How do I engage children with fire safety?

I asked my children the other day, do you have any fire safety days or lessons at school? Does the local fire station send round a representative? The answer was yes and no. Both said they had the annual fireworks night safety talk at school by the teachers but nothing else.

I then asked myself, how much do I engage with my children about fire safety? Again, the answer was yes and no. When they were little the fire guard was around the open fire, they knew not to play with matches, they knew that when the toast was burnt the alarm went off and why it went off.

As they grow older we assume that they will become self-aware of the dangers of fire. It is a subject we do not dwell on too much as we do not want to make our children overly afraid so we need to engage and educate to take away this fear.

Leading by example

Would your child know not to touch a hot door if the house was on fire? Would they know to get as low to the ground as possible if they encounter a smoke-filled room? Do they know the meaning of stop, drop, roll?

We pack our children off to school and are safe in the knowledge that they will get the best education possible. But if they are not aware of fire safety, who is there to engage with them? YOU!

As a parent we are our children’s role models, they look to us for answers and guidance. Take crossing the road for example. How many times do we drum it into them about where is safe to cross? Always wait for the green man at traffic light crossings. Always look left and right even if the green man is lit up. Crossing the road is dangerous for children and so is fire. We just assume it won’t happen to us. After all, when was the last time a house in your street caught fire? But then again, when was the last time someone in your street got run over?

The statistics you should read

In 2015/16 the Fire Service attended 528,700 incidents of which 162,000 were fire related accounting for 303 deaths.

A startling figure is that 73,600 were thought to be deliberate!! Of the 162,000 fire related incidents 73,400 were classed as primary fires (affecting people and property), of which 54,000 were accidental. Of the 303 deaths, 246 were from accidental causes of fire of which 191 deaths were due to accidental fires in dwellings.

Whilst the number of deaths is low, 7,644 people were non-fatal causalities of which 3,299 required hospital treatment. This outlines the fact that fire related incidents do cause harm to people and engagement and education could reduce the number of people having to be taken to hospital. For full details of the Home Office Fire Statistics report please read here

How to engage

It goes without saying that we all have a responsibility to ourselves and our children to be fire safety aware. Think about one aspect of fire safety and teach your children this. Obviously, we do not want to scare our children but drip feeding knowledge to them is a good option. For younger children, you could make it a fun “game” by using flip cards. There are plenty on the internet

What about role play? Children love to copy their parent’s actions. Try a practice run of what to do if the smoke alarm goes off in the night.

For older children when they are doing their homework ask them to search on line about a particular subject of fire safety. After all what child doesn’t like having the freedom to surf the internet? Search online for open days and events at your local fire station.

Make fire safety education different, by getting your children to engage with you will make it sink in and could stop them becoming one of the annual statistics


Disruptive technology, what is it and what about the future?

Disruptive technology is an innovation that displaces current technology, shaking up the market place and industry. The technology once tried and tested then becomes a main stream technology. Can you think of anything over the past 30 years that has disrupted technology? Let us look at a few examples:

The Personal Computer

This changed our working environment completely replacing those office based typing pools and making it possible to work from home. The laptop means that the number of home workers is estimated to be around 300 million across the globe. The UK has by all accounts 4.2 million according to this article from 2015.


Invented back in 1972 and commercially viable from the 1990’s our main way of communicating has replaced letter-writing and disrupted the postal and greeting card industries. The email does have many advantages in being an instant form of communication, although sometimes you do wish the inbox wasn’t so full.

Mobile phones


The introduction of the mobile phone made it possible for people to call us from anywhere and disrupted the telecoms industry. The mobile phone has since been disrupted by the smartphone which also changed our habits with GPS, calculators, music, cameras and videos. Those that mocked those large mobile phones of the early 1980’s surely own a smartphone now. They have become an extension of our person and we never leave home without it. There are an estimated 2.7 billion smartphones in the world, used by a third of the population. If you like statistics this article is great.

Cloud computing

This has been a hugely disruptive technology in the business world, displacing many systems located in-house or provided as a traditionally hosted service. A must for the home worker. Email, Accountancy packages, photo storage, file sharing are some of the examples of cloud based computing

Social networking

There isn’t much we do not know about social networking, it has had a significant impact on the way we communicate. It has disrupted telephone, email, instant messaging and event planning. On a personal level who doesn’t have a Facebook account?

