New funding to continue home safety scheme

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Further funding has been approved to extend a successful Derbyshire County Council scheme to help deaf or hearing impaired people feel safer in their homes after residents said it made them feel more secure.

The scheme was developed in response to research which revealed many residents with a hearing impairment often leave their doors unlocked or on the latch for visitors because they can’t hear them ringing or knocking. This left them vulnerable to sneak-in or distraction burglaries.

The council fitted specialist door chimes with flashing lights and vibrating pagers in the homes of 400 eligible residents between May 2010 and last October and £8,000 was approved in January to buy 300 more systems which were fitted by the county’s Handy Van Network.

This week a further £6,650 has been made available to buy chimes for 400 more deaf or hearing impaired residents.

Out of 68 recipients surveyed about the scheme this year 98% said the chimes made them feel safer and more secure in their homes and 96% said they would recommend the chimes to other people with hearing impairments.

County council Cabinet Member for Public Health Coun Carol Hart said: “The feedback from residents who have received one of these specialist door chimes has been extremely positive and the project had obviously achieved its aim of making them feel safer.

“We’re delighted to approve further funding which will allow more people with a hearing impairment to benefit and hope it will encourage them to secure their door without worrying they’ll miss a caller.”

The device can be set to chime on a variety of loudness settings but also has a flashing light which is activated when someone pushes the button on the door.

Residents are referred to the scheme either following a visit by the county council’s adult care team, following a home security safety check carried out by the Handy Van Network or a fire safety check carried out by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Residents have to be referred following a visit by the county council or relevant agency. Contact the council’s community safety unit contact number on 01629 538292 if you think you may be eligible.