Report rates Heartland communities on safety

State of Safety report fails Iowa and Missouri in home and community category. (KTVO:Riley Fannon)

Preventable deaths in the United States are at record highs. There are over 40 million serious, preventable injuries and over one hundred and forty-six thousand fatalities each year, with more than 50% occurring at home.

According to the National Safety Council’s State of Safety report this dangerous trend is an issue the Heartland is struggling to overcome.

The safety council’s state by state report gave failing grades to Missouri and Iowa in their roadway safety category and the two states fared no better in the home and community category.

Iowa received an F and was ranked 36th for home and community where as Missouri was once again near the bottom of the list with a F grade and ranked 48th.

“The trends have been going the wrong way but it’s difficult sometimes to get passage of legislation," said Missouri Rep. Nate Walker.

Home and community safety is divided into six issues that should be addressed. Missouri only received marks higher than off track in the older adult falls issue whereas Iowa had two issues rated developing and one issue rated on track.

Iowa’s on track issue is firearm safety while Missouri resides at the other end of the spectrum graded as off track. Many gun control advocates would call for gun buy backs or stricter laws but Rep. Nate Walker says public education is the way forward.

If you’re going to operate or have a gun you need to understand hunters safety and everything else. The Missouri Department of Conservation has good programs in regard to that. I think if you’re going to have a firearm you need to get as much training as possible," said Walker.

Home fires, firearms and adult falls are major contributors to the issue, poisonings have been the leading cause in preventable deaths. These deaths are mainly attributed to the opioid epidemic.

Like with correcting the roadway safety issues, Walker says it takes more than just new legislation.

We got to continue to work together to make sure we have a safe environment for everyone to be around," said Walker.

For more on the National Safety Council's State of Safety report, click here.

For our story our the state of road safety, click here.

To visit the National Safety Council's page, click here.

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