These technologies have changed the way we see and interact with the world. We expect things to be instant, but as our lives are busier, meaning time is limited, this can only be a good thing depending on your perspective

What does 2017 hold in store?

As the world of technology is becoming even more inventive, fast-paced environment there will be further ground breaking innovations that will shake up the world we live in.


Believe it or not some 30-50,000 people worldwide have under the skin implants. These implants work via RFID (radio frequency identification) and can be used to store all kinds of data, from personal ID to bitcoins. Have a look at this article for more information.

Robots as Co-workers


It may seem like science fiction, but robots are starting to be employed for an increasing range of job roles well beyond the production line.

With advanced robotics increasing, we will the see the rise of sobots. There are social robots who can read emotions and talk which are being used as digital assistants.

Increase of 3D printing

From a novelty to everyday use in manufacturing. This is a logical step considering the investment and the potential worth of this technology. Big winners will be the construction industry who will be able to build in months what could have taken years.

Self-driving vehicles

This is already being tested and has proved to be a minor success with a few setbacks. How we as humans relate to this technology could be pivotal. The mindset of not being in control of the vehicle could be a major stumbling block. This video showcases this, so time will tell here

Virtual reality, Augmented reality and mixed reality


Once a gamers only concept this technology is starting to prove its worth and can only bolster its reputation by moving into the commercial world. Investment in AR and VR has increased dramatically. Globally in 2015 $700 million was invested but one company alone spent $800 million in 2016. Retailers, the medical world and industry have started to embrace this tech with a new-found passion. This video really sums up this technology.

So, sit back and watch this space, 2017 should be an exciting year for technological advancement


What is Augmented Reality?


What is Augmented Reality?

If you have no idea what Augmented Reality is (AR), I will mention two words and it should register. Pokémon Go. Released in July 2016 the craze swept the globe like a fever. Children and adults were suddenly wandering about in groups all over place (and in one case straight off a cliff), gazing at their mobile phones trying to catch these pocket monsters.

The game works by using the mobile phone’s GPS for the real-world location and augmented reality to bring up those Pokémon on your screen, overlaid on top of what you see in front of you.

Picture 1 What is AR                 What is AR pic 2                 


Isn’t Augmented Reality the same as Virtual Reality?

Simply put no. I would say they are like cousins. Virtual Reality (VR) means computer-generated environments for you to interact with, and being immersed in. Augmented reality superimposes information on the world we see. So, AR adds to the reality you would ordinarily see rather than replacing it.

AR does not require a head mounted display like VR and provides more freedom for the user to choose the path they want to take.


What is AR pic 3

Is AR just about gaming?

There are now plenty of Augmented Reality games out there and you could be mistaken for thinking that it is only for gamers, teenagers and dare I say it, geeks. However, there is a whole new world of AR out there. Technology has advanced dramatically in the last few years. And some of it will and has been (pardon the pun) game changing.

Augmented Reality is creeping into a variety of different aspects of our life. Education, manufacturing, medical, fashion, automotive and retail have all taken AR on board. Let us look into some of these sectors to discover what AR has to offer.

AR Apple Education pic


AR can really bring the classroom to life. Our children are so tech savvie now with iPads, mobile phones and laptops that it puts those in our 30’s to shame. So combining learning and technology really is the best way to engage pupils. And keeping pupils engaged will mean better comprehension of a subject leading to better exam results. There isn’t a subject that cannot benefit from using AR. Have a browse of this article to see what we mean


 AR Pic 4


Using “smart glasses” many industries have picked up on the technology. In construction you can look at a build layout in three dimensions to make the job in hand easier. A factory worker can use AR instructions to complete their work. Employers can also utilise AR for training, design and safety. This is an excellent video on the subject.



This really is where AR comes into its own. You can teach students about all aspects of medicine, surgery, diseases, anataomy. This video explains it perfectly. You can also teach and use AR within the surigcal world. Hospitals are going to start using this technology in a live environment in 2017. The technology for complicated surgery currently used via microscopeoculars will now use AR systems.





