250464 Home fire safety practices in an urban pediatric emergency department population

Monday, October 31, 2011

Leticia Ryan, MD, MPH , Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Rachel Wood, BS , Center for Clinical and Community Research, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Alexandra Rucker, MD , Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Ambika Lall, BS , College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC
Stephen Teach, MD, MPH , Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Joseph Wright, MD, MPH , Child Health Advocacy Institute, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
James Chamberlain, MD , Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Background/Purpose: Risk factors for residential fire death are prevalent among urban pediatric emergency department (ED) patients. Resources are available in Washington, DC to provide free smoke detector installation. Our study describes home fire safety practices and awareness of community-based resources in this vulnerable population.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a brief survey was administered to a convenience sample of caregivers accompanying patients 0-19 years of age in an urban pediatric ED in Washington, DC. Survey contents focus on residential fire injury risk factors and participant knowledge of available community-based resources. Descriptive epidemiologic analysis of responses was conducted.

Results/Outcomes: This analysis included 401 caregivers (62% participation rate). Patients accompanying the caregivers were 48% male, 77% African American and had a mean age of 6.5 ( 5.9) years. Of study participants, 256 (63.8%) lived with children £ 5 years of age. A home smoke detector was reported by 396 respondents (98.7%); however, 346 (86.3%) reported testing these less than monthly. 256 (63.8%) lacked a carbon monoxide detector and 202 (50.4%) had no fire escape plan. 65 (16%) reported indoor smoking and 92 (22.9%) reported space heater use. When asked about available community-based resources, 240 (59.9%) were unaware of these programs, 319 (79.6%) were interested in participating, and 221 (55.1%) enrolled.

Conclusions: While self-reported smoke detector prevalence rates are high in our study population, other fire safety practices are suboptimal. Our results also show limited awareness of community-based resources. Prevention strategies should focus on home smoke detector maintenance and carbon monoxide detector use.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Epidemiology
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe three risk factors that increase risk of injury or death from residential fire.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee programs in injury prevention and injury research in the emergency department setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.