React and Give

For a few years now we’ve been helping charities on and off. I’m sure you remember last year, James Canter, James Childs and James Child’s friend, John, cycled to Paris and donated the money to SENSE, a charity helping people who are deafblind or have serious sensory impairments. This year James Canter and Paul P Kenny from Worldwide Business cycled and donated the money to Family Fund, a charity that provides grants to families raising disabled or seriously ill children.

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We feel passionate about giving, so we now have taken our charity efforts to the next level with a program and a structure in place. To that extent, we have created a department to handle and schedule charity events that will take place across the group of companies (Reaction Group, Worldwide Business and Market Blast): the REACT (Raise awareness, Encourage, Aid, Contribute and Take a stand) Department, where we recognise, practice and celebrate giving.

James-Paul

Our aim is to have at least three sponsored events in the year across the companies and across the UK. So, for example in November we will choose a charity and a fundraising event to be carried out in February/March. After we have accomplished our goals for the February/March event and donated to the chosen charity, we will choose a cause to help out in June/July, and so forth. It’s worth mentioning that these events are not exclusive, we may choose to volunteer our time for a cause, for example, a beach clean-up, or help raise money in between these events, in which case we will discuss them and whomever wants to take part can do so.

Paul-Family-fund

So far, at Worldwide Business and Market Blast, we have introduced an online platform with mobile capabilities to provide free of charge translation services for Syrian refugees. We have translated an array of documents, from asylum application forms, to informative pamphlets for migrants, and providing transcription and subtitling for a charity’s fundraising video.

At Reaction Group, efforts have already started by scheduling engineers in their down time to pat test buildings free of charge for companies that cannot afford the service otherwise. The first to benefit from this has been Three Cs, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities and/or mental health challenges to have control over and choice about their lives and to contribute to the community as equal citizens. Thank you Michael for carrying this out for us!

Also, at the moment we are working on developing a work experience program that will benefit young people from deprived backgrounds. Within the group of companies, we feel strongly about inspiring and teaching future generations. We want to build self-confidence in young people, as well as helping them acquire skills to develop their creativity and interests. This programme will provide an opportunity for youngsters to explore possible career options, and, by exposing them to a working environment, we will be contributing to their learning of different tasks and experiences, which they can later transfer into a successful working life.

For everyone that wants to participate, the next event we have coming up is on December 18th for National Christmas Jumper Day. This was first created by Save The Children, who are this year pairing up with McMillan Cancer Research and Make-A-Wish-UK. We donated the proceeding to Save The Children last year, so this year we’re thinking in donating the money to some other equally worthy cause. I encourage everyone to part on this. Please share your ideas on to whom and how you would like this money to be donated this year. Remember, the crazier the jumper, the better!

For this department to work, we need to all push together. Please check our website for news and upcoming events. There is also a place within the website for everyone to leave your comments, propose fundraising events and nominate charities for us to help.

Sam Bailey

Newsletter report from Sam Bailey

A bit about me

Hi my name is Sam Bailey I joined the company in November 2014 and I am the Verification Officer. I came from a background in the MOD environment which was challenging to say the least and have found Reaction Group a welcome and needed change in my career. I have been asked to write something about myself so have decided to write about my home life and animals I have.

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My Home life and animals!

I live with my partner, Sophie and our two border collies in a 3 bed house in the middle of the Dorset countryside around 5 miles outside Dorchester which is lovely in the summer months but occasionally in the winter months it gets rather cold especially as it is an old farmhands house, good job we have an open fire, and lots of coal and wood in the outhouse to keep us going.

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We also have around 50 chickens which are mostly all different in colour some of which we bred ourselves from fertile eggs. The first year we got chickens we decided that looking after a dozen was too easy so decided to go and buy some chicks, we bought four in total and reared them up to adulthood, we had two silky bantams, one female one male, and then had two small grey bantams both of which were females, the second year of having chickens we decided to go back a stage and as the male silky bantam was fertilizing the eggs decided that we would borrow an incubator off one of our neighbors and incubate our own eggs, we put 50 eggs into the incubator and waited. The gestation period of a chicken egg is only 21 days and after 7 days you can tell whether they are starting to grow and are fertile or not, you can only do this by what’s called ‘candling’, for this I needed a ‘candling’ box so decided I would make one. We found that 42 out of the 50 eggs were fertile and had started to develop, the non- fertile eggs were discarded. Then it was a waiting game until around day 21…….

