According to the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease, it is estimated that 265,000 childhood deaths worldwide occur as a result of fire-related burns each year, with a majority of them occurring in low- and middle-income countries. More than half the deaths take place within the Southeast Asia region, including Malaysia, where it is reported that one child dies every two weeks due to fires or other burns.
Recognizing the need to increase awareness of this global public health issue, today Safe Kids Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Safe Kids Worldwide and Honeywell (NYSE:HON) recently launched Safe Kids at Home, an educational safety program designed to help prevent fires, burns and scalds among children ages 7 to 12 years old. The program is supported by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative that focuses in five critical areas; family safety and security, science and math, housing and shelter, habitat and conservation and humanitarian relief.
The program was developed based on the findings of a 2016 survey conducted by Safe Kids Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), one of the country’s leading research universities. A new research report, How Safe is Your Home? Protecting Children from Fire, Burns and Scalds in Kuala Lumpur, was formally released in February by YB. Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government at an exclusive launch ceremony on the UPM campus in Serdang.
In attendance were YB. Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government; Professor Datin Paduka Dr. Aini Ideris, UPM Vice-Chancellor; Associate Professor Dr. Kulanthayan KC Mani, Executive Director of Safe Kids Malaysia UPM; Briand Greer, President of Honeywell ASEAN; Kerry Kennedy, Director, Global Corporate Citizenship, Honeywell Hometown Solutions; and Tareka Wheeler, Director of Programs, Safe Kids Worldwide.
“The Ministry would like to thank the industry partner – Honeywell for supporting and funding this initiative. This is a full fledge collaboration between the Academia, Industry, International and Government," said YB. Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government.
Professor Dr. Aini of UPM noted, “As one of the top research universities in Malaysia, we are proud to partner with two outstanding global organizations – Safe Kids Worldwide and Honeywell. Additionally, we are pleased to work together with the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, and will continue to contribute to initiatives that leave a long-lasting positive impact on societies at large.”
“The research has identified a critical need for fire and burn education for children, and we look forward to starting to implement the Safe Kids at Home program in nine schools in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur,” said Dr. Kulanthayan of Safe Kids Malaysia UPM.
YB. Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government also added "I highly hope Honeywell's support for this initiative which starts from Sentul will eventually be scaled up and reach more children in more areas over time and one day we can cover the entire nation".
“Malaysia is the first country in ASEAN to launch the program and we are proud to partner with Safe Kids Malaysia UPM and Safe Kids Worldwide,” said Greer of Honeywell ASEAN. “Honeywell is committed to improving people’s quality of life by making measurable differences in the communities where we live and work. With the focused efforts on education, healthcare, enforcement and fire safety agencies, our goal is to educate every child on the importance of home safety and fire prevention.”
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About Safe Kids Malaysia
With the aim of improving the lives of children in Malaysia and in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti of Putra Malaysia (UPM), Safe Kids Malaysia (SKM) was established in 2011 as a member of Safe Kids Worldwide. SKM works closely with government, industries, schools and communities to increase awareness about preventable injuries and deaths. The organization previously had a primary focus on road safety and drowning prevention, but now includes home safety education and awareness through the Safe Kids at Home program.