An influential group of MPs has backed the new initiative by leading trade association SELECT in which free heat, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are being installed for some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland.
The Alarm Ambassadors campaign, sponsored by Aico, has crossed political and geographical boundaries to earn praise from the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG).
After tweeting its support, APPCOG said it was impressed by the practical nature of the campaign, which was launched last month (February) and has already seen qualified electrical professionals fit free alarm systems in selected homes.
John McNally, MP for Falkirk, the SNP’s Shadow Environment spokesman at Westminster and a member of the all-party group, said: “Our group seeks to push the vital issue of carbon monoxide safety up the political agenda and this campaign by SELECT and its partners is a great contribution to that cause.
“Proper carbon monoxide protection is a keystone of safety in the home and anything which keeps the issue at the forefront of people’s minds is to be recognised, welcomed and encouraged.”
Mr McNally is currently preparing to carry out a goodwill initiative of his own, distributing 50 carbon monoxide alarms donated by gas company SGN to people in his constituency.
And he added: “Carbon monoxide is the silent killer and our group includes people who have tragically been affected by this issue, some of whom have lost loved ones
“Raising public awareness of the threat posed by carbon monoxide is a major public safety matter and the Alarm Ambassadors campaign helps to do just that.”
APPCOG is the leading forum for promoting ways of tackling carbon monoxide in the UK. Its stakeholders include representatives from the scientific and medical community, academia, gas distribution networks, the Civil Service, Ofgem and charities.
APPCOG Chair Barry Sheerman, Labour (Co-op) MP for Huddersfield, said: “We stand four-square behind the SELECT and Aico campaign and we applaud this initiative wholeheartedly.
“We also understand the need, emphasised in the Alarm Ambassadors initiative, for good quality products to be used in home installations, and the importance of ensuring that they are fitted by qualified and certified electrical professionals.
“One death from carbon monoxide poisoning is one death too many. It’s imperative that people protect themselves in line with the new Scottish Government legislation which came into effect on February 1.”
The Alarm Ambassadors campaign has already seen free domestic alarm systems provided to vulnerable, elderly and disabled people identified by Care and Repair Scotland, the charity which helps householders improve or adapt their home.
APPCOG will host a meeting on March 10 at which Iain Mason, Director of Membership and Communications at SELECT, Tony Boyle, Relationships Manager at Aico and Robert Thomson, National Director of Care and Repair Scotland, will deliver a presentation about the initiative.
Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, said: “APPCOG has carried out enormously valuable work in the field of carbon monoxide education and protection and it is gratifying that it recognises our own efforts in Scotland.
“This will give another great fillip to our teams who are working so hard to get the home safety message across to the widest number of people as the new Scottish Government regulations come into force.”
Mr Wilson also reminded householders to find their nearest electrical contractor on the SELECT website, where a dedicated section also offers downloadable guides, technical manuals and an easy-to-follow animation.