I will leave this down to the Swedish home furnishings company Ikea. They have an on-line AR catalogue which lets you add the furniture into your room before buying. AR catalogues are also being used by Lego, TopShop and Converse to name a few.

So, AR and VR are here to stay. It is all about embracing the future. Technology is making our lives easier, safer and far more interesting. After all, didn’t we all scoff at the size of those mobile phones from the 1980’s and thing it would never catch on…………………


Vigiles Group

Making a positive impact through disruptive technology.

#AR #VR #Gaming #Tech #Retail #Employee #Engage #Motivate #Mobile #Apps #Students #Safety #Innovation #Business #Technology #GoDo #Social #Medicine #Augmented #Reality #Virtual #Technology #Market #Educate #Video





How do you behave…when nobody is watching?

Are you a model citizen 24/7? Can you hand on heart say you’re conscientious when at work or whilst living with others to ensure their safety and welfare at all times?


Yes? Fantastic, about a third of us are fully engaged and involved with the workplace and carry this ethos through to our home lives, carefully thinking of the impact of our actions on others and the organisation’s we may work for…unfortunately that leaves almost two thirds who aren’t.

Does this effect our day to day welfare and safety when so many others may not share our values?

Employee engagement is a property of the relationship between an organisation and its employees.

An “engaged employee” is defined as one who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organisations reputation and interests.

Crucially it’s the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to his or her organisation.

There is a problem. One which is often not discussed, but can be heard muttered and moaned about near the water fountain or photocopier and it comes in the form of compulsory compliance training.

There is no question of doubt, compulsory safety training has prevented many accidents and can save lives, but it often is viewed as a tick box exercise and often fails to engage, motivate or change behaviour.

Did you know almost $11 billion is lost annually due to staff turnover. This is not only a staggering figure financially, the impact of such frequent turn-over of employees can have both short and long term detrimental effect on small start-up companies and large multi nationals alike. Why does this happen?

The ethos and values of an organisation are intrinsically linked with the behaviour patterns of employees. To build a strong and sustainable safety culture, takes time, commitment and understanding.


 People First  – Safety Always


The UK Health and Safety Executive defines safety culture as “ . . . the product of the individual and group values, attitudes, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety programs.”

A more succinct definition: “Safety culture is how the organization behaves when no one is watching.” 

Employee attitudes are changing is it any surprise, employers need more than ever to recognise their customer AND employee’s motivation.

In a recent study by gamification experts 90%  9 in 10 Millennials want their work place to be social and fun, realistically we can’t all provide the hub of all fun workspaces akin with Google.

As individuals and teams we can be creative and flexible with our work spaces and the way in which we choose to get involved and BE involved.

Get fired up tracking image

80% of millennials say they prefer on-the-spot- recognition over formal reviews, admit it, how many of us take a deep intake of breath at the prospect of annual reviews, the process can be long and convoluted, but I wonder what proportion of us come out of review processes not feeling it was a tick box exercise enforced by management?

80% of us actually like regular feedback from our managers and don’t want to wait until a quarterly or annual review, opportunities to learn are often lost or slip through the net.

88% of millennials want a positive culture, but what does that mean or look like?

At Vigiles Group we are raising a few eyebrows and challenging the norm with conventional methods safety training. Offering a differentiated view.

We think its worth it…Combining over 40 years of experience as employees, managers, Fire and Health and Safety Professional, as parents to young children, teens and young adults – We’ve combined this experience  with valuable insight from Generation Z…we have started something.

Using innovation and creativity we embrace disruption and change – for the positive.


70% of senior executives admit to play during working hours…..

18% of gamers are younger than 18

53% of gamers are aged between 18-49………

29% of gamers are aged over 50……


Be ahead of the bandwagon – The new IT crowd.

GetFiredUP is an augmented reality mobile gaming app for young adults leaving home to live independently for the first time. Learn stuff and earn stuff as you navigate your way around typical hazards distrupting student living. Prevent those annoying alarm activations – take a different view – delve into a novel unique gaming experience and GetFiredUP


When was the last time you were forced to do something and really enjoyed it?

Add the words compulsory training and a majority of people switch off.

