Tips and Advice for Safely Using a Scooter

Scooters are a fun way for kids to get from point A to point B and can also help promote skills such as balancing, spatial awareness and risk management. They are also an exciting way for little ones to get their recommended daily exercise.

Like other wheeled toys though, they can be dangerous without the property safety precautions. When riding a scooter, children should always wear an approved helmet and additionally should consider wearing elbow and knee pads as well as wrist guards or mouth guards. Goggles can help to keep debris out of youngsters’ eyes at higher speeds, especially on electric-powered scooters.

It’s advisable to ride scooters on smooth, paved surfaces away from the danger of motor vehicles. Whenever possible, avoid gravel and sandy surfaces, as well as sharp bumps, drainage grates, and riding in wet weather.

Wear clothes that will ensure you are easily seen and avoid riding at night. Parents should help their children until they become operating the scooter on their own. Replace broken or worn parts at the first sign of damage.

Always be sure to check your state and city’s local bylaws for permitted use of scooters and obey all applicable traffic and scooter riding laws.

In no particular order, here are 50 of the scooters we consider to be the safest, based on available features and average customer reviews and ratings.

1. Mini Micro Scooter

This popular kick-style three-wheeled scooter is ideal for youngsters between the ages of 3 and 5 and comes in a variety of colors to please nearly anyone. All of its parts can be replaced as well so the unit should last for years.

Key features:

  • Award-winning learn-to-steer design
  • Very low deck ideal for littlest riders
  • Designed in Switzerland

Cost: *Est. $79.99

2. Micro Maxi Kick Scooter, Pink

Ideal for children from the age of 6 to 10, this scooter features a special learn-to-steer mechanism that allows youngsters the feel of “cruising the sidewalks” while also being stable and easy to use.

Key features:

  • Lightweight design just 5.5 pounds
  • Wheels made in Italy
  • Three wheels for increased stability

Cost: *Est. $129.99

3. Razor A3 Kick Scooter

Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, this classic kick-style scooter offers a smooth and easy ride for children from age 5 and up, weighing up to 135-pounds. Plus it’s available in multiple colors to please nearly any youngster.

Key features:

  • Built-in shock absorption system
  • Patented easy folding mechanism
  • Stop quickly thanks to the rear fender brake

Cost: *Est. $49.99

4. Razor A2 Kick Scooter

The Razor A2 kick-style scooter boasts sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum construction and patented easy-fold design that makes it easy to store and transport. You can also choose from multiple colors that are sure to please your little cruiser.

Key features:

  • Built-in shock absorption system
  • Stop quickly thanks to the rear fender brake
  • 6 month warranty

Cost: *Est. $21.98

5. Razor A Kick Scooter

With a sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum construction, this kick-style scooter folds for easy transport and weighs just 6 pounds. Choose from one out of the several colors to suit your child’s personality.

Key features:

  • Built-in shock absorption system
  • Stop quickly thanks to the rear fender brake
  • 6 month warranty

Cost: *Est. $35.99

This stylish kick-style scooter comes with more than 50 stickers and 10 fashion bands that are customizable to help your youngster make their own wheels. Suitable for children weighing up to 150 pounds.

Key features:

  • Contoured, wide deck
  • Handlebar adjusts for multiple users
  • Built-in foot brake

Cost: *Est. $51.95

7. Micro Mini 3-in-1 Kick Scooter, Blue

This scooter features a 3-in-1 design that grows with your child to provide a fun, ride-along experience from your child’s first year until the age of 5. It features a sturdy design that’s easy to assemble, so parents love it too.

Key features:

  • Choose from 2 seat height adjustments
  • Comes with O and T-bar accessories
  • Can be used as a pedal-free tricycle

Cost: *Est. $114.99

8. Razor PowerWing Caster Scooter

Kids get a kick out of performing tricks on this scooter that features rear caster wheels to help move the scooter forward with a simple twist of your child’s feet. This scooter is suitable for ages 6 and up, weighing up to 143 pounds.

Key features:

  • Steel frame
  • Built-in handbrake
  • Comfortable foam handle grips

Cost: *Est. $59

9. Razor Cruiser Scooter

The style and design of this kick-style scooter make it a popular choice among youngsters, and is suitable for those from age 5 and up, weighing up to 143 pounds. The unit folds easily and quickly for ultimate portability, and is light enough to carry.

Key features:

  • Extra-wide deck for increased stability
  • Built-in rear fender brake
  • Adjustable handlebars for various heights

Cost: *Est. $57.99

Suitable for children from ages 6 to 10, this scooter’s polyurethane wheels ensure a smooth ride on any surface. Plus, all parts are replaceable, so this scooter will outlast even the toughest rider.

Key features:

  • Easy to steer
  • 3 wheel design for increased stability
  • Easily switch between T-bar and joystick steering

Cost: *Est. $129.99

11. Razor Spark 2.0 Kick Scooter

Suitable for children ages 5 and up, this kick-style scooter features a sturdy design for even the toughest riders. Plus, the motion-activated LED lights that are built-in under the board provide added styling and flare.

Key features:

  • Built-in rear fender brake
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Easily adjustable handlebars

Cost: *Est. $55

12. Razor Wild Style Kick Scooter

This limited edition kick-style scooter features a graffiti design in a choice of two colors that provides an added edge to the model’s styling. It also boasts an easy fold and carry design, making it perfectly portable.

Key features:

  • Built-in rear fender brake
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Smooth, comfortable ride

Cost: *Est. $44.99

13. YBIKE GLX Scooter, 12cm

This three-wheeled scooter features a lean-to-steer design that makes it an ideal choice for younger riders just starting out on a scooter and who are still perfecting their balance skills. Its wide deck provides even more stability for little cruisers.

Key features:

  • Scooter deck features a raised-grip surface
  • Rear deck is reinforced with ABS
  • Maximum rider weight of 44 pounds

Cost: *Est. $66.61

14. Razor A4 Kick Scooter

This ultra tough scooter has not only been designed by professional riders but put through its paces as well to ensure the ultimate in construction and durability. Super thick handles, as well as grip tape along the deck, provide additional comfort.

Key features:

  • Built-in rear fender brake
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Double stacked head tube clamp provides additional strength

Cost: *Est. $130.61

15. Micro Scooter

The Micro scooter is ideal for the young and the young at heart thanks to its 220 pound weight limit and large polyurethane wheels that provide a comfortable ride with minimal effort. Choose from two colors to suit your personal style.

Key features:

  • Easily adjustable handlebar
  • Low deck for added stability
  • Built-in two-way kickstand

Cost: *Est. $199.99

16. Fuzion Z300 Pro Scooter Complete

Available in three color choices, this kick-style scooter features a hidden internal compression system for a smoother, more comfortable ride. Integrated grind rails allow the rider to perform tricks and fun moves with ease.

