A CUSTOM-BUILT house where firefighters and emergency services can learn about people with conditions such as dementia has opened its doors.

The training house, which cost £30,000, was opened yesterday by Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety.

It will be used as a means of training the most vulnerable members of Scotland’s communities allowing them to receive greater support to stay safe at home.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) unveiled the new facility at its headquarters in Cambuslang.

Crews will be trained at the Safe and Well House which recreates a domestic environment with hidden hazards.

It is designed to assist a growing elderly population and teach members of emergency services to look out for signs of danger that could lead to slips and trips.

Rooms contain items such as locks on stoves which can be used by carers before leaving a vulnerable person.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown said: “The main purpose is to train firefighters about potential dangers within the home. What was previously a traditional firefighting training facility now recreates a domestic environment, enabling firefighters to undertake training on home safety and community issues.”

The fire service hopes it will provide education and housing, the NHS, the other blue light services and the third sector who deal with vulnerable people.

Ewing said: “The Safe and Well House will contribute to our collective aim of improving fire safety within Scottish homes whilst building on our ambition of a more holistic person centred approach, in supporting health and well-being outcomes.”

The development of this new facility comes as the SFRS looks at transforming and extending the role of the firefighter for the future.

They will be trained to look out for examples of domestic abuse, mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse as part of a collaborative approach.

McGown added: “Our track record in preventative work is undisputed and has driven down the number of primary fires over the the last decade.

“In this house we can train for a range of circumstances, including casualty handling, falls assessments and bogus callers.”