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Dallas awarded Safe Communities America certification

In 1996, Dallas, Texas, was a part of an international initiative to reduce injuries and save lives, and was certified as the first Safe Community by the World Health Organization (WHO). Now, in 2011, the city has renewed its certification, showing its commitment to the safety of the people of Dallas.

The push for safety was led by the Injury Prevention Center (IPC) of Greater Dallas, which worked hard to make strides in safety for the past 15 years. IPC developed Operation Installation, which installed 26,000 smoke alarms in homes and businesses, providing protection to more than 42,000 people.

"Because of our commitment to evaluation, we have been able to determine which strategies are producing the desired results and which ones are not," said Shelli Stephens-Stidham, director of IPC. "The strategies being implemented are more effective, which continues to make Dallas a safer city."

Dallas was awarded the certification based on certain indicators, which include programs that document the frequency and cause of injuries, evaluation measures that check programs already in place, and creating long-term sustainable programs for all genders, ages, environments, and situations.

Safe Communities America was developed to decrease the number of injuries at play, at work, and on roads, which is the fifth-leading cause of death in the country.  

Safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, should be available in all homes, businesses, and vehicles.