Key features:

  • Rattle-proof fender brake
  • Alloy cross bolt is triple clamped
  • Suitable for use at skate parks

Cost: *Est. $114.99

17. Razor Pro XX Scooter

This kick-style scooter is suitable for use in competitions and at the skate park for the most serious of riders, right out of the box – no modifications or additions necessary. Built by professionals, it can stand up to anything you throw at it.

Key features:

  • Fixed handlebar for added stability
  • Professional rubber grip handles
  • Durable, lightweight aluminum construction

Cost: *Est. $74.99

18. Ybike Glider- Deluxe Scooter

Available in a choice of two color options, this three-wheeled kick-style scooter is perfect for the littlest of riders who are still learning to master their balancing skills but don’t want to be left out of the fun.

Key features:

  • Strong aluminum handlebar
  • Ribbed deck provides additional stability
  • Large wheels allow for a smooth ride on even rough surfaces

Cost: *Est. $99

This electric scooter provides a smooth ride for more experienced riders and can reach speeds of up to 15 mph. Thanks to its rechargeable battery, it can provide you with up to 40 minutes of ride time on a single charge.

Key features:

  • Extra-wide pneumatic tires ensure a smooth ride
  • Motor is ultra quiet
  • Built-in rear handbrake

Cost: *Est. $214.99

A fun new twist on the traditional kick-style scooter, this unit features a side-to-side riding stance that allows for better carving and drifting without sacrificing comfort. There’s even an adult version in case mom and dad want to join in on the fun as well.

Key features:

  • Folds quickly and easily for portability
  • Quick responding handbrake
  • Lightweight steel frame is reinforced for added stability

Cost: *Est. $124.99

21. Razor Siege Scooter

Ideal for ages 8 and up, weighing up to 143 pounds, this kick-style scooter lets riders drift sideways with ease, twist to propel or like a traditional scooter for hours of outdoor fun.

Key features:

  • Quickly folds for easy transport
  • Adjustable handlebars for a variety of heights
  • Weighs just 7.5 pounds

Cost: *Est. $49.99

22. Razor Berry Kick Scooter

Available in a variety of bright, fun colors, this kick-style scooter is suitable for those aged 5 and up, weighing up to 143 pounds. Thanks to its lightweight construction and sturdy design, it’s a popular choice for those looking to carve some pavement.

Key features:

  • Durable steel frame construction
  • Urethane wheels provide a comfortable ride
  • Soft grip handlebars for added comfort

Cost: *Est. $34.94

23. Razor E200 Electric Scooter

This electric scooter boasts an ultra-quiet motor controlled by a twist grip throttle that provides up to 12 mph of speed to get you where you need to go on time. Suitable for those weighing up to 154 pounds, its pneumatic tires provide a smooth ride no matter the surface.

Key features:

  • Rear brake is hand-operated
  • Up to 40 minutes run time on a single charge
  • 90 day warranty

Cost: *Est. $179.99

24. Super Turbo 1000watt Elite 36v Electric Scooter

This electric scooter comes in a choice of wattages to provide you with the power you need. A built-in shock system provides a smooth, comfortable ride for riders weighing up to 250 pounds.

Key features:

  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Built-in front headlight for increased visibility
  • Lifetime technical support included

Cost: *Est. $499

25. Razor Kixi Mixi Scooter

This kick-style scooter converts from a three-wheeled model to two-wheeled unit quickly and easily to provide added stability or challenge to your little rider. Choose from two bright and bold colors to suit your child’s personality.

Key features:

  • Comfort grip foam handles
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Folds for easy transport

Cost: *Est. $34.99

26. Razor E300S Seated Electric Scooter

This electric scooter features a high-performance motor that provides riders with speeds of up to 15 mph. Its ultra-quiet motor is controlled by a twist grip throttle on the handle as is the rear brake system.

Key features:

  • Spring loaded kickstand
  • Riding seat is removable
  • Provides up to 40 minutes of continuous run time

Cost: *Est. $202.99

27. Razor Pro X Scooter

This professional-grade kick-style scooter has been built and tested by the pros to ensure the ultimate in durability and performance, without sacrificing on design. Thanks to its lightweight yet durable construction, you can take this unit out on the toughest of rides no problem.

Key features:

  • Professional style rubber grips
  • Double stacked head clamp for added stability
  • TIG-welded deck provides additional strength

Cost: *Est. $71.93

28. Razor 2014 Refresh Cruiser Scooter

This kick-style scooter allows youngsters to cruise with ease thanks to its flexible wood laminate deck that is both weight absorbing and extra wide to provide a secure and comfortable ride. Keep in control thanks to Razor’s patented rear fender braking system.

Key features:

  • Handlebars are fully adjustable
  • Folds quickly and easily
  • Suitable for ages 5 and up, weighing up to 143 pounds

Cost: *Est. $57.99

29. Razor Rift Scooter

This kick-style scooter offers a unique riding experience thanks to its specially-shaped deck that comes with texturing and contouring to help provide a non-slip gripping surface. Suitable for ages 8 and up, weighing up to 143 pounds.

Key features:

  • Comfort grip handles
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Front urethane wheels provide a smooth ride

Cost: *Est. $49

30. Micro Sprite Scooter

This Micro Sprite offers a sleek design in a wide variety of colors to suit nearly any rider’s personal style. Suitable for ages 8 and up, this scooter’s Italian-made wheels provide the ultimate smooth and comfortable riding experience.

Key features:

  • Built-in, lockable kickstand
  • Weighs just 5.5 pounds
  • Each part is 100% replaceable

Cost: *Est. $99.99

The Lil’ Kick is a great way to start off younger riders thanks to its three-wheeled design, which provides added stability to those still working on those balancing skills. A low deck and wide board provide added stability and make for easy scooting.

Key features:

  • Durable welded steel frame construction
  • Large wheels for a smoother ride
  • Suitable for ages 3 and up

Cost: *Est. $14.98

This sweet ride operates in much the same way as a stair climber, with the operator controlling the speed of forward propulsion by way of two rear pedals. Reach speeds of up to 10 mph all while getting in a low-impact cardio-style workout.

Key features:

  • Built-in handbrake
  • Suitable for those weighing up to 110 pounds
  • Folds for easy transport

Cost: *Est. $114.03

33. Razor E100 Electric Scooter

This electric scooter is available in a wide variety of color choices to suit any rider’s personality and features a simple kick start motor that provides enough power to reach speeds of up to 10 mph.

