Skip to main content

Reducing Home Injury Hazards


Each year injuries in the home lead to approximately 4 million emergency room visits by children. Poor housing quality increases the risk for fire, electrical injuries, lead poisoning, falls, and other home injuries. Although standardized assessments for housing quality have been developed and implemented, no single, validated tool for home injury hazards exists. Wendy Shields, PhD MPH, and a team of researchers have worked to fill this need with the development of a comprehensive assessment protocol to help parents and guardians identify and take steps to reduce the risks of injury that can occur to children within the home environment. The CHASE tool assesses for household hazards (i.e., carbon monoxide risks, falling furniture, falls, hot water burns, and electrical hazards), offers facts about the hazards, and gives user-friendly, nationally accepted best practices and information on how to remediate the hazards to make homes safer.  

The tool is currently being fielded in 300 homes in Baltimore in collaboration with the Green and Health Homes Initiative, and with funding support from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The project team uses the CHASE tool to identify hazards in the home and recommend safety improvements. A handyman crew is available to help the family address the hazards identified. The project will inform how to remediate home hazards in ways that can be easily integrated into multiple, ongoing home visiting programs and replicated nationally. For more information about the CHASE tool and implementation project, contact Wendy Shields at