Here’s a question – based on your experience is fire safety training memorable and fun?

Vigiles Group has asked over 200 students enrolled at or about to start 26 UK universities from across the UK and they all said no, worryingly 68% expressed concern they had not received fire training and it bothered them!

100% of the students said they expect a mobile option.

It’s not surprising my own daughter like thousands of students globally have been left miserable at university by preventable accidents, false alarm activations and fires in their student digs

The problem – Safety training when enforced often fails to engage, motivate or change behaviour

It’s rarely fun or convenient, getting everyone on board can be challenging – There is another way.

I am Diane Dawson founder of Vigiles Group and we have an exciting solution.

Working with outstanding developers and with traction from major stakeholders our unique mobile app combines the latest augmented reality technology, gaming with incentive based learning.

The app is set to launch in the UK during August 2016, we aim for key universities and student accommodation providers to take the global lead with our innovative and differentiated offering.

The app releases will evolve to include First Aid, Food hygiene, personal safety and more – with the scope for users to enter a simple platform and gain accredited certification, ready for the world of work.

Vigiles Group 3 year goal is for the estimated 232 million global students via the app to have easy access to a positive more engaging safety and life skills learning experience

If one fire or accident is prevented the app will be a success.

Vigiles invites sponsors and ambassadors who care to build a strong and sustainable safety workplace culture to join us

Let’s engage the students of today to ALL be great leaders of tomorrow.




Flaming tea towels

Who’s responsibility is it to Teach Your Teen Fire Safety Practices before Leaving home to Join University?

If as a parent (like me) you have proactively protected and educated your child from birth to skillfully navigate away from any kind of life threatening danger and potential daily hazard, congratulations – job well done, however you may be reading this and feel mildly phased, when does it end, does it end?

Undoubtedly my own parents still feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility towards me despite the fact I am closer to drawing a pension than my first experience as a novice 16 year old motor cyclist on the UK roads – Endless unlimited access to information has inspired a generation of parents/carers to over protect and in many cases even carefully manage off-springs safety with meticulous detail and skills even the most proficient project planner would be grateful for – from crossing the road to avoid playing with matches or even how to behave around fire works, but what happens when our little darlings leave home for the first time, on the worldly adventure which is University…..?

There is a mild assumption that all parents/carers have at some stage or another reviewed fire safety facts and tips in mild preparation for any kind of event of a fire emergency in your home. True?

Or does the statement hold an element of unrealistic expectation? As a child I recall my own brief encounter with fire as I watched my mother dance around the kitchen with a flaming tea towel, caused by removing burning sausages from a grill that hadn’t been cleaned for a few days, the lingerings of yesterdays lamb chop fat upon it tipped the grill to spark and ignite. No harm was done, the fire was rapidly extinguished in the sink, food in the bin and doors flapped rapidly in the days before smoke alarms. – So what did little me watching on learn from this?

The answer at that time, not a lot – other than it was briefly very scary. You see I was unable to correlate the cause and effect of the fire and the opportunity to teach my brother and I had been missed.

Once I found myself as a parent to a teenager, I ensured from a relatively young age she was taught key life skills and safety tips, which were reiterated, until they became second nature to her. Simple messages, including being cautious of certain plastics and never placing metal in a microwave, ensuring tea towels and kitchen towel are placed away from the cooking hob, never leaving boiling, or grilling foods unattended and so it goes on.

Though the best way to prevent fire is to practice fire safety and make sure fire doesn’t break out in the first place. This means keeping children from a young age aware of all potential hazards that can happen in your home and developing an ability in them to be able to take the best course of action independently with little or no supervision. An ideal scenario for all students and adults living independently for the first time.

Many parents show their children how to effectively escape from a building in the event of an emergency. They show them how to use windows and doors to escape from a room, many also practice their escape plan with them regularly. Think about it, what would you do in the event of a fire? imagine the scenario daytime and night time – with a room full of toxic black smoke and zero visibility…..

Will your child or teen be able to protect themselves on an unfamiliar ground, such as a new college or University? Do you think your young adult needs to know what protocol to take in an event of fire when they are in an unfamiliar place? What should they do when there is a fire alarm?

The importance of teaching children, teens and young adults about fire safety can never be overemphasized.