Key features:

  • Battery charger is UL approved
  • Built-in rear handbrake
  • Provides up to 40 minutes of continuous use on a single charge

Cost: *Est. $107.69

34. Envy Prodigy Complete Pro Scooter

This sleek-looking scooter boasts a fully sealed headset with comfort grip handles and a one-piece aluminum integrated deck for increased stability.

Key features:

  • Rear bolt-on flex brake
  • Comfort grip tape handles
  • 100mm wheels provide a smooth ride

Cost: *Est. $179.99

35. CFG Mini Scooter (White/ Silver)

Not only does this scooter look great, but it’s also well-built. The built-in shoulder strap and multi mount clip make for easy carrying when you’re done your ride. Suitable for ages 14 and up, weighing up to 220 pounds.

Key features:

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Folding mechanism for easy carrying
  • Built-in rear fender brake

Cost: *Est. $66.29

36. Razor Trikke E2 Electric Scooter, Blue

This electric-powered scooter features a three-wheeled design and two cambering platforms for added stability and lean-to-steer carving. You can easily reach speeds of up to 9 mph while getting 40 minutes of continuous operation on a single charge.

Key features:

  • Easy-to-use push start system
  • Rear handbrake
  • Suitable for ages 8 and up, weighing up to 120 pounds

Cost: *Est. $192.49

37. Bikestar 12 inch (30.5cm) Kids Kick Scooter Purple and White

This German-designed scooter boasts a sturdy build thanks to its steel tube construction and12-inch air-filled tires. Suitable for those aged 7 and up, it’s easy to assemble in just about 10 minutes and features certified non-toxic safety steering wheel handgrips.

Key features:

  • Skid-proof footboard
  • Built-in splash guards
  • Adjustable hand protection device built-in

Cost: *Est. $89.99

38. Razor Jr. Kuties Unicorn Scooter

Perfect for the little princess in your life, this unicorn scooter offers two-in-one fun as either a three-wheeled scooter or hobby unicorn horse for make believe play. Tilt-to-turn steering feature helps the littlest riders learn to perfect their riding skills.

Key features:

  • Comfort foam grip handles
  • Suitable for ages 3 and up, weighing up to 45 pounds
  • Weighs just 5.5 pounds

Cost: *Est. $38.87

Xootr claims this is the most advanced kick scooter on the market, thanks in part to its solid magnesium deck and die-cast aluminum rimmed wheels. Thanks to its ultra-low deck height, you get the most bang for your buck with each kick forward.

Key features:

  • Built-in front and rear brakes
  • Conformal foam grips
  • Suitable for those up to 250 pounds

Cost: *Est. $269

40. Razor Pro Beast Sport Scooter

Available in two sleek colors, this kick-style scooter is suitable for those aged 8 and up, weighing up to 220 pounds. Its sturdy aluminum construction can stand up to even the roughest, toughest trick riders.

Key features:

  • Wide urethane wheels provide a smooth ride
  • Rear fender brake
  • Tested by professional riders

Cost: *Est. $74.21

41. Razor Jr. Folding Kiddie Kick Scooter

Suitable for riders aged 3 and up, weighing up to 43 pounds, this kick-style scooter features a very wide base and three wheels to provide the ultimate in stability for little riders. It’s foldable and lightweight for convenient storage and portability.

Key features:

  • Plastic body is impact-resistant
  • Slip-resistant deck
  • Comfortable easy-grip handles

Cost: *Est. $38.36

Designed and tested by professional riders, this scooter features a ‘dog bone’ design that allows the impact to be evenly distributed around the deck. Low profile wheels make for a smoother, easier ride and the stunning blue color is sure to make any rider stand out.

Key features:

  • Sturdy, lightweight design
  • Built-in rear flex brake
  • HIC compression system

Cost: *Est. $99.99

43. Champion Sports Standard Scooter Board with Handles

This classic scooter board was a staple in our gym classes growing up and provides youngsters with hours of sliding and gliding fun.

Key features:

  • Non-marking rubber caster wheels
  • Side handles for easy maneuverability
  • Suitable for those weighing up to 175 pounds

Cost: *Est. $19.67

44. Razor E125 Electric Scooter

This electric-powered scooter is suitable for riders aged 8 and up, weighing up to 120 pounds and can provide up to 40 minutes of continuous use on just a single charge. Cruise at speeds up to 10 mph once your kickoff engages the motor.

Key features:

  • Hand-operated front brake
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Pneumatic front tire for smooth operation

Cost: *Est. $119.99

45. Micro Flex Blue Kick Scooter 200mm

This kick-style scooter boasts a solid construction that is suitable for riders aged 13 and up. Every part on this scooter is completely replaceable, so it should last for as long as you want to ride it.

Key features:

  • Flex deck made from marine-ply and fibreglass
  • New brake design allows for easier speed control on hills
  • Performance-grade wheel bearings

Cost: *Est. $199.99

Your little ‘Frozen’ fan will never want to let this scooter go. Suitable for ages 5 and up, this kick-style scooter features an ice princess theme that is sure to delight the Elsa fan in your life.

Key features:

  • Folds quickly for easy portability
  • Rear fender brake
  • Comfort grip foam handles

Cost: *Est. $27.84

47. Pulse Safe Start Disney Princess Electric 3-Wheel Scooter

Suitable for ages 3 and up, weighing up to 50 pounds, this electric-powered scooter provides a smooth ride at speeds of up to 1.75 mph for up to 40 minutes of use on a single charge. A low, non-slip deck ensures your little one has secure footing.

Key features:

  • Safe start for a smoother takeoff
  • Steering limiter for safer maneuvering
  • 3 wheels and wide track for increased stability

Cost: *Est. $59.87

48. Sbyke P-20 Patented Rear-Steering Scooter

All eyes will be on whoever is rolling along on this rear-steering scooter that is suitable for those weighing up to 220 pounds. This hybrid bike-scooter allows riders to make 360-degree turns in tight spaces and features a built-in kickstand.

Key features:

  • Wide, strong, maple deck
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction
  • Front handbrake

Cost: *Est. $181.72

This Y-style scooter is ideal for those aged 7 and up, weighing up to 220 pounds. It features three wheels for increased stability and its side-to-side ride functionality is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Key features:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Solid, durable construction
  • Folds easily for convenient storage or transportation

Cost: *Est. $164.95

Not just cool to look at but also fun to ride, this scooter provides a decent workout for older kids and adults alike. Easy to assemble, the handle folds down for convenient storage or to fit in a car trunk easily.

Key features:

  • 1 year warranty
  • Works like a stairmaster
  • Rear disc brake

Cost: *Est. $179

Everything You Need To Know About Leaf Blowers

Many tools have made light work of household chores that used to be incredibly time consuming, and the leaf blower is just one such item. What used to take a weekend’s worth of raking, piling, mulching and bagging can now be done in much less time.