 

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Day 21, finally we had got to the three-week period and we were eagerly awaiting them hatching however it wasn’t until day 22 that things started to happen which was about typical as it was a Sunday evening, I think we must have just sat there watching for around 2 hours as they started to ‘pip’ which means they started to break the shell, one by one they emerged and we went to bed with them still slowly emerging. The next morning the incubator (still on to keep them warm) was full of little bundles of fluff, the next move was to put them in a brooder that I had already made for them to move into and bought a special heat lamp, overall we had 29 chicks which was quite an achievement from 50 eggs.

‘Chickens R us!’

The next step was to feed them up and keep them warm at least for the first few months, so they were fed chick crumb to start with then when managing to drink and eat a little better moved onto a mixture of chick crumb and grower’s pellets, then when big enough moved them onto just grower’s pellets, by this time they were getting a little big for the brooder I had made so, Sophie and I decided to make a couple of triangle runs for them. We made two runs and split them into two groups, we still didn’t know at this point whether they were boys or girls. After around 4 months we started to feed them a mixture of growers pellets, mixed corn and layers pellets this encouraged them to grow still and get used to the food they would ultimately be fed.

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It is a sad fact that in breeding chickens the male chicks are not wanted and do not even sell for £1 which yes we did try, we even tried giving them away to an auction but they were not interested. So… we have a farmer as a neighbor and asked if he could do the deed of showing us how to dispose of them humanely, which he did, overall there were 13 male chicks which meant we were down to 16 female chicks out of a total of 50 eggs in the first place. We did however keep one of our male chicks as he had very interesting markings, we also gave him a name, Geoffrey, see the pic.

So all in all the breeding was a success and they have grown into good chickens, all the females and Geoffrey are still alive and doing well. It was now the second winter and the chickens had gone off laying again (SO FRUSTRATING WHEN YOU FEED THEM AND THEY DON’T LAY) so we eagerly awaited the next summer, this summer. In June of this year I had been watching some of the chickens in with our black silky bantam cockerel and noticed they had got broody, in other words they were sitting on eggs so I left them to it, and hey presto after around three weeks we ended up with two little chicks from them, we took them up to the house and checked them over and they were fine so we put them back down the bottom of the garden with the mum, we then noticed that one of the eggs in with her had already been ‘pipped’ so took the egg out and checked it, we found that for some reason the chick inside was struggling to come out. We decided to give it a helping hand and very slowly broke pieces of the shell away to give it some extra space so that hopefully it would hatch itself, this wasn’t the case and we ended up helping it out very slowly completely out, for some reason that we still don’t know the egg was filled with what can only be described as little maggots so we cleaned the chick off and warmed it up under the heat lamp, this was a little black chick, it was very weak and was struggling to get to its feet.

After a week or so the small black chick had managed to get to its feet and was chirping away and eating so we thought that would be it and it would be fine. However, nature does things for a reason as we only found out when unfortunately, one of the chicks down the bottom fell into the water bowl and drowned. Also when the little black chick had got big enough we let it out with the other chickens and thought that would be fine, another reason nature does things for a reason is called natural selection ‘survival of the fittest’ this was only too true with this one as its legs decided once fully grown to splay which means it can’t walk properly so once again it was kinder to dispose of it which was gutting after all the effort we had put in to keep it alive and well. The one surviving chick did really well and is now out in the enclosure with the rest of the chickens.

During this last summer we also found another chicken sitting on eggs so left her to it as she was underneath one of the chicken houses, she was very protective from the start so couldn’t get underneath her to see how many eggs were under her. It came to August and they hatched so it was a case of lift up the chicken house and grab the chicks, there were 11 chicks in total so we started over again although this time kept them with their mum in one of the triangle runs we made with a shallow water bowl, these chicks are all still alive and kicking and are growing big already, we are unsure of how many are males but we are hopeful for at least 6 females. Soon after this we also found another 5 chicks so they are now in the other triangle run and also doing well.

So…that is the story of our chickens so far, I won’t go into the story of our ducks this time but I hope you are all well and enjoyed hearing about part of my life!

 

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Fire Safety

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical fires pose one of the more disastrous dangers involved in home ownership or property management. Fires caused by faulty or malfunctioning wiring can quickly get out of control, and can be difficult to extinguish as they often begin hidden behind walls. A bad electrical fire can even cause you to lose your entire home. Taking steps to learn how to prevent electrical fires will help you keep your home safe from this potential threat.

1. Avoid overloading your home’s electrical circuits. This is the easiest step you can take in reducing the risk of electrical fires, and it is also one of the most effective. Each circuit in your home is only designed to deliver so much electricity, and stressing these circuits by drawing too much power can cause the wires to spark or deteriorate.

