Study by Underwriters Laboratories looks at best safety practices for cities and outlines tips to help parents reduce preventable accidents
NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 29, 2010 – News stories about tragic accidents, many that could have been prevented, seem to dominate today’s headlines. While accidents can happen anytime or anywhere, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the global safety leader, commissioned a study with Sperling’s Best Places to determine the cities that stand out in helping prevent needless accidents and improving the safety of their residents, especially families with young children.
The study, “Safest Cities for Families with Young Children,” evaluated the 50 largest U.S. cities on specific criteria that contribute to home, community and overall personal safety. The results showed that 10 cities lead the way in helping reduce risk of fire deaths, pedestrian accidents and other mishaps that contribute to the estimated 14 million potentially disabling, unintentional injuries that children sustain each year.
The 2010 “Safest Cities for Families with Young Children” include:
Each city was measured on 25 criteria encompassing child-focused, safety-oriented behaviors and regulatory best practices. As part of the methodology, the study filtered out cities with the highest crime rates and considered air quality, incidence of child pedestrian accidents, injuries and drowning. The study also focused on accessibility to hospitals; response time for fire and police personnel; and laws, codes and regulations that address smoking, home inspections, smoke and CO alarms, pool safety and bike helmets. The top 10 cities had the highest frequency or values in these categories.
“There is a unique set of safety considerations that goes into developing safe homes, communities and environments for raising young children, and the purpose of the study was to bring awareness to the best practices in those areas,” said Gus Schaefer, UL’s Public Safety Officer. “We hope that highlighting the importance of these safety practices will help keep more families protected.”
Though the study names only the top 10 safest cities for families with young children, UL notes that almost all 50 cities had strong safety regulations in place related to several of the criteria. The study revealed that:
“UL was encouraged by many of the results – it’s clear that most cities are doing great things to improve safety at home and in the community,” said Schaefer. “Just as cities are continually trying to take steps to improve safety and prevent accidents, families should do the same. Even taking a few actions can cut a family’s risk of accidents significantly and encourage safety-conscious behaviors that can last a lifetime.”
UL offers the following tips that parents can adopt around the home to help prevent accidents and provide more peace of mind as their children grow from toddlers to kindergarteners and into their teen years:
For more information on where each of the top 10 cities stood out among specific safety criteria, go to https://www.ul.com/consumers. For additional tips to improve safety in and around your home, visit http://www.safetyathome.com/.
Additionally, if interested in best practices that can make your community safer, Schaefer suggests considering Safe Communities America, a program of the National Safety Council that recognizes communities demonstrating leadership in safety promotion and injury prevention. Overseen by the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on Community Safety Promotion, U.S. communities currently recognized with a Safe Community designation include Anchorage, Alaska; Hagerstown, Md.; Madison, Wis.; Omaha, Neb.; Springfield, Mo.; Itasca, Ill.; Dallas; Madison County, Ky.; Shawnee, Okla.; New Lenox, Ill.; Lycoming County, Pa.; and the University of Southern California. For more information, go to http://www.safecommunitiesamerica.org/.
UL is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for more than a century. For more information, visit: https://www.ul.com/newsroom.