First introduced in the 1970s, they are available in several configurations including gas-powered or electric, and hand-held or backpack-style units. Some models will simply blow leaves and other yard debris into piles, while other units have the option to vacuum and mulch waste into a collection bag attached to the unit. Both yard maintenance professionals and homeowners alike prefer using leaf blowers for their speed and convenience in cleaning up outdoors.

While they’re certainly convenient when it comes to making yard maintenance easier, there are several safety concerns that parents should be aware of if they’re considering purchasing and using a leaf blower when there are young children in the house.

Possible injuries that can be caused by leaf blowers include cuts, bruises, pinches, electrical injuries including electrocution and fires, eye injuries caused by projectile debris, hearing loss or damage due to excessive noise exposure, breathing problems associated with air pollution caused by leaf blowers and even death in extreme cases if improperly used.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) estimates that there were nearly 4,000 reported cases of injuries caused by leaf blowers, mulchers and grinders that were treated in hospital in the United States in 2013.

The number of actual injuries caused by leaf blowers is likely to be quite higher than this, as the data from the CPSC reporting system only looked at those injuries which resulted in medical treatment at one of 100 participating hospitals, and minor injuries were likely treated at home or another medical treatment facility not included in the reporting data.

You’ll want to check your municipality’s bylaws for using leaf blowers, especially gas-powered units, which are prohibited in some areas. Parts of California have banned leaf blowers entirely. You can check the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse website for a nationwide list of noise bylaw regulations.

When purchasing

For the most part, safety standards for tools such as leaf blowers have been created by a mix of consumer groups, government agencies, producers, retailers, and suppliers and are completely voluntary on the part of manufacturers. Look for a sticker on your item that tells you it’s been approved by OPEI, CSA, NSC, ANSI, IEC, UL, CPSC or some other such safety association. Be cautious when purchasing units that are made in China, as regulatory standards are much different there than in the United States.

Look for safety features such as a quick shut-off switch, bottom-mounted air intake, non-slip handles, a wide-mouthed gas tank (on gas models) and a built-in dust collection kit. Another key safety feature to look for in an electric leaf blower is whether or not it is double insulated, which will help protect the operator from the risk of electrical shock. Any extension cord used with your leaf blower should also be double insulated.

If your leaf blower came with a warranty or registration card, be sure to complete the form and mail it in to the manufacturer. This way, you’ll be notified of any recalls or other safety information in the event of a problem with your model. Surveys done by Consumer Reports National Research Center show that most people seldom or never take this essential safety step.

When operating

Do not operate your leaf blower when overtired or if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol as the risk of injury will increase. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. Never leave your leaf blower unattended.

Tie back any long hair and remove loose clothing or jewelry. It’s a good idea to use safety equipment, such as glasses, goggles or noise-cancelling headphones when operating your leaf blower, especially during extended periods of use. You might also want to consider using a dust mask in order to cut down on the pollutants you could potentially be inhaling. Gloves can help provide a more secure grip and prevent cuts and blisters.

If using an extension cord, ensure it is out of the way and not a trip hazard. Outdoor use of power tools such as leaf blowers calls for an outdoor-rated cord. And, don’t forget that 3-pronged (grounded) tools must be plugged into the proper outlet – never under any circumstances should you remove the third prong or modify a plug in any way.

It’s a good idea to do a walkthrough of your yard before using your leaf blower in order to see and clear any rocks and other debris that could become a dangerous projectile in the event they’re blown strongly or sucked into the unit.

Do not use a leaf blower while on a roof or ladder. If you absolutely need to, ensure you’re tied off safely, have secure footing and are not overreaching.

Gas-powered units come with special safety concerns, including being mindful of the storage, filling and use of fuel. Clean up any spills promptly, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after use.

When cleaning

Unplug your leaf blower before cleaning and ensure power is shut off completely before cleaning or changing attachments. Be sure to change the air filter regularly and according to manufacturer recommendations in order to prolong the life of your unit and keep the air cleaner. You’ll also want to keep the blower and cooling fans clean and clear in order to prevent problems.

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and cleaning of your leaf blower, and don’t hesitate to contact them if you should have a question about something specific that isn’t covered in your user manual.

In case of accident

In all cases of injury or accident, stop using your leaf blower immediately and when possible, disable the power source.

In case of a cut, pinch or other mild injury, immediately remove yourself from the area and seek first aid treatment when necessary.

If a more serious accident should occur, do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

With the above tips in mind, in no particular order, here are 25 of the leaf blowers we consider to be the safest, based on available features and average customer reviews and ratings.

1. Weed Eater WEB160 7.5 amp 160 mph Electric Blower

This handheld electric leaf blower is powerful enough to handle your yard cleanup with ease, yet light enough that you won’t tire using it for extended periods of time. An ergonomically-designed handle provides additional comfort.

Key features:

  • Weighs just 4.5 pounds
  • Easy to use
  • Works with your own extension cord

Cost: *Est. $39.99

2. Makita BHX2500CA Commercial Grade 4-Stroke 24.5cc Handheld Blower

Thanks to its efficient four-stroke engine, this gas-powered handheld leaf blower will help you save on fuel costs without sacrificing on performance. It also runs quieter than other gas-powered units.

Key features:

  • EPA Phase II, CARB Tier III compliant
  • Quick start engine
  • Sliding fuel cover and large oil filling port

Cost: *Est. $179

3. Toro 51609 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed Electric Blower/Vacuum with Metal Impeller

Tackle your yard cleanup quickly and easily with this three-in-one electric leaf blower, vacuum and shredder. It boasts a quick release latch that allows you to switch from blowing to mulching in just seconds – no tools required!

Key features:

  • Long-lasting metal impeller
  • Two year warranty
  • Convenient cord hook

Cost: *Est. $81.48

4. Husqvarna 350BT 50.2cc 2-Cycle X-Torq Gas Powered 180 MPH Midsize Back Pack Blower

This gas-powered blower boasts a lightweight design and backpack style that’s ideal for both home and professional use. Harmful exhaust is reduced while fuel efficiency is maximized.

Key features:

  • CARB compliant
  • Ventilated, load-reducing harness
  • Soft grip handle is easily adjustable

Cost: *Est. $319.95

5. Greenworks 24012 7 Amp Single Speed Electric 160 MPH Blower

Easy to use and maintain, this electric-powered leaf blower features a compact, lightweight design that can help you clean up your yard quickly. This model is both Energy Star rated and emits zero carbon emissions.

Key features:

  • Safety cord lock
  • Ergonomic design
  • Weighs just 4.5 pounds

Cost: *Est. $44

6. Toro 51617 Rake and Vac 3-in-1 Machine, Includes Blower/Vacuum/Leaf Shredder

Now you can quickly and easily reduce up to eight bags of leaves into one with this three-in-one blower, vacuum and shredding unit. Choose from two variable speeds in order to tackle big and small jobs with ease.

