Crews called to tackle ‘special effects’ fire on Harry Potter film set

Hertfordshire firefighters were called last Friday to put out a fire on the set of the latest Harry Potter film.

It is thought a battle scene involving a mocked up castle outside Leavesdon Studios got out of control at around 8.30 pm.

Around 20 firefighters attended, but by the time they reached the studios on-set crews had managed to get the blaze under control.

Crews then used an aerial ladder platform and thermal imaging cameras to dampen down any hotspots and left the scene shortly after 9.30 that evening, a spokesperson told info4fire.

“The side of the castle had caught fire, but since it was all being filmed outside there was no damage done to the studio buildings,” she said.

Fans of the films have speculated that the fire was caused by pyrotechnics in the filming of the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Fit Note Comes In

“The Social Security (Medical Evidence) and Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 are due to come into effect on 6 April 2010 and will introduce the new ‘fit note’ regime.”

The DWP has issued specific guidance to employers, employees and GPs in an attempt to ease the transition.

The new ‘fit note’ is designed to enable a gradual return to work for employees who have been on long-term sick leave as well as cutting the cost of sickness absence to employers. It does not alter the current self certification regime.

Man accused of ogling colleague using full body scanner

An airport worker has been given a police warning and faces possible disciplinary action after he was accused of using a scanner to stare at the body of a female co-worker.

The 25-year-old allegedly made comments to his colleague when she accidentally entered the scanner at Heathrow Terminal 5.

The scanners show a clear outline of a person’s anatomy and were introduced at Heathrow and Manchester airports following the failed Christmas Day bomb plot. They are now being

Major fire closes Cambridge rail station

Fire officials investigating a major blaze that caused Cambridge railway station to close last Saturday morning have not been able to work out the cause because the ruins are still structurally unsafe.

The blaze, which started in a disused site near the station known as Spillers Mill, took around 70 firefighters to put out. Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service crews were called at approximately 3am to tackle flames at a six-storey building at the Mill. The fire then quickly spread to a nearby building.

“The building was very much alight,when crews arrived on the scenee. “Despite the crews’ best efforts, sparks and embers spread the fire to the second building. But because it had no roof the embers went straight to the bottom of the building.”

It took 12 fire engines, with two turntable ladders and one high volume pump to extinguish the fire, which had died down significantly by 8am. Cambridge station and nearby roads remained closed through the morning.

Both buildings are structurally damaged and there were early fears that some parts could collapse.

Landlord, tenant and restaurant manager convicted of fire safety offences

The landlord, tenant and manager of a Chinese restaurant have together had to pay more than £26,000 at Guildford Crown Court for breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Landlord Colin Perry, his tenant Pei Yu Liang, and manager Wen Chun Yeoh, were last week each convicted of between seven and nine breaches of the legislation, having all pleaded not guilty. Mr Perry was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine and another £5,000 in costs, while Ms Yeoh was fined £4,000 plus £5,000 in costs. Lessee Pei Yu Laing was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.

The Royal Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, in Tadworth, was found to have no safe escape route from the first floor, an “inadequate” fire alarm system and “inadequate” emergency lighting. The building was in a poor state of repair with areas of high fire loading, while one room was found to contain a stack of bamboo chairs, a petrol strimmer and signs of discarded smoking materials.

Fire rips though south London school

A fire in a south London school that saw around 50 people evacuated from homes around the area is now under investigation.

Crews were called to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Temple Grove primary school, formerly Monson primary school, in New Cross around 3pm on Tuesday.

It took 50 firefighters from across the capital to get the blaze under control by around 9pm, a spokesman from London Fire Brigade said.

The three-storey building, empty of pupils due to Easter holidays, is thought to have been under refurbishment. All floors were considerably damaged, and the roof and second floor “badly damaged.”

It is not known yet how the blaze started but an investigation is underway. It is thought that a gas propane cylinder was involved in the fire.

Schools lack asbestos discipline

Schools are failing to comply with basic legislative requirements to manage the risks form asbestos in their buildings, according to a pilot survey by the Asbestos Testing and Consultants Association (ATaC).

The survey initially involved 12 volunteer schools with asbestos on their premises, found that not one was fully compliant with HSE guidance and only four could be described as having “an adequate standard” of asbestos management.

While all schools had asbestos surveys, the information they contained varied in quality.  Surveys in nine schools did not support an effective management system, according to the ATaC auditors.  Either these surveys had not attempted to identify all the accessible asbestos or they were superficial, misleading or outdated.  There was evidence in six schools that the flaws could have resulted in asbestos being disturbed during maintenance work, which would have exposed contractors and contaminated the premises.

None of the schools had a site specific written asbestos management plan developed from their survey information, though some had generic plans.  Two schools did not know who was in charge of asbestos management and, in most schools, staff who were expected to manage asbestos had received poor training or none.

“Although the sample is small, the flaws highlighted reflect what the NUT has found to be the case over many years – that systems of asbestos management in schools fall far short of expectations” said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

Major fire destroys school’s boarding house

More than 70 firefighters spent Saturday night battling to save part of historical Malvern College, in Worcester.

Crews were called out to deal with the blaze, which had taken hold at one of the school’s boarding houses.

Half of the building, which normally houses around 50 girls, was destroyed, including the roof. The building was empty for the Easter holidays. The fire is believed to have been largely restricted to the housemistress’ private accommodation in the house.

A quarter of workers have never had full fire drill says survey

Employers are putting millions of UK workers at risk as a result of lax fire safety procedures, warns insurance company RSA.

The firm commissioned research which shows that a quarter of workers have never participated in a full fire evacuation of their workplace. One in 20 UK workers also said their workplace had no marked fire exits at all.

According to the survey, over 40% of people said they would spend time retrieving personal belongings or work documents before vacating the building. One in ten workers said they sit at their desks for more than a minute before getting up to leave the building on hearing the alarm go off, regardless of whether they believe there is a real fire or not. RSA says not enough is being done to ensure that businesses operate good fire safety practices in the UK. The company is calling for businesses to step up their behaviour, encourage all employees to take fire safety seriously and hold more regular fire drills.

David Geer, UK business director at RSA, said: “Our research revealed a much higher level of apathy about fire safety among workers throughout the country than we had hoped. It is crucial in the case of fire safety that companies not only evacuate employees from the workplace quickly and efficiently in an emergency, but also make sure that staff are made acutely aware of fire safety procedures and the location of their nearest fire exit.

“Businesses that do not take fire safety seriously are risking their employees’ lives and their livelihoods.”