As new heat and smoke alarm regulations come into effect, campaigning trade association SELECT has launched a goodwill initiative that will see its Members install free domestic alarm systems for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people.
Sponsored by Aico, the European market leader in home life safety, the Alarm Ambassadors campaign will see qualified electrical professionals fit heat, smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in selected homes across Scotland to ensure they comply with the new rules.
The recipients will be vulnerable older and disabled people who have been identified by Care and Repair Scotland, the charity which helps householders improve or adapt a home which is no longer suitable.
Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, said: “We are delighted to be launching this Alarm Ambassadors campaign, sponsored by Aico and supported by Care and Repair, which will help the people in Scotland who need it most and reinforce the importance of domestic fire safety.
“We were also delighted that so many SELECT members volunteered to give up their time and install alarms free of charge, demonstrating their commitment to keeping people safe and ensuring work is carried out to the highest standard at all times.
“The campaign is designed to help those in genuine need – and remind the public of the importance of using compliant products, installed by qualified electricians where possible, to meet the new legislation which came into effect on February 1.”
The first Alarm Ambassadors installation was carried out in Biggar, Lanarkshire by electrician Chris Liddell of SELECT Member business 2 Core Electrics. Also in attendance was SELECT President Donald W Orr and Tony Boyle, Relationships Manager from Aico.
Similar installations will now take place across Scotland, with electricians from SELECT member firms installing tamper-proof long-life lithium battery Aico alarms that are sealed, wireless and interlinked in line with the regulations. A completion certificate will also be issued once the work has been completed.
Mr Boyle said: “We were only too happy to sponsor this deserving campaign and help people protect their homes and families with high-quality alarm systems, installed by qualified electrical professionals.
“It is vital that we get the message across in Scotland that homeowners must act now to become compliant, and this campaign will help raise awareness of the type of products that should be fitted.”
The new government standard requires that all homes in Scotland must have a smoke alarm on every storey including hallways and landings, a smoke alarm in the most frequented part of the house, such as the lounge, a heat alarm in the kitchen and a carbon monoxide alarm wherever there is a fuel burning appliance.
Mr Orr said that it was vital that action is taken to meet the requirements sooner rather than later, and that a qualified electrician should be employed to install any hard-wired interlinked systems.
He said: “The Scottish Government has said that any necessary work should be done within ‘a reasonable period’ after February 1, taking into account individual circumstances.
“However, while homeowners do still have this time to become compliant, now is the moment to consult with a properly qualified electrician and plan any additions or alterations which may be needed.
“Householders can quickly find their nearest electrical contractor on the SELECT website and members will be able to advise on design, installation and commissioning, as well as providing required certification.”
SELECT has produced a range of guidance about the new standard on a dedicated section of its website, including downloadable guides, technical manuals and an easy-to-follow animation.