Key features:

  • Powerful, lightweight design
  • Electric-powered, no harmful emissions
  • Cord wrap can easily accommodate up to 50 feet

Cost: *Est. $52.97

7. Husqvarna 952711925 125B 28cc 2-Stroke 170 MPH Gas Powered Handheld Blower

This gas-powered unit features a smart design that reduces stress on your arm and wrist and allows you to adjust the fan speed for easier operation. Even the blower tube is adjustable in length for better performance.

Key features:

  • CARB compliant
  • Cruise control function for steady air stream
  • Starts easily

Cost: *Est. $159

8. Toro 51585 Power Sweep 7 Amp 2-Speed Electric Blower

This electric-powered leaf blower boasts 160mph of blowing power and is perfect for clearing leaves and other debris from around your property. Thanks to its lightweight design, you won’t have to worry about tiring out.

Key features:

  • Cord not included
  • Electric-powered, no harmful emissions
  • UL listed

Cost: *Est. $34.97

9. Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc 2 Stroke 170 MPH Gas Powered Handheld Blower

This gas-powered blower features a commercial-grade two-stroke engine that is both powerful and efficient, without sacrificing on quality. It weighs less than 10 pounds, making it suitable for bigger, longer jobs.

Key features:

  • CARB Tier III compliant
  • Well balanced to help reduce fatigue
  • Seven year warranty

Cost: *Est. $129

10. Makita BBX7600N 75.6 CC 4-Stroke Backpack Blower

This backpack-style gas-powered leaf blower features a fuel-efficient four-stroke engine that not only meets but exceeds the EPA and CARB emissions regulations. Vibration-reducing soft grip handles make for a comfortable cleanup.

Key features:

  • Built-in lumbar support for comfortable operation
  • Easy to change, large capacity air filter
  • Quieter operation

Cost: *Est. $469

11. Toro 51618 Super Leaf Blower Vac, 230 mph

This handheld electric-powered leaf blower comes complete with several inserts that allow you to tackle a number of lawn maintenance chores with ease. Now you can quickly reduce up to 10 bags of leaves into one with almost zero effort.

Key features:

  • Powerful two-speed motor
  • Easily converts from vacuum to blower with no tools
  • Lightweight and easy to use

Cost: *Est. $55.97

12 . LawnMaster BL705 Electric Blower/Sweeper

This electric-powered leaf blower is an economical choice for helping you clean up around the yard quickly and easily. It boasts a durable, single-pieced blower tube and a built-in cord collector for safe operation.

Key features:

  • Lightweight design
  • Electric-powered, no harmful emissions
  • Quiet operation

Cost: *Est. $62.49

13. Husqvarna 966629602 580BTS 75.6cc 4.3 HP Gas Backpack Blower

This backpack-style gas-powered leaf blower reduces harmful emissions while improving fuel consumption at the same time. Its easily-adjustable soft grip handles provide for comfortable use.

Key features:

  • Incredibly powerful, can handle large, heavy piles of leaves
  • Assembled in the USA
  • Load reducing harness with wide shoulder straps

Cost: *Est. $524.99

14. Pro-Series Patio Lawn Deck Garden Yard Waste Leaf Sweep Off

This lightweight and compact designed leaf blower is ideal for smaller yard cleanup jobs such as clearing leaves and debris from decks, patios and walkways. Its incredibly compact design is also ideal for clearing out leaves from around your garden plants.

Key features:

  • Weighs only three pounds
  • Powerful for its size
  • One year warranty

Cost: *Est. $28.94

Priced affordably, this three-in one electric-powered unit blows, vacuums and mulches yard waste quickly and effortlessly. Choose from two speeds for small or large jobs, and quickly change from suction to blower without any tools.

Key features:

  • Mulches 16 bags into one
  • 50% quieter than other B&D models
  • Built-in cord retainer

Cost: *Est. $59.97

16. Tanaka TRB24EAP 23.9cc 2 Stroke 170 MPH Gas Powered Handheld Blower

This handheld, gas-powered leaf blower comes in a choice of two models to suit your needs – this one and another that’s vacuum capable. The unit itself is well-balanced and lightweight, so you won’t tire during longer periods of use.

Key features:

  • CARB Tier III compliant
  • Easy-to-use large throttle lever
  • Seven year warranty

Cost: *Est. $139.99

17. Black and Decker LSW36 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Sweeper

This cordless electric leaf blower comes complete with a 40V rechargeable battery and thanks to power controls you can select maximum run time or maximum power to tackle your yard cleanup. A speed charger has you up and running in an hour.

Key features:

  • Built-in scraper for tough to move leaves
  • Comfortable, soft grip handle
  • Low noise levels

Cost: *Est. $129

18. Tanaka Commercial Grade 25cc 1.3 HP Handheld Blower THB-260PF

This gas-powered unit is a three-in-one leaf blower, mulcher and vacuum that can help make light work of your yard cleanup. Easy to start even in cold weather, this is one reliable unit that also comes in at under 10 pounds.

Key features:

  • Built-in cruise control
  • Comfortable soft grip handle
  • Three year warranty for home use

Cost: *Est. $206.99

19. GreenWorks GBL80300 80V 500CFM Cordless Jet Blower

Tackle your yard cleanup with ease with this cordless electric leaf blower that can run for up to 70 minutes on a single charge thanks to its industry-leading 80V battery. Easy to start and incredibly quiet, this unit it tough enough to tackle both wet and dry leaves.

Key features:

  • Performs just as well as gas-powered models
  • Choose from three operating speeds
  • No harmful, stinky emissions

Cost: *Est. $279.99

20. Performance Tool W50063 600W Garage/Shop Blower

This compact electric leaf blower is powerful enough to quickly complete your yard cleanup without fuss. Use it to blow or vacuum leaves and debris, or even to dry your vehicle after a fresh wash.

Key features:

  • ETL approved
  • Weighs just 3.2 pounds
  • Extension cord needed

Cost: *Est. $24.14

This electric-powered unit tackles three jobs in one thanks to its blowing, vacuuming and mulching capabilities. Compact up to 16 bags of leaves down to one with an available disposable bag system.

Key features:

  • Change from vacuum to blower without any tools
  • Built-in cord retainer
  • 50% quieter than other B&D models

Cost: *Est. $79.97

This battery-powered cordless leaf blower boasts a compact design that can provide up to 12 minutes of use on high speed with a single charge. Thanks to its lightweight design, it’s ideal for longer periods of use and for those with strength issues.