  • The simplest way to avoid overloading circuits is by minimizing the amount of electrical equipment you plug into each outlet. In particular, minimize your use of power strips as much as possible, trying instead to limit the use of each outlet to the 2 plugs it provides.
  • If your home is very old, it may have very few circuits, as plug-in appliances and equipment were not as numerous when the home was built. A costly but effective measure to reduce stress on each circuit is to have an electrician run new wiring and install new circuit breakers on your electrical panel.

2. Replace or discard any frayed wiring. Frayed wiring, either in an appliance power cord or in your home’s wiring, poses a major risk of electrical fire. Appliance wiring in various gauges can be purchased inexpensively from hardware stores, and replacing frayed wiring on small appliances and electronics is a job well within the reach of an average DIYer.

  • While electrical tape can be used to provide temporary protection against arcing or melting of exposed conductors, it should not be used as a permanent solution.
3. Replace any old wiring in your home. Electrical wiring only has a lifespan of about 30 or 40 years, so homes older than that may be relying on deteriorated wiring. In addition, older wiring setups were not typically designed to handle today’s large electrical loads.

  • If you are relying heavily on extension cords or if your circuit breakers trip regularly, you are likely drawing more power than your old wiring can handle. Have an electrician inspect your home’s wiring as soon as possible.
  • Older homes may contain aluminum wiring, which poses a more significant risk of degrading and causing fires than copper wiring.
  • Having an electrician replace all or most of your home’s wiring is a very expensive upgrade, but will provide a virtual guarantee against electrical fires for decades.

Find out more about Electrical Safety and Fire Prevention here

Health and Safety

Top 10 Causes of House Fires

The chief causes of house fires are clear — and so are the ways to avoid them. Here’s what you need to know about preventing 10 common hazards.
Cooking Equipment
When a pot or pan overheats or splatters greases, it can take seconds to cause a fire. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially if using oil or high temperatures; most kitchen fires occur because people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. Keep combustibles (e.g. oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels) away from heat sources.

Heating EquipmentHave your furnace inspected annually by a qualified technician, and your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Keep portable heaters at least one metre away from anything that can burn (including curtains, furniture, and you), and don’t use your heaters to dry shoes or clothes. Install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Careless SmokingMake the bedroom off-limits to smoking, and supervise smokers who may become drowsy (i.e. on medication, drinking) or forget to extinguish their cigarette. Use large, deep ashtrays; never place an ashtray on or near anything that will burn; and check furniture for fallen cigarettes/embers (a butt can smoulder for hours before causing furniture to burst into flames).

Electrical Equipment

 

Ensure the following:

1) Your electrical appliances don’t have loose or frayed cords/plugs

2) Your outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs

3) You’re not running electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture

4) You’re not overusing an extension cord. Be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects; many home fires are caused by improper installation, so use a licensed electrician.

CandlesKeep candles in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children or pets. Blow them out before leaving the room.

Children Playing with FireChildren cause fires out of curiosity (what happens when something burns) or mischief (they’re angry, upset or destructive, and fire is a major taboo to break). Kids may be involved in fire play if you find matches or lighters in their room/possession, smell sulphur in their room, and/or find toys or other personal effects that appear melted/singed.
HSE

HSE & Electrical Safety

Under UK law the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) in Great Britain or the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 in Northern Ireland employers are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of their employees and also the public, if they are at risk from those work activities. This includes electrical safety.

Electrical Inspectors aim to reduce the number of electrical accidents by enforcing the law, providing advice on good working practices, and developing guidance in response to technical changes in equipment and working methods.

Electrical Inspectors work in cooperation with other responsible bodies including The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) link to external website, Local Authority Standards departments and The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem link to external website).

Electricity supply

Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)   link to external website enforces the continuity and quality aspects of the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 link to external website. For further information contact the DECC Inspectorate at DECC. HSE enforces the safety aspects of these regulations. There are particular reporting requirements placed on distributors under these regulations, these are separate to reporting requirements under RIDDOR.

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) link to external website look after the interests of electricity consumers. This is principally a financial role, monitoring electricity generation, distribution and supply. For further information contact Ofgem.

The address of your nearest Health and Safety Executive office can be found on the HSE’s website. For some workplaces (such as offices, shops, hotels, many warehouses) the Local Authority enforces electrical safety regulations, generally its environmental services department. HSE and the Local Authorities work together to provide consistent advice and enforcement by means of a liaison committee (HELA).
Annual electrical accident statistics in the workplace can be found in the HSE Annual Report and in the HSE Health and Safety Statistics, also published each year.

Find out more useful information about Electrical Safety

PAT Testing

What is portable appliance testing?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can’t be detected by testing alone.

A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used

More information about Electrical Safety