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RoSPA welcomes Scottish Parliament debate on home safety equipment fitting schemes

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) will acknowledge the importance of home safety equipment fitting schemes in a debate which has been welcomed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The Parliamentary debate taking place on Thursday, November 13 will recognise that families, particularly young children, are at risk of serious accidents in the home, and can be protected with vital information and the use of some simple equipment.

It follows the launch of the Home Safety Equipment Scheme, funded by the Scottish Government and spearheaded by RoSPA. The scheme worked in partnership with organisations such as Scotland’s Fire and Rescue Service, Care and Repair and the NHS. Where possible, the scheme has linked closely with local Early Years Collaborative (EYC) teams, contributing to the EYC stretch aims of reducing infant mortality and ensuring children meet their developmental milestones.

The scheme has helped more than 800 families across the country by providing them with an education package and safety equipment such as safety gates, fire guards, door jammers, blind cord cleats, cupboard locks and corner cushions.

All equipment, provided by Kid Rapt, was fitted by a qualified instructor, while each eligible family also received a home fire safety visit from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The motion before Parliament will acknowledge the need for local schemes such as this to be administered, and notes that children can be protected from unnecessary suffering from burns, scalds, falls and poisonings.

It will also acknowledge an evaluation of the Home Safety Equipment Scheme, which has been commissioned by RoSPA and produced by SMCI Associates, is also due to be released tomorrow.

Elizabeth Lumsden, community safety manager for RoSPA Scotland, said: “We are thrilled that such an important issue, which unnecessarily affects hundreds of families each year, is to be discussed in the Scottish Parliament.  

“Those most at risk of serious accidents in the home are children under five, whose curiosity can often lead them into danger. That’s why the fitting of safety equipment, such as cupboard locks, is so important in homes.

“We want to protect the most vulnerable, and have been working with organisations such as Care and Repair Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and linking with local Early Years Collaborative teams to do just that, but to have the issue debated in Parliament is yet another step in the right direction and shows just how seriously accident prevention is being taken in Scotland.”

Clare Adamson MSP, who has tabled the motion for the debate, said: “It has been my great privilege, in my time as an elected member both as a councillor and an MSP, to have worked with RoSPA in their endeavours to reduce accidents in Scotland.

“I had the privilege of representing the Scottish Accident Prevention Council as the vice chair of their home safety committee for a number of years and learned a great deal about accidents in the home, especially involving children, toddlers and babies.

“I am very impressed with Scotland’s Home Safety Equipment Scheme, a pilot project which aims to provide home safety equipment to families across specific areas in Scotland and eagerly await the publication of the evaluation of this initiative, and trust that it is in all of our interests that best practice in the area of home safety be adopted across Scotland.”

To find out more about RoSPA Scotland see www.rospa.com/about/aroundtheuk/scotland

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