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Influential MPs signal backing for SELECT’s Alarm Ambassadors campaign

29 March 2022

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, which is being sponsored by Aico, has crossed political and geographical boundaries to earn praise from the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group.

After tweeting its support, the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group said it was impressed by the practical nature of the campaign, which was launched in February and has already seen qualified electrical professionals fit free alarm systems in selected homes.

John McNally (MP for Falkirk, the SNP’s environment spokesperson at Westminster and a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group) said: “Our Parliamentary Group seeks to push the vital issue of carbon monoxide safety up the political agenda. This campaign by SELECT and its partners is a great contribution to that cause.”

McNally continued: “Proper carbon monoxide protection is a keystone of safety in the home and anything which keeps this issue at the forefront of people’s minds is to be recognised, welcomed and encouraged.”

The MP 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. He added: “Carbon monoxide is the silent killer. Our Parliamentary Group includes people who have 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.”

Leading forum

The All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group is the leading forum for promoting ways in which to tackle carbon monoxide-related issues in the UK. Its stakeholders include representatives from the scientific and medical community, academia, gas distribution networks, the Civil Service, Ofgem and charities.

Chair Barry Sheerman, Labour (Co-op) MP for Huddersfield, observed: “We stand four-square behind the SELECT and Aico campaign and 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, as well as the importance of ensuring that they’re fitted by qualified and certified electrical professionals.”

Sheerman went on to state: “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 1 February.”

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 assists householders to improve or adapt their home in order to enhance safety.

Valuable work

The All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group hosted a meeting on 10 March at which Iain Mason (director of membership and communications at SELECT), Tony Boyle (relationships manager at Aico) and Robert Thomson (national director for Care and Repair Scotland) delivered a presentation about the initiative.

Alan Wilson, managing director of SELECT, told Fire Safety Matters: “The All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group has carried out enormously valuable work in the field of carbon monoxide education and protection and it’s gratifying that it recognises our own efforts in Scotland. This will give our teams great momentum. They’re working so hard to impart the home safety message to the widest possible number of people as the new Scottish Government regulations come into force.”

Wilson has also reminded householders to find their nearest electrical contractor on the SELECT website, where a dedicated section also offers downloadable guides, technical manuals and easy-to-follow animations.