Key features:

  • Choose from three speeds
  • Comfortable soft grip handle
  • Three year warranty

Cost: *Est. $125

23. Black and Decker LSW20 20-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Sweeper

Clearing leaves and other debris from around your home will be a breeze with this battery-powered leaf blower that is easy to use and comfortable on the wrists, as it weighs less than 4 pounds.

Key features:

  • Built-in scraper
  • Two year warranty
  • Energy Star-rated charger

Cost: *Est. $88.97

24. Milwaukee 0884-20 M18 Compact Blower

This battery-powered blower boasts a compact design that’s ideal for getting into those hard-to-reach places but is still powerful enough to tackle most any job you can throw at it. It also comes with an inflator/deflator kit so you can quickly set up and take down any number of inflatable items.

Key features:

  • Reinforced, shock-absorbing handle
  • Electronic switch lets you choose from three speeds
  • Comes with extension tube for better reach

Cost: *Est. $99.98

25. Ryobi P2102 18volt Cordless Hard Surface Blower

This battery-powered cordless unit is a powerful model that can quickly and easily clear your walkways, patio or decks. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery is compatible with other Ryobi tools so you can easily interchange batteries as needed.

Key features:

  • Charger included
  • Designed for one-handed operation
  • Weighs just 4 pounds

Cost: *Est. $127.95

How to Safely Wall Mount Your TV

Many readers might have fond memories of sitting in their parent’s basement, watching their favorite shows on the family television. We might be dating ourselves here, but the unit we remember was as long and deep as we were tall, and took at least two grown men to move anywhere. Alas, gone are the days of those giant boxes that were practically weighted and anchored into the floor.

Advances in technology quickly saw the uptake of CRT televisions. Due in part to their front-heavy design, they were considered especially unstable and are considered especially dangerous when compared to the newest, flat-screened models which have a more even weight distribution and sturdier bases.

Over the years, televisions have continued to get thinner and thinner, and as a result they are easier for little fingers to grab ahold of and aren’t always as stable as they could be. Coupled with the rise in home theatre systems and setups and the rising use of TV furniture, and you’ve got a recipe for increased injuries to children.

With the progress in technology has come an increase in the number of injuries among curious tots crawling, climbing and pulling themselves on anything within reach – including the TV and TV stands. Due to the fact that flat screen models are easy to grasp, this means that they can easily tip forward with very little effort.

Injuries caused by TVs falling onto kids (and adults) can include minor bumps and bruises, to more serious concussions and crush injuries, and in the most severe of cases even death.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) estimates that there were more than 17,000 reported cases of injuries caused by televisions and TV stands that were treated in hospital in the United States in 2012.

The number of actual injuries caused by TVs is bound to be quite higher than this, as the data from the CPSC only looked at those injuries which resulted in medical treatment at a participating hospital, and minor injuries were likely treated at home or another medical treatment facility not included in the reporting data.

In fact, statistics show that a child has been treated every 45 minutes in the emergency room over the last 10 years due to a TV tipping over and that injuries have increased more than 30% as a direct result of television instability. From 2000-2011 there have been 215 deaths reported involving unsecured televisions, which makes securing them properly crucial to ensuring your children’s safety.

There are several safety precautions that parents can take when it comes to setting up the family television in order to keep the little ones safe.

Firstly, always ensure that you don’t modify the TV’s electrical plug in any way, and make sure the cord is securely plugged into the electrical outlet in order to prevent electrical shock or potential fires.

Next, always be sure to check the stability of your television. If it tips or rocks with little effort, you’ll want to secure it in some manner, or perhaps move it to a more secure location. Be mindful that furniture can also be rocked (or climbed – drawers pulled out make excellent steps for little ones), which may result in your TV tipping over – so assess that risk factor as well. For CRT-style televisions, ensure they’re set up low and stable or consider recycling them for a newer flat screen model, and for flat-screen TVs you should seriously consider wall-mounting them in order to decrease the chance of tipping and toppling.

If using a TV wall-mounting kit, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to have the best and safest fit possible. If your TV or mounting kit came with a warranty or registration card, be sure to complete the form and mail it in to the manufacturer. This way, you’ll be notified of any recalls or other safety information in the event of a problem with your model. Surveys done by Consumer Reports National Research Center show that most people seldom or never take this essential safety step.

The safety experts at Sharp Electronics also shared with Safe Sound Family the following TV safety tips:

  • The best solution to keep the TV out of harms way is to mount it on the wall so there’s no chance of it toppling off stands. Manufacturer approved brackets, braces and wall straps should be used to ensure TVs are fastened securely. Install the TV where it cannot be pushed, pulled over or knocked down.
  • In that same vein, route cords and cables connected to the television so that they’re out of reach and cannot be tripped over, pulled or grabbed by young children.
  • If your only option is to place your TV on furniture, you can purchase products that allow you to “lock” your flat screen securely to the wall behind it. Similarly to wall straps, you can use anti-top straps to secure your TV to the top of the furniture it’s resting on – but the stand needs to be heavy enough to support the weight of your television.
  • Also, never place the television on furniture that can potentially be used as steps, like a chest of drawers.
  • Always use a mount, attachments and accessories that have been recommended by the TV manufacturer and have a safety certification by an independent laboratory (such as UL, CSA and ETL).
  • It’s crucial that the wall or ceiling that you are mounting your television on is appropriate – some mounts are not manufactured to be mounted onto walls or ceilings with steel studs or cinder block construction.
  • When wall mounting, make sure you have at least one other person to help you to prevent potential accidents from the TV’s heavy weight.
  • Select a place with no direct sunlight to prevent reflections and good ventilation so it doesn’t overheat.
  • Lastly, always use service personnel if you’re not completely confident in your abilities to correctly mount your TV.

With the above safety tips and information in mind, in no particular order here are 25 TVs, TV wall mounts and other safety products that we consider to be some of the safest for families with small children.

Straps and Other Safety Gear

1. Sanus Systems ELM701-B1 Elements TV Anti-Tip Strap

If wall-mounting your television is not an option, this anti-tip strap can help to secure your TV and keep your family safe. It’s also an incredibly economical choice for ensuring your TV doesn’t tip over.

Key features:

  • Compatible with TVs up to 60” and 150 lbs
  • Attaches easily to furniture, television and wall
  • Fully adjustable, durable design

Cost: *Est. $13.68

2. Anti-Tip Furniture/Flat Screen TV Safety Strap 

This safety strap system is available in either black or white to match your home decor and television. It securely holds your TV in place attached to furniture or the wall in order to help prevent tipping accidents.

