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Drew on Fire

Commercial common sense and nonsense

Dorgard Pro: Homework Done

Twenty-four years ago, we at Fireco invented Dorgard, the very first hold-open fire door device to close automatically on the sound of the alarm. Our chairman, Neil Purssey, walked past a dancing plastic flower which made him wonder whether a fire door could react to...

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Post-Its are Ectoplasm

Don't get me wrong, they can be useful. There are those workshops where people slap them around on walls with words like 'OPTIMISM' and 'EMPOWERMENT' scrawled on them. I am sure that can help but it's a bit earnest for my taste. I prefer quiet reflection with a cup of...

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The Next Cucumber

Notices are one of those things that give me nervous twitches. If you want a clue about what an organisation is like, read its notices. A notice is so often a sign of a glitch in the works. For the sake of my sanity, I have named these gltches cucumbers, as explained...

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The Chicken and the Wheelie Bin

I used to be quite calm about door wedges before I worked at Fireco. Even on fire doors. In hotels, solicitors’ offices, doctors’ surgeries, schools, universities, factories, communal areas in blocks of flats, village halls – in any place you can think of, the door...

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Do Gnats Get Verrucas?

When I was ten, I remember playing with a compressed air vice where my Dad worked designing and selling automation products. He was in his office, probably wondering which hydrocheck or solendoid operated valve to use and happily smoking. In the workshop next door I...

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Cats and Cucumbers or Why We Don’t Buy

There are many videos on YouTube of cats; cute ones, stroppy ones, cats doing tricks and cats jumping out of boxes. One cat video that I found particularly fascinating was the cucumber trick. While the cat under test is chowing down on its dinner, our YouTuber puts a...

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Fire Industry Group Think

To test if a diamond is real, try it on a mirror and it will scratch it. People believed this long after Zirconium paste was shown to be equally able to pass the infallible test. It astonishes me how susceptible we are to psychological bias, and how despite this, we...

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Homebase – The New Telephonist

I just had a call from Homebase — or was it Argos? They weren't sure. It was a robot who called me; one with a surreal mid-Atlantic accent. It asked me to press one if I was the person expecting the delivery. I duly did the phone dance that happens with mobiles when...

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Software Thingy Car Scandal

Around the globe the hard of thinking journalists are scrabbling for vocabulary.  What's that? What happened? Who? What? .... type. The current frenzy about cars artfully dodging emissions regulations is synthesized.  Made up. People in the industry (I bet) have been...

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Car Smothered with Sticky Notes

If animals were types of communication, the gazelle might be the tweet, an SMS a sweet little humming bird, an HMRC letter a rhinoceros (thick skinned and charges a lot) and  a posted paper letter the most ancient dinosaur anybody can think of. Faxes might be dodos...

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