Midlothian electrician installing alarms for free for the vulnerable

Thursday April 21st 2022


Paul-Erasmuson (left) shows householder Paul Harries how to use his new system.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A Midlothian electrician has become a star of the small screen after being filmed installing a free alarm system for a vulnerable local resident as part of a national goodwill initiative to ensure householders comply with new regulations.

Paul Erasmuson of Techni-Call Electrics was shown fitting heat, smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in an Edinburgh home after volunteering for the Alarm Ambassadors campaign, which is being run by electrical trade association SELECT.

The Gorebridge-based spark was also interviewed about the importance of using a qualified electrician for the special video, which was shot by the campaign’s sponsors Aico, the European market leader in home life safety.

The video shows Paul installing the system and showing the elderly resident how to operate it safely, before adding:

“This is an extremely important campaign because it gives people access to the contractors and kit they need to get their home up to scratch from a fire safety point of view.”

Grateful householder Paul Harries is also filmed expressing his thanks for the installation, adding:

“I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do it myself, as I’ve got no savings to speak of.”

The Alarm Ambassadors initiative has seen SELECT members firms like Techni-Call Electrics install free alarms in selected homes to ensure householders comply with new Scottish Government rules, which came into effect on February 1st.

The recipients are 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.

Paul said: “I was only too happy to assist with the Alarms Ambassadors campaign and the video, which will both help to highlight the importance of domestic alarms in keeping people safe and reducing fire deaths across Scotland.”

“Having compliant alarms installed by professional qualified electricians will contribute towards peace of mind for residents and Techni-Call Electrics is delighted to be able to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, said: “We are grateful to Paul and Techni-Call Electrics for volunteering to take part in the Alarm Ambassadors initiative and the video, which is an excellent demonstration of its importance.

“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 1st.

“Householders can quickly find their nearest electrical contractor on the SELECT website at www.select.org.uk and members will be able to advise on design, installation and commissioning, as well as providing required certification.”

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 Wilson added: “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.”

The campaign will see electricians install 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.

Tony Boyle, Relationships Manager at Aico, said: “It was a pleasure to meet Paul and shoot this video, which will highlight the importance of installing 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.”

SELECT has produced a range of guidance about the new standard on a dedicated section of its website www.select.org.uk, including downloadable guides, technical manuals and an easy-to-follow animation.

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