Forensic Fun Days: Learn with Hawkins

Throughout the months of May and June, Hawkins’ offices opened their doors to local clients in order to provide demonstrations, hands-on learning, and the opportunity for friendly competition. The Birmingham, Leeds and Reigate Offices collaborated with different loss adjusting companies in our own laboratories and testing areas to give a behind-the-scenes look at some of the common causes behind fires, escapes of water, and engineering failures.

Dr Nick Carey, of the Reigate Office, is shown above facilitating a ‘toaster race’, and below with fellow Fire Investigator Luke Collins, as they time how long it takes for an iron to begin producing smoke. The purpose of the experiment was to show that once the safety device in various household appliances is either removed or compromised, it takes only a matter of minutes (or seconds!) before the appliance can overheat and ignite. The experiment was carried out as a challenge to see which participating loss adjusters could team up and correctly guess the item that would ignite the fastest between an iron, a coffeemaker, a fan heater, a hairdryer, and two types of toaster. With the appliances’ safety devices disabled, Dr Carey placed combustible material either in or near their heating elements, which gave his audience quite a show. Dr Carey noted that in the popular
Jason Bourne film series, a toaster was used to start a fire in exactly the same way as his experiment--and how easy it is for an appliance to ignite once material such as paper or card comes into contact with it. 

Luke Collins Times Dr Nick Carey's Experiment

In the Leeds Office, participating loss adjusters constructed pipework using different fittings and pressure-tested them to prove that plumbing is much harder than it seems. Even when a fitting looks sound, its testing will not only separate the true plumbers from the rest--but occasionally also separate the fitting from the pipe. 

Stephen Brough & John Camplin lead participants at the Leeds Office

Investigators Stephen Brough (Left) and Dr John Camplin (Right) lead the group in assembling pipework in the Water Lab

If your office is based in the UK and your colleagues would like to visit one of the Hawkins laboratories to experience a hands-on demonstration and inside look at our industry, please contact Business Development Manager, Graeme Drysdale

Latest News

Hawkins’ Fire Investigator Gives a Webinar on Major Fire Losses for the Insurance Institute of Sussex

2nd Dec 2021

Ian Major, Regional Manager of Hawkins’ Reigate Office, recently gave a webinar on Major Fire Losses for the Insurance Institute of Sussex. Hawkins has found the webinar format both helpful and integral during the last two years for connecting with ...

Read More

Russell Smith Speaks to Bristol University’s Criminal Justice Society

26th Nov 2021

Two weeks ago, Russell Smith, Regional Manager of Hawkins’ Bristol Office, had the opportunity to speak to Bristol University’s Criminal Justice Society in their Law School building. Russell’s talk covered the progression of his career from working ...

Read More

Hawkins on Wheels!

25th Nov 2021

Hawkins’ forensic engineers Lisa Beck, of the Reigate Office, and Charles Murdoch, of the London Office, not only investigate incidents involving bicycles and motorcycles—but also race them.Lisa Beck recently took part in the Appenninica MTB Stage Race, ...

Read More

Dr Sophie Parsons Speaks at Queen Mary University of London’s 50th Anniversary of Materials Graduations

24th Nov 2021

On 5th November 2021, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) celebrated 50 years of graduations from its Materials programme. Over a hundred people were present for the event, including four original PhD graduates from the programme, while 45 more participants ...

Read More

Dr Nick Carey Presents on Container Ship Fires at The Nautical Institute

18th Nov 2021

On 4th November, Dr Nick Carey spoke at the Fires on Container Ships Seminar hosted by the London Branch of the Nautical Institute on their floating headquarters, HQS Wellington. Hawkins was pleased to also be a supporting sponsor. The conference focused ...

Read More

Contact Us

Submitting this contact form will enter your details into our contacts database and we will reply to your request as soon as possible. We will also retain your details so we may contact you from time to time. You can ask us to remove your details at any time. For details, see our Privacy Notice.