If your teen is preparing for college or university, you need to empower them with the skills of what to do if a fire breaks out. I recently questioned over 100 students from eight UK universities, worryingly 68% said they had not been offered fire safety training and would’t really know what to do in the event of a fire.


We would like to think almost all universities or student accommodation providers conduct thorough fire safety courses, on par with the compliance led training to employees, the reality is and despite best intentions this is largely not the case. There is a void a gap if you will, this may come down to many factors, funding such training could be one, it would be easy to become bogged down with this debate – who’s responsibility is it? If multiple fire alarms are disrupting the accommodation halls your teen is staying in or preventable fires are taking place – without doubt as parents and carers you will hear about it, especially if it is a persistent and frequent occurrence.

As young adults, surely the responsibility lies with the students themselves?

The responsibility of keeping your teen updated with the latest fire safety tips rests on your shoulders and theirs

When children are raised in an environment where they have been regularly instructed about the dangers of fire, they take it seriously. They respect and  value the fire safety course (should  they receive one) from their accommodation provider or university, this ethic will stand them in good stead for their life as an employee or leader.

If you happen to ask any teacher or a professor, they will tell you, there are always some children who won’t take fire safety courses seriously. Often because they have never been taught by their parents about the dangers of fire.

It’s a duty of parents to teach their children the real dangers of fire and how their timely action can keep them safe and can even reduce any possibility of future accidents and tragedies.

Keep reading our blog as we bring more information and innovation on how you can raise your children and teens to be smart when it comes to fire safety practices and actionable steps you can take to prepare and empower them for their adventures into adulthood.

People First Safety Always



The safety predicament

What to do…..DSC01512.JPG

As parents we seem to have a safety chip built into our inner core, like programmed robots we can find ourselves protecting our young right from the outset , ensuring babies aren’t swaddled too tightly to cause over heating or able to reach items on which they may instantly put to their mouths and may choke .

Such is life the fortunate among us are able to watch our little ones rapidly grow and soon find ourselves running the daily gauntlet of catching toddlers as they trip, have countless near misses with table corners and bound eagerly towards just about every obstacle or staircase they encounter,  when you think about the scale and size of a staircase, it’s an incredibly brave and ambitious task to tackle and almost perceived right of passage for able bodied preschool kids.

As parents it can be physically exhausting and a test of even the most patient parent’s communication skills constantly reinforcing ‘No ‘ positively without dampening the enthusiasm children demonstrate whilst discovering their world like over an active bobble head figure participating in an episode of its a knock out ” .

Parenting safety – When should we stop? ……Never

During October 2015 there were 1,083,628 calls offered to the NHS 111 line service in England. During 2014/15 22.3 million people presented to A&E  thank fully 40% of those who attended A&E were discharged without treatment (figures courtesy of http://www.england. Nhs Uk ) .

At some time or another parents and carers will find themselves sat in an A&E department with a child (myself included ) whom accidentally injured themselves or ingested something. The most notable of these occasions I recall due my son ramming fuzzy felt deep up into his nostril.

The same son years later whilst on a trampoline practicing his soccer skills with an impressive scissor kick even Ronaldo would be proud of unsurprisingly managed to knee himself in the face, putting his top teeth through his bottom lip . Before the words ‘please not on the trampoline ‘ fell from my lips the damage was done. A a quick call to 111 before being advised to seek medical help….off to A&E we traipsed…..

99% of me could guarantee *he* won’t be practicing scissor kicks on the trampoline again . Hind sight is a wonderful thing but sadly there are many very preventable scenarios which do not end so well. As carers we have a duty of care to ensure the reinforced parenting of safety is both harmonious and fun 

Science dictates our behavior is determined by combination of inherited traits , experience and the environment . Some behavior, called innate comes from our genes other behavior is most certainly learned,  either from interacting with the world or by being taught.  

The UK is unique and incredibly blessed to have the National Health Service, sadly it is strained and working to capacity. We all have responsibility in our role as a parent, carer or member of the community to ensure young people are able to flourish and grow, but are able to make informed choices with safety behaviors, thus protecting not only the health and well being of young people but the invaluable and precious resources of the NHS.