close, Gossops Green after the home filled with smoke.

It turned out to be an electrical fire which started while someone was having a shower.

The fire broke out in an electrical cupboard and set off smoke alarms in the house. When a man living there located the fire he adopted an unusual but apparently effective method to smother the fire - covering it in cat litter.

When firefighters arrived the fire was out but the home was full of smoke. The crew used two sets of breathing apparatus to get into the property and clear the smoke using a high-powered fan. They also inspected the cupboard to make sure the fire was out.

Although it worked, it’s not a proven method so we can’t recommend it as a method of fire fighting and in all possibility your fuse box is going to smell of cat poo forever and a day..

Monday, 8 September 2014

First it was Vacuum Cleaners now it hair dryers

High-powered hairdryers under threat as EU considers ban

High-powered hairdryers are on a list of household electrical items the EU is considering banning in an attempt to curb energy consumption.

A study, commissioned by the European Commission, has identified up to 30 appliances including toasters and kettles which could be restricted.

The study forms part of the EU's energy efficiency directive aimed at helping to tackle climate change.

It follows a ban on powerful vacuum cleaners which began 1st September (see our blog) 

Retailers said they had seen sales rise ahead of the deadline. Tesco said sales of vacuum cleaners had jumped 44% in the past fortnight, while Co-op Electrical has seen a 38% rise.

The EU has now turned its sights to smaller electrical appliances which are not yet covered by existing legislation.

"We haven't got round to these devices yet, we want to curb power consumption," the EU energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Rogue landlords targeted with licence plan

Is this a taste of things to come?

Private landlords in north-west London will have to pay £350 to subscribe to a licensing scheme as part of plans aimed at targeting rogue practices.

Brent Council hopes the plans will help tackle landlords who offer homes which are unsanitary and overcrowded, and those who do not carry out repairs.

The council wards affected are Wembley Central, Harlesden and Willesden.

Neighbours concerned about fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour are expected to benefit from the scheme.

The licences, which landlords can start to apply for from November, will last for five years.

The council already operates a mandatory licensing scheme across the borough for large, privately rented homes with multiple occupants.

For homes which are occupied by one household, licences can only be introduced in areas which are proven to have anti-social behaviour problems.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

What Is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is one of the newer branches of engineering, and dates back to the late 19th century. It is the branch of engineering that deals with the technology of electricity. Electrical engineers work on a wide range of components, devices and systems, from tiny microchips to huge power station generators.

Early experiments with electricity included primitive batteries and static charges. However, the actual design, construction and manufacturing of useful devices and systems began with the implementation of Michael Faraday's Law of Induction, which essentially states that the voltage in a circuit is proportional to the rate of change in the magnetic field through the circuit. This law applies to the basic principles of the electric generator, the electric motor and the transformer. The advent of the modern age is marked by the introduction of electricity to homes, businesses and industry, all of which were made possible by electrical engineers.

Some of the most prominent pioneers in electrical engineering include Thomas Edison (electric light bulb), George Westinghouse (alternating current), Nikola Tesla (induction motor), Guglielmo Marconi (radio) and Philo T. Farnsworth (television). These innovators turned ideas and concepts about electricity into practical devices and systems that ushered in the modern age.

By Jim Lucas, Live Science Contributor 

Found at http://www.livescience.com/47571-electrical-engineering.html

Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday Fact

According to a study by the National Science Foundation, only half of Americans believe in evolution, and one in 4 don't know that the Earth orbits the Sun.

Random - that cant be true...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

This Classic Beauty

Renovo Coupé - a modified Shelby powered by an electrical engine capable of developing an incredible 1355Nm of torque, pushing the car from 0 to 100km/h in under 3.4 seconds. It’s gorgeous.

expect to find one in a ditch near you :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

It’s the 3C thing – cost, confidence and convenience.

Get those ducks lined up in a row and you’ve cracked it.

Manufacturers are finding it hard to build 3C–EV that we want, or trust

When did you last see an EV on the road? I think I’ve an Ampera once in the last month.

Technology is getting better and as a car enthusiast I want to like it but it fails the only really true and  test which is would I put my own money into buying one and the answer is generally "NO"

The current range EVs are much too limited in how far they will take you, far too inconvenient in terms of charging and if I was buying one I would want to know what it would be worth on the second hand marked when it need a shed load of investment in new batteries.

Too many questions for the time being

If you live in the city, its cheaper to spend your  money on Taxi's and Rural, they are just not variable

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

'Tickle ear' to better heart health

Tickling your ears with a pain-relieving Tens machine can improve heart health, a study has shown.

Applying electrical stimulation to the tragus - the small triangular flap at the front of the ear - helped the heart adjust its beating rate and prevented it being driven too hard.

Tens (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a method of blocking pain signals to the brain by applying small shocks to the skin.

The battery-powered machines are commonly used to relieve chronic back pain or early labour pains.

Researchers conducting the new study applied Tens stimulation to the ears of 34 healthy volunteers for 15 minutes at a time.

Neuroscientist Professor Jim Deuchars, from the University of Leeds, said: "You feel a bit of a tickling sensation in your ear when the Tens machine is on, but it is painless. It is early days - so far we have been testing this on healthy subjects - but we think it does have potential to improve the health of the heart and might even become part of the treatment for heart failure."

found on https://uk.news.yahoo

Monday, 1 September 2014

Europe’s Largest Tidal Project

The MeyGen tidal stream project is at the forefront of world marine energy development and will harvest the tidal resources of one of the most energetic maritime sites in Europe, the strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea between the Orkney Islands and the Scottish mainland.

The first 6 megawatt (MW) demonstration phase of the UK’s first large-scale tidal array scheme will see four submerged turbines installed in the Inner Pentland Firth just north of Caithness, with first power expected to be delivered by 2016.

Short and sweet, we hope September treats you well.