Journal of Community Health

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 165–175 | Cite as

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

  • Carolyn DiGuiseppiEmail author
  • Cynthia W. Goss
  • Lihong Dao
  • Amanda Allshouse
  • Robert A. Bardwell
  • Edward Hendrikson
  • Shelly L. Miller
  • Jill Litt
Original Paper


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.


Home safety Mexican immigrants Home ownership Low income 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn DiGuiseppi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cynthia W. Goss
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lihong Dao
    • 3
  • Amanda Allshouse
    • 3
  • Robert A. Bardwell
    • 4
  • Edward Hendrikson
    • 5
  • Shelly L. Miller
    • 6
  • Jill Litt
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Colorado Injury Control Research CenterFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics, Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA
  4. 4.Bardwell Consulting Ltd.DenverUSA
  5. 5.Salud Family Health CentersFort LuptonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  7. 7.Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA

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