Preventing deaths and injuries from house fires: A cost-benefit analysis of a community-based smoke alarm installation programme

Merissa A. Yellman, Cora Peterson, Mary A. McCoy, Shelli Stephens-Stidham, Emily Caton, Jeffrey J. Barnard, Ted O. Padgett, Curtis Florence, Gregory R. Istre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background Operation Installation (OI), a communitybased smoke alarm installation programme in Dallas, Texas, targets houses in high-risk urban census tracts. Residents of houses that received OI installation (or programme houses) had 68% fewer medically treated house fire injuries (non-fatal and fatal) compared with residents of non-programme houses over an average of 5.2 years of follow-up during an effectiveness evaluation conducted from 2001 to 2011. Objective To estimate the cost-benefit of OI. Methods A mathematical model incorporated programme cost and effectiveness data as directly observed in OI. The estimated cost per smoke alarm installed was based on a retrospective analysis of OI expenditures from administrative records, 2006-2011. Injury incidence assumptions for a population that had the OI programme compared with the same population without the OI programme was based on the previous OI effectiveness study, 2001-2011. Unit costs for medical care and lost productivity associated with fire injuries were from a national public database. Results From a combined payers' perspective limited to direct programme and medical costs, the estimated incremental cost per fire injury averted through the OI installation programme was $128,800 (2013 US$). When a conservative estimate of lost productivity among victims was included, the incremental cost per fire injury averted was negative, suggesting long-term cost savings from the programme. The OI programme from 2001 to 2011 resulted in an estimated net savings of $3.8 million, or a $3.21 return on investment for every dollar spent on the programme using a societal cost perspective. Conclusions Community smoke alarm installation programmes could be cost-beneficial in high-fire-risk neighbourhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInjury Prevention
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 9 2017

Fingerprint

Smoke
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Costs and Cost Analysis
Wounds and Injuries
Cost Savings
Program Evaluation
Censuses
Health Expenditures
Health Care Costs
Population
Theoretical Models
Databases
Incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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Preventing deaths and injuries from house fires : A cost-benefit analysis of a community-based smoke alarm installation programme. / Yellman, Merissa A.; Peterson, Cora; McCoy, Mary A.; Stephens-Stidham, Shelli; Caton, Emily; Barnard, Jeffrey J.; Padgett, Ted O.; Florence, Curtis; Istre, Gregory R.

In: Injury Prevention, 09.02.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yellman, Merissa A. ; Peterson, Cora ; McCoy, Mary A. ; Stephens-Stidham, Shelli ; Caton, Emily ; Barnard, Jeffrey J. ; Padgett, Ted O. ; Florence, Curtis ; Istre, Gregory R. / Preventing deaths and injuries from house fires : A cost-benefit analysis of a community-based smoke alarm installation programme. In: Injury Prevention. 2017.
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abstract = "Background Operation Installation (OI), a communitybased smoke alarm installation programme in Dallas, Texas, targets houses in high-risk urban census tracts. Residents of houses that received OI installation (or programme houses) had 68{\%} fewer medically treated house fire injuries (non-fatal and fatal) compared with residents of non-programme houses over an average of 5.2 years of follow-up during an effectiveness evaluation conducted from 2001 to 2011. Objective To estimate the cost-benefit of OI. Methods A mathematical model incorporated programme cost and effectiveness data as directly observed in OI. The estimated cost per smoke alarm installed was based on a retrospective analysis of OI expenditures from administrative records, 2006-2011. Injury incidence assumptions for a population that had the OI programme compared with the same population without the OI programme was based on the previous OI effectiveness study, 2001-2011. Unit costs for medical care and lost productivity associated with fire injuries were from a national public database. Results From a combined payers' perspective limited to direct programme and medical costs, the estimated incremental cost per fire injury averted through the OI installation programme was $128,800 (2013 US$). When a conservative estimate of lost productivity among victims was included, the incremental cost per fire injury averted was negative, suggesting long-term cost savings from the programme. The OI programme from 2001 to 2011 resulted in an estimated net savings of $3.8 million, or a $3.21 return on investment for every dollar spent on the programme using a societal cost perspective. Conclusions Community smoke alarm installation programmes could be cost-beneficial in high-fire-risk neighbourhoods.",
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AU - Caton, Emily

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