, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 165-175
Date: 08 Jul 2011

Safety Practices in Relation to Home Ownership Among Urban Mexican Immigrant Families

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We examined home safety hazards, comparing renter- to owner-occupied housing among urban, immigrant Mexican families. Methods: Interviews and home inspections were conducted among urban, Spanish-speaking immigrant families with children. We estimated weighted hazard prevalence and used logistic regression to compare owner- and renter-occupied homes. Of 313 eligible households, 250 (80%) enrolled. Respondents were predominantly Mexican-born (99%), low income (72.6%) and lower education (92.3%). Most homes had fire, burn, fall, poisoning, electrocution and fire escape hazards, including high tap water temperatures (76.4%; 95% CI: 69.0, 83.7%), no working smoke alarms (60.0%; 51.3, 68.8%), slippery bathtub/shower surfaces (58.7%; 49.9, 67.5%), blocked fire escape routes (55.9%; 47.2, 64.5%) and child-accessible medications (71.0%; 60.1, 81.3%). After adjustment for sociodemographics, fire escape (OR = 8.8; 95% CI: 2.8, 27.7), carbon monoxide poisoning (OR = 2.9; 1.4, 6.2) and drowning (OR = 3.5; 1.3, 9.4) hazards were more likely in owner- than renter-occupied homes. Housing age and type explained most differences. Many urban, immigrant Spanish-speaking families live in unsafe homes. For this population, housing safety programs should be targeted based on housing age and type rather than tenure.