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Safety In and Around the Home

Injuries in and around the home affect individuals across the lifespan, with those at either end of the age spectrum at elevated risk for falls, burns, scalds, poisonings, choking, drowning, lacerations, etc. Childhood unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages one to 19. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries alone each year.

Explore Our Home Safety Projects

Fall prevention for low-income children

Falls account for almost 2.8 million injured children each year, according to the CDC. Stair gates prevent young children from falls on and around stairs in the home. However, gates cost $10–50 dollars at regular retail stores which may be out of reach for low-income families.

In 2016, thanks to an award from the Injury Free Coalition for Kids and the Toys “R” Us Pacesetter’s program, our Children’s Safety Center at the Johns Hopkins Harriet Lane Clinic distributed stair gates free of charge to families in need.

The CAPABLE Program helps elders age in place safely

Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) is a home-based intervention to increase mobility, functionality, and capacity to “age in place” for low-income older adults.


Safety centers prevent pediatric injuries

Since 1997, our safety centers have served as a model for addressing the problem of pediatric injury by educating more than 35,000 parents and caregivers of babies and children in Baltimore. The CDC recognizes the Center our safety center model as a public health success story.

Two safety centers are available to parents and caregivers in Baltimore City. The Children’s Safety Center is a partnership between the Center and the Johns Hopkins Department of Pediatrics. It offers services ranging from infant safe sleep practices to fall prevention for toddlers to bicycle helmet fittings for older children. Safety products are available at below-retail prices and safety services are free.

The Mobile Safety Center is a vehicle outfitted with interactive educational exhibits on home safety and is available by request for neighborhood and community events in Baltimore City. Staff onboard teach Baltimore City residents about injury prevention for children, older adults, and other caregivers. The Mobile Safety Center is now run exclusively by the Baltimore City Fire Department.

The Center also offers technical assistance and consultation to organizations seeking to set up safety centers

Fire prevention study with Delaware Volunteer Fire Association

As a society, we invest vast resources every year to prevent fires and the tragic deaths and severe injuries they cause. What’s the return on this investment? FEMA and the CDC wanted to answer that question, so they partnered with the Center and the state of Delaware. The Center’s evaluation of Delaware’s fire safety services involved interviews, program review and surveillance data to describe the state’s fire trends and prevention activities.

Free smoke alarms in Baltimore City

Using community-based participatory research approaches, Center faculty joined with local partners team to install thousands of free smoke alarms in Baltimore City homes. See “Partnering for Prevention: A Community-Academic Response to Home Fire Risks in Baltimore (2013)". Today, the Fire Department still provides life-saving smoke alarms free of charge to Baltimore City residents. Learn how to request free smoke alarms.