Key features:

  • Includes two straps
  • Sturdy metal and polypropylene design
  • Comes with all necessary hardware

Cost: *Est. $17.95

3. Quakehold! 4520 Flat Screen TV Safety Strap

Ideal for use in areas where earthquakes are a concern, this safety strap is tough enough to secure a television up to 60 inches and 100 pounds. Thanks to their peel-and-stick adhesive, they install quickly and easily.

Key features:

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • No drilling or tools necessary

Cost: *Est. $26.98

4. Peerless-AV ACSTA1-US Stabilis Home Safety Kit for LCD and Plasma Screens/32-60 Black

This fully adjustable unit lets you secure televisions from 32-60 inches in size and can be directly screwed into either your wall or furniture in order to provide the ideal solution for your family.

Key features:

  • You can still swivel the TV left to right
  • Installs quickly and easily
  • Limited 5 year warranty

Cost: *Est. $21.99

5. Kidco Anti-Tip TV Strap

A “What To Expect Moms-Love it Award” award-winner for 2014, this anti-tip TV strap kit is an economical choice that can give you peace of mind when it comes to preventing accidental tip overs.

Key features:

  • Secures to wall or TV furniture
  • Contains two straps for extra security
  • Fully adjustable

Cost: *Est. $12.50

6. Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps 8 Pack

Available in 2-, 4-, 6- or 8-packs, these furniture wall straps are a smart and economical way to quickly and easily secure television furniture to the wall. You will still need a strap to secure your TV, but these will help to ensure thin or unstable furniture does not topple over.

Key features:

  • Durable canvas construction
  • Easily adjustable, installs in minutes
  • Mounting hardware included

Cost: *Est. $19.14

Mounting Brackets/Kits

7. Cheetah Mounts ALAMB TV Monitor Wall Mount

 

This wall mounting kit is ideal for both computer monitors and flat screen televisions, from 12-24 inches and up to 40 pounds. It even comes with an HDMI cable for wiring and installation, and a bubble level to help ensure a level installation.

Key features:

  • Extends up to 15 inches
  • Adjusts via 180° swivel, ±10° tilt, and ±20° rotation
  • 100% lifetime guarantee

Cost: *Est. $12.96

8. Invision® TV Wall Mount Bracket

Thanks to its ultra-slim design, this wall mounting bracket will help your TV blend in seamlessly with the rest of your home. It’s ideal for use with televisions from 26-52 inches and up to 88 pounds.

Key features:

  • CE certified product
  • 25 year warranty
  • Adjusts +10° tilt down and -2° tilt up & 180° rotation

Cost: *Est. $15.99

9. Articulating TV Wall Mount with Long Arm

Thanks to its increased extension range, this wall mount is ideal for larger televisions and can accommodate those from 37-80 inches. A large opening on the back panel of the mount lets you run wires and cables safely.

Key features:

  • Can be mounted on a wall or in a corner
  • Dual stud construction holds up to 150 pounds
  • Mounting hardware included

Cost: *Est $179.99

10. Peerless PRGS Projector Mount

While not frequently thought of when it comes to home television viewing options, projector TVs can be a safer choice for families when the projecting unit is mounted on a ceiling and out of little one’s reach.

Key features:

  • Security screws prevent tampering
  • Quick release for easy servicing
  • Flush mounting

Cost: *Est. $96.30

11. Mount Factory Articulating Tilting Television Wall Mount

This wall mounting unit is perfect for televisions from 40-65 inches and is easy to install while providing a sturdy mount for your flat screen TV.

Key features:

  • Extends up to 20 inches
  • Swivels and tilts for perfect adjustment
  • Mounting hardware included

Cost: *Est. $49.99

12. VideoSecu Articulating Full Motion TV Wall Mount

Ideal for LED, LCD and plasma televisions from 32-65 inches in size and up to 165 pounds, this heavy duty wall mounting system is fully adjustable to give you the best viewing angle.

Key features:

  • Built-in cable management
  • Lock and release safety mounting system
  • HDMI cable and mounting hardware included

Cost: *Est. $74.49

13. Mount-It Dual Arm Articulating Wall Mount 40-Inch to 70-Inch

Compatible with a variety of popular television models, this wall mount features a heavy duty double arm design and is fully adjustable thanks to tilt, swivel and articulating capabilities.

Key features:

  • Ideal for corner installation
  • Holds up to 220 pounds
  • Mounting hardware included

Cost: *Est. $85.99

Ideal for a host of popular television brands including Sony, Samsung and Panasonic, this wall mounting kit boasts a heavy duty design that can fit TVs from 32-60 inches in size and is very easy to install.

Key features:

  • Locking security mechanism
  • Level and mounting hardware included
  • Holds TVs up to 175 pounds

Cost: *Est. $71.19

15. QualGear QG-TM-021-BLK Universal Ultra Slim Low Profile Articulating Wall Mounting Kit

This wall mounting kit is compatible with TVs from 23-47 inches in size and weighing up to 66 pounds. It also works with select 55 inch LED and LCD televisions. Find the ideal viewing angle thanks to its three point pivot design.

Key features:

  • HDMI cable included
  • Bubble level and mounting hardware included
  • Cable clips to help keep wiring tidy and safe

Cost: *Est. $36

Thanks to its heavy duty steel construction and powder coated finish, this television wall mount fits most TVs from 32-65 inches and up to 165 pounds in weight.

Key features:

  • Find the perfect viewing angle with tilt and left to right slide
  • Mounting hardware included
  • Certified frustration-free packaging

Cost: *Est. $35

17. Yes4All Heavy-duty TV Wall Mount Bracket

Fitting most televisions from 32-60 inches in size and up to 120 pounds, this heavy duty wall mount is made from high grade quality steel and offers side-to-side sliding and tilting to help you find the perfect viewing angle.

Key features:

  • Mounting hardware included
  • 5 year warranty
  • Built-in security lock

Cost: *Est. $19

An economical choice for wall mounting your flat screen TV, this unit fits models from 32-52 inches in size and weighing up to 80 pounds.

Key features:

  • Swivel, tilt and extension allow for ideal viewing angle
  • All mounting hardware included
  • Easily installs in minutes

Cost: *Est. $29.99

19. Impact Mounts Lcd Led Plasma Flat Tilt Tv Wall Mount Bracket

Thanks to a solid backplate and verticals design, this wall mount requires no assembly and features a heavy duty design that is an ideal fit for up to 98% of televisions from 30-80 inches and weighing up to 165 pounds.

Key features:

  • VESA mounting compliant
  • Built in lock to prevent theft
  • 5 year warranty
  • Mounting hardware included

Cost: *Est. $23.99

20. Sanus Systems Premium Series Full-Motion Mount

Securely mount televisions from 51-70 inches and up to 125 pounds in weight with this fully articulating wall mount unit. Adjust to find the perfect viewing angle quickly and easily – no tools required.

