Detlev’s Electrical is working on some pretty big construction projects, but the Canberra-based family business is now leading the way when it comes to changing people’s lives using home automation.
While their booming commercial and residential departments have landed the company some shiny industry awards over the years, Detlev’s managing director Grae Munro says their most recent project is making a massive difference at a grass-roots level.
The electrical company teamed up with Bloomfield Support Solutions to fully automate the home of one of their clients, Shane, under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Mr Munro says the smart living project, completed at the end of 2020, has completely changed Shane’s life.
“He’s in a wheelchair and has difficulty moving around, so the system means he can lay in bed or sit on the couch and turn on the TV, dim the lights, control the air-con or close the blinds,” he said.
“The whole home can be controlled from Shane’s iPad – even the doorbell has a video so he can see who’s at the door and let them in.”
As well as making Shane’s everyday life easier, the home automation system is connected to sensors around the house that link back to his carers at Bloomfield.
“The sensors monitor the temperature of the home, detect if the oven is left on and can alert his carers if he’s not moving around for a few hours or if he has a fall,” Mr Munro explained.
The house has also been fitted with the capability to sense if Shane has a seizure.
Valued at around $30,000, the system was installed by Detlev at no charge, in conjunction with Schneider Electric. It’s a flagship program that Mr Munro hopes will be picked up by other disability service providers and people who care for their aging family members.
“More older people are wanting to stay in their homes, rather than going to nursing homes, and this smart system allows their carers to monitor them remotely and even control things like the home’s temperature,” he said.
“For carers, it puts their mind at ease and reduces the need for travel if they are concerned about loved ones, and for the home-owner, it adds a layer of security as well as making everyday tasks a lot easier.”
Mr Munro expects the home automation market to continue to grow as the population ages.
He says for providers, the program can reduce the travel time for carers and nurses and, in the long run, will save a “massive” amount of money while the client gets some independence back.
In the end, it’s making a difference to people’s lives that he says has had the biggest impact on his team.
“It’s a very user-friendly system and Shane absolutely loves it,” Mr Munro explained.
“We’ve won awards for housing automation in the past, but making a difference to someone and improving their life is a much better pay-off.”
Detlev’s Electrical is a family-owned and operated business that has been servicing the Canberra region since 1994.
It has grown into one of the city’s most respected electrical companies, with more than 40 staff members, including teams that are currently working on the new War Memorial car park extension and early works packages.
As well as custom home automation, Detlev’s provide residential and commercial electrical services and is the preferred appliance installers for many retail outlets, including Harvey Norman, Winning Appliances and Bing Lee.