The Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) hosts Home Safety Scotland (HSS), a quarterly online forum – a community of interest and excellence – for professionals focussed on home safety. HSS is a knowledge exchange network, promoting the sharing of best practice. It offers regular opportunity to hear expert guest speakers, share problems collectively and look for solutions. It’s free to join.

Home safety is critical. Falls are a growing and major public health issue. Current data highlights this.

  • Public Health Scotland (PHS) speaks to 1 in 9 emergency hospital admissions as a direct result of unintentional injury (2,759 deaths in 2020). The young and elderly are most at risk, and 94% of deaths take place in our most deprived communities.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) informs us that “falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide”. They stress that “prevention strategies should emphasise education, training, creating safer environments, prioritising fall-related research and establishing effective policies to reduce risk”.
  • The Scottish Government (SG) encourages us all to build resilience in communities, take early preventative action, collaborate to deliver evidence-based interventions, and work closely across the system to develop a joined-up approach.

The global pandemic has changed our relationship with the home. More of us spend more time working from home. For some, it’s a choice. For the immunocompromised, disabled, unable or anxious, it is a necessity. It is clear that behaviours in communities have changed. But as our partners at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) note, “because the accidents happen behind closed doors in isolated incidents, they rarely attract media attention”. We anticipate this will change and the importance of home safety will become more obvious.

We invite you to identify a named person(s) from your authority to join HSS, represent your community, become part of the conversation, and ensure your constituents have advocacy for an issue of escalating significance. Please confirm by email to info@scsn.org.uk the identity of your representative(s).

The next HSS meeting is scheduled for 1300-1500, Wednesday 5 May. The session will have inputs from Lorraine Gillies, SCSN CO; Errol Taylor, RoSPA CEO; Anna Pearce, Senior Research Fellow at University of Glasgow (UofG); Dr Margaret Callaghan, Independent Researcher and Writer; and representation from SG.

Your involvement and participation is keenly anticipated.