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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 213

Date:- 07 August 2005

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Danger, Danger - High Voltage! Help your kids to stay safe this summer

SCHOOL'S out for summer and kids everywhere are plugging in the PlayStation, turning on TV's, and connecting their computers. Gone are the days of hopscotch and spin the top, 21st century toys are state of the art, so make sure your kids are switched on to electrical safety, as it could stop your holidays going up in smoke, advises the NICEIC.

"Every year in the UK 19 people are killed and over 2,000 people are injured through electrical accidents, some of which will inevitably involve children. It's easy to take electricity for granted and forget how dangerous it can be. The more parents and children can learn about electrical safety the better they can keep themselves, their friends, and families safe."
said Jim Speirs, director general of electrical safety body NICEIC.

The latest research from the NICEIC found that out of the 54% of people questioned with children under 9 years old, worryingly, only around 35% said they used socket covers on unused plug sockets to stop children from accidentally touching them with their hands or fingers.

Another area for concern was the use of multi extensions and adaptors, which have become a common sight in children's bedrooms. Although they can provide a simple and speedy solution, if misused they could put children's lives in danger. According to the NICEIC, the overheating of appliances is one of the most common electrical hazards in the home. 

"An average room contains around 4 sockets, but with children increasingly using mobile phone chargers, hi-fi's and computers, there can be double the number of toys and gadgets to available sockets. This often leads to people plugging multi-extensions into each other for a quick fix solution, but this puts extra strain on the electrical system."
continued Speirs.

28% of people questioned used multi-extensions in their children's bedroom, with 15% of these using 3 or more. Disturbingly, 1 person admitted that they had 9 multi-extensions within their child's bedroom. 

The NICEIC advises that having a separate socket for each toy or gadget provides the safest solution. Under new electrical safety law Part P, introduced by the Government in England and Wales on 1 January, homeowners can install sockets themselves in any room except a kitchen or bathroom. If they want to install additional sockets in a kitchen or bathroom they will have to notify their local building control office before work begins, or use a government-authorized electrician, such as one registered with the NICEIC.

When it comes to clutter, most parents will know that kid's rooms are full of it. Try to keep cables, plugs and any other plugged in equipment clear of clutter to prevent damage to cables which could cause a fire. 

For more information on electrical safety and details of how you can find a registered electrician, visit the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) website:- where you can Download the 'Be a Bright Spark' colouring sheet. Alternatively call 0870 013 0381. 

NICEIC top summer safety tips:-

· Always switch off electric toys and gadgets when not in use - get into a routine of switching them off before going out or going to bed

· Don't overload electric sockets with adaptors by plugging in too many electric toys and gadgets - it's much better to install additional sockets

· Get a government-authorised electrician, such as one registered with the NICEIC to install additional sockets in your child's bedroom 

· Make sure you or your children carefully read and follow any operating instructions for toys

· Watch out for younger children, they do not know that electricity can be dangerous

· Never leave an unconnected cable plugged in and switched on

· Always make sure that any electric cables are in good condition, if an electric cable is damaged, get it replaced 

· Liquid and electricity don't mix - never keep any sort of water, drinks or liquid on or near electrical equipment

· Avoid trailing cables under clutter or rugs, to prevent people tripping over them and wear and tear on the insulation

Southport and Formby Area Power Surges

OVER the last two-week Southport and Formby have been hit by several large power surges that have damaged computers, like in our office and also set of countless alarms all over the area. We have had countless requests to find out if we know, or if we can find out, as to what has coursed the problems, but sadly we have not yet found out. We have contacted the power companies and no one seems to know why or what has coursed them. We will let you know when we find any information out. The advice is to equip all your computer equipment with serge protection plugs and also save data regularly. Sadly in our case the serge tripped out system just as we where saving the backups and data, so yes you guest it… we lost the data…. This does not happen very often, so sorry for lack of photos this week… Back to normal next week… We hope!


THEY'VE taken over the bedroom and the boardroom and they've always owned the kitchen, but now women in the North West have pulled the last remaining cloth from out of their man's table - the restaurant. Gone are the days when the man booked a restaurant, taking control of the evening by ordering their dates' meals and making the choice of wine. A recent report reveals that the UK has embraced FOODD .... Yes Female Ownership Of Dining-out Decisions. 

A study of 2000 Brits by pizza restaurant, PizzaExpress, reveals that 95% of women decide when they want to eat out and where. Not only that, but 69% chose their man's meal and 2 out of 3 women select the wine including taking a tasting before accepting it.

But the good news for men is that the control extends all the way to the end of the meal - 94% of women insist on paying their own way and 5% will pick up the total bill.

Quick Decisions

The report revealed that people in the North West are:-

· The least likely (8%) to let dinner with their boss influence their choice in food

· The most decisive, 43% decide want they want to eat within 5 minutes of arriving at a restaurant

· Not impressed with stardom, 67% ranked a celebrity diner as the least important when going out for a meal

The research also suggests that there are 12 million female FOODD supporters in the UK, with the most being in the East Midlands -16%, followed by West Midlands - 12% and Wales - 11% and the least in Scotland 5%. After 40 years of observing diners' behavior, PizzaExpress believes that the shift is due to consumers having less time on their hands - and women are able to make decisions faster than men.

"Despite being time poor, diners haven't changed their high demands for quality food or dining environment. They expect the best quality but can only afford to invest about an hour to dine. 58% of women will make their decisions for the entire meal within 5 minutes, while only 30% of men have chosen only their own meal within this time. Quite simply, men have lost control because they just can't keep up."
said a PizzaExpress spokesperson. 

In addition, time efficiency is so important, that FOODD advocates are deciding that they will stop at just two courses, although 100% admit that they demand a taste of their man's meal. 



A great opportunity exists to lead a fully qualified committed team of carers in a warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere at the Pilkington Family Trusts' respite care home for up to 22 guests. This is a purpose built modern care home, fully resourced and fully equipped, in an attractive setting with landscaped gardens, where guests from all parts of the country spend short stays and are provided with high quality care services covering all activities of daily living. 

Applicants will be committed to supporting our high standards and will require leadership and supervisory skills. Enthusiasm and motivation will be key factors, together with at least 3 years' proven experience in caring for people in a residential setting. Excellent administration and communication skills are essential, together with integrity and personal warmth. Applicants should have attained, or be willing to work towards, NVQ Level 3 in Management and A1 NVQ Assessor qualification. Hours are 37½ per week on a shift rota. This post requires a Criminal Records Bureau clearance. 

In return the Company can offer:-

§ Salary of £18,290 p.a. to £19,951 performance based with potential above the scale (inclusive of unsocial hours supplement) 
§ Training and Personal Development opportunities
§ 33 days holiday (inclusive of bank/public holidays)
§ Company pension scheme
§ Attractive uniform

For application form please telephone:- 01744 457900 or for an informal chat:- 01744 457908/6. Closing date for receipt of applications is Tuesday 30 August 2005.

For more information on our organisation please visit our website:-

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