Key features:

  • Built-in locking mechanism
  • Conceal and contain cables
  • Safety tabs provide audible confirmation TV is installed correctly

Cost: *Est. $249.95

Televisions

21. Sharp LC-60LE660 60-Inch Aquos 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV

This 60-inch flat screen LED TV boasts a faster 120Hz refresh rate, to help display the highest quality picture possible. It also comes with a suite of pre-installed smart apps including Netflix, YouTube and Facebook, so you can stay connected while watching your favorite shows.

Key features:

  • Built-in child lock feature
  • Energy Star rated
  • 54 pounds, ideal for wall mounting

Cost: *Est. $897

22. Sony KDL48W600B 48-Inch 1080p 60Hz Smart LED TV

With its sleek design and high quality pictures, this smart LED TV is perfect for families and features built in apps and HDMI and USB ports. A table top stand is included but it also weighs in at just over 20 pounds, so it can easily be wall mounted as well.

Key features:

  • Built-in parental controls
  • Built-in sleep timer
  • PlayStation Now ready, built-in WiFi connectivity

Cost: *Est. $520

23. Samsung UN55H6350 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV

Available in a variety of sizes to suit your family’s needs, this Smart LED TV boasts a super fast refresh rate and built-in connectivity. It’s also Energy Star rated, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to run.

Key features:

  • View content across smart devices
  • Weighs just 38.4 pounds
  • Eco sensor adjusts picture quality based on lighting conditions

Cost: *Est. $897.99

24. Panasonic TC-58AX800U 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV

Experience the stunning picture quality of 4K TV with this ultra HD unit that is 4 times clearer than ordinary HD models. While it’s a heavier unit at 105.9 pounds, it still falls well within the acceptable limit for a majority of wall mounting kits.

Key features:

  • Check the weather and your messages even when the unit is off
  • my Stream targets content to each family member
  • Built-in voice assistant

Cost: *Est. $1999.98

25. LG Electronics 50PB6650 50-Inch 1080p 600Hz PLASMA TV

Available in 50- and 60-inch sizes, this plasma flat screen TV features built-in smart functionalities and picture perfect bright and clear images at an affordable price. Weighing in at just under 55 pounds, its lightweight design makes it ideal for wall mounting out of harm’s way.

Key features:

  • Optional connectivity to select mobile devices
  • Built-in WiFi connectivity
  • Protective skin glass

Cost: *Est. $609.99

Top 5 most surprisingly safe big cities in America

It’s the American dream – a decent job, family, and a home with a white picket fence. More often than not you’ve probably imagined that home in a safe, low-crime neighbourhood, especially if you have children. Chances are that idyllic safe life that you’re envisioning is happening somewhere in a small-town, away from the lights, noise and major crime of the big city – but that’s not always necessarily the case.

While statistically-speaking, smaller cities generally tend to be safer, some big cities in America are surprisingly safe. And while violent crime rates in the United States have decreased by half in the past 20 years, many Americans wrongly believe that it’s increased.

In no particular order, here are some of the most surprisingly safe big cities in America.

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Washington, District of Columbia
  4. Chicago, Illinois
  5. Boston, Massachusetts

Methodology

In order to create this list, we looked at the most recent survey by YouGov that found which big cities in the United States that Americans consider to be the safest.

Then, using data from the FBI’s 2012 uniform crime report, we explored the incidence of total reported violent crime rates including:

  • Murder
  • Assault
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Motor vehicle theft

We ranked each city according to the incidence of each of the above five crimes, with a heavier weight given to more violent and serious personal crimes such as murder and rape. We adjusted the total rate of crimes to per 100,000 to more easily compare the cities. Totalling the scores when compared to their perceived level of safety, we then determined that the following cities are some of the most surprisingly safe big cities in all of America.

New York City, NY

Dark City

The Big Apple often gets a bad rap as being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, but when you look at the crime data, you can clearly see that it’s not a fair title.

While 49% of Americans believe New York to be either fairly unsafe or very unsafe, it actually has a murder rate per 100,000 (5) that is less than one quarter of that in Philadelphia (21.5), the most surprisingly dangerous big city in America.

Incidents of reported rape and vehicle theft are also lower in New York City than any of the others on the list, 14 per 100,000 and 98 per 100,000 respectively.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Traffic - The Newhall Pass

Tied for third with Washington, DC with regards to perceived level of safety, 48% of respondents in the YouGov survey said they considered the City of Angels to be fairly unsafe or very unsafe, but the numbers tell a different story.

Los Angeles’ murder rate is only 7.75 per 100,000, second lowest aside from New York and the assault rate of 216 per 100,000 puts it at the bottom of the list for that reported crime. The city’s robbery rate is also the lowest of the bunch at 233 per 100,000.

So while you might think of Los Angeles as being unsafe thanks to the stereotypes of gangs, car chases and other crimes stories seen on the news, that’s not the reality.

Washington, DC

Jefferson Love Memorial

Like Los Angeles, 48% of Americans surveyed said they believed Washington to be either fairly unsafe or very unsafe. And, like Los Angeles, the numbers paint a different picture.

The murder rate in Washington is middle of the road with 13 per 100,000, as is the incidence of rape at 37 per 100,000. While they are middle of the road, given how safe certain cities like Atlanta, Georgia are perceived (with a murder rate of 19 per 100,000 and incidence of rape at 26 per 100,000), Washington can be considered surprisingly safe comparatively.

The Capital was again middle of the list for reported incidents of assault (538 per 100,000), robbery (589 per 100,000), and vehicle theft (561 per 100,000).

Chicago, Il

Cloud Gate Chicago (Explore)

Chicago was considered the least safest big city in America, with 53% of those surveyed saying that they considered it to be either fairly unsafe or very unsafe.

But crime in The Windy City isn’t quite as bad as many believe. Incidents of robbery and assault (498 per 100,000 and 453 per 100,000 respectively) are about middle of the pack for those cities we looked at, and the murder rate was also at 18 per 100,000.

There is no data on reported incidents of rape as Chicago does not use the accepted reporting standards used in the rest of the country and so we were unable to include that for analyzation.

Boston, MA

Boston skyline

When you look at Beantown’s incidence of rape (39 per 100,000, putting it third on the list of cities in the survey) and assault (483 per 100,000, fifth on the list of cities in the survey) it might seem like a surprisingly dangerous big city.

Surprising then is that only 27% of those surveyed said they considered Boston to fairly or very unsafe. The city’s low murder rate per capita (9 per 100,000) could likely be a contributing factor to this perception.

The city also has the second-lowest incidence of vehicle theft at a rate of 258 per 100,000 and fares well on the other crimes rates we looked at.

More Safety Solutions for Kids and Families: