Insights

The Human Side of Investigation ...

When I joined Hawkins in February 2008, I was both nervous and excited about starting a career in fire investigation. I discovered it as a possible career path whilst studying ...

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Firefighters tackling a thatch roof fire

Thatch Fires and Wood Burning Stoves ...

Hawkins investigates around 30 fires each year involving thatched properties, although the number of incidents can vary significantly from year to year. Fires involving thatched ...

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Exothermic Reaction of Calcium Oxide

Calcium Oxide and its Exothermic ...

Hawkins is routinely appointed to investigate the cause of fires occurring at farms. This particular case study discusses some unusual aspects that caused an exothermic ...

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Abrasion of a lifting sling

Failure of Synthetic Fibre Lifting ...

In the period between 2017 and 2018, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported a total of 144 fatal injuries, and 71,062 non-fatal injuries, in the workplace under the ...

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Fire Exit

Fire Safety Design, Construction ...

Following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in 2017, the government commissioned an independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety. In the final report by Dame ...

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Petrochemical Plant

An Introduction to Functional Safety ...

The concept of Functional Safety is used in designing and specifying Safety Instrumented Systems for the process, nuclear and other industries. This Insight provides an overview ...

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Flexible braided hose

Flexible Braided Hoses: Down to ...

Flexible braided stainless steel hoses (flexihoses) are generally used for the connection of taps and WC cisterns to the incoming water supply. The flexible nature of the ...

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3D Laser Scanner

The Use of 3D Laser Scanners in ...

3D laser scanning is a way of capturing a physical object’s exact size and shape, so that it can be viewed in the ‘computer world,’ as a three dimensional digital representation. ...

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Ground Related Failures

Investigations into Ground Related ...

Geotechnical engineering is a sub-branch of civil engineering, focusing on the engineering behaviour of rocks and soils, often in relation to soil-structure interaction. ...

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Acoustics - When Buildings Fail ...

Acoustics engineering is often referred to as “the dark art” by those in the design and build industry - often for good reason. Some of the technicalities of the language ...

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Fires in Heritage Buildings

The British are known worldwide for our love of tradition, which goes hand in hand with our fascination with heritage buildings. Varying enormously in scale, complexity ...

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Management of Lifting Operations ...

The HSE publishes data each year on fatal and non-fatal injuries to workers that occur in the previous period. Regrettably, some of these injuries occur because of unsafe ...

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The Science Behind Flooding Investigations ...

Main image: Flooding in King’s Lynn (photo by Gordon Hatton, licensed under CC 2.0). Approximately one in six UK properties is at risk of flooding, and the annual ...

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Investigations into Ground Related ...

This case shows that even well planned and executed site investigations cannot guarantee that all geo-hazards are identified prior to the construction stage. The case involved ...

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Bulk Coal Cargoes

Common problems associated with the transportation of coal in bulk include self-heating and methane production. Self-heating can lead to fires, and the production of carbon ...

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Liquefaction

Cargo liquefaction may occur if the material properties of ores or other bulk cargoes are not investigated sufficiently prior to loading, or the IMSBC requirements are not ...

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Avoiding leaks from heating oil ...

Hawkins is often instructed to investigate escapes of oil products such as kerosene heating oil and diesel from storage tanks, and pipelines in domestic and commercial situations, ...

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Fire in a Road Sweeper - The False ...

Hawkins was instructed to investigate the cause of a fire in an electric road sweeper which occurred at a council depot approximately ten minutes after a service engineer ...

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Arc Mapping

A fire’s area of origin can be difficult to determine when it has been burning for a considerable time or if it has involved a large area. Patterns of fire damage used ...

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Fireworks: The Science Behind the ...

As you ooh and aah at the dazzling explosions of a fireworks display, there are three things going on that you probably wouldn’t guess: the chemists who made those pyrotechnics ...

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DOMESTIC CLIENTS UNDER CDM 2015 ...

The most important UK regulations relating to all types of construction work changed dramatically in 2015.The construction industry has always had a high rate of accidents ...

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Stainless Steels

Iron is one of the most common and important metals on earth and forms the basis of the most widely used group of metallic materials, steels. Steels can be manufactured cheaply, ...

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Fires Caused by Hold Lights in ...

In the last few years there has been a change in bulk cargo ship design relating to Australian ladderways. The ships we have seen were all built in China, with the Australian ...

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Warehouse Racking Collapses - Cause ...

Modern logistical requirements have driven companies to store as much stock as possible in the minimum amount of space, whilst trying to keep material and operational costs ...

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Self-Heating of rags soaked in ...

Hawkins has investigated numerous fires where the most probable cause has been the self-heating of rags, cloths or other similar materials that were impregnated with drying ...

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The cost of stress corrosion cracking ...

Broad estimates put the cost of corrosion to 1 to 4 % of GNP in the USA. Whilst an accurate figure would be elusive to even the most rigorous rationale, it is fair to say ...

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Fires and Explosions at Sea

Hawkins investigated the cause of a fire and explosion on board a container ship on behalf of an insurer of various cargo interests. One of the key questions, as always, ...

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Losses in power generation equipment ...

Dr Wright has investigated a number of failures of gas turbine blades that resulted in very extensive damage. This is because the release of one blade triggers a cascade ...

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Event Data Recorders in passenger ...

An Event Data Recorder or EDR is a function or device installed in a vehicle that records technical vehicle and occupant information for a brief period of time (seconds, not ...

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Swimming Pool Slip Incident

In July 2009, a guest at a large hotel in Swansea slipped and fell whilst walking on the surround of the hotel’s swimming pool. Minutes afterwards, after recovering from ...

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A Useful Result for Local Authorities ...

St Margaret’s Church in Uxbridge is suffering from decay of the stone walls some of which is serious. The church authorities were advised by their conservation experts ...

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Fire at Burger Manufacturer

The manufacturer of beef burgers suffered major damage at their factory when a fire broke out in the control panel of a defrosting unit.  However, one of the main concerns ...

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Potters Bar Derailment Investigation ...

On 10 May 2002 the 12.45 Kings Cross to King's Lynn train derailed just south of Potters Bar station. Seven people died; six on the train and a pedestrian struck ...

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