Safe storage is an important home safety practice, particularly when it comes to medications and firearms. Preventing unauthorized users, such as children, from accessing an unsecured firearm or ingesting medication can save lives. Preventing access to lethal means through safe storage can reduce the risk of suicide, unintentional discharge or consumption and thefts.
Safe Storage of Firearms
If you own a firearm or air gun, it’s important to make sure you’re the only one with access to it. Children and teens should not be able to access a firearm unless you retrieve it for them and supervise all use.
When storing firearms, here are some things to remember:
- Keep them out of reach and out of sight of children.
- They should be stored unloaded and locked in a secure location, with ammunition locked and stored separately.
- If a visitor has a firearm, provide them with a place to store it securely while in your home.
Locks for firearms come in many styles. The style that works best for you will depend on the type of firearm you have, and how many you will be storing.
- Cable locks block the chamber or magazine, preventing a cartridge from being fired. However, cables can be easier to cut and remove than other lock styles.
- Trigger locks are two-piece locks that fits through the trigger guard. They come in a variety of models and can be relatively inexpensive.
- Lock boxes can be used to store handguns and can be secured with a key, combination or a finger print scan. Lock boxes are also great for storing ammunition separately from the firearms.
- Gun safes are useful for storing multiple firearms. You can use cable and trigger locks along with a gun safe for an added layer of protection.
Keep the key to your lock, lockbox or safe hidden. If your lock uses a passcode, do not share it with anyone.
Asking Saves Kids (ASK)
ASK is a simple way to keep your kids safe when they visit other homes. You likely already ask a number of questions before your child goes to a friend’s house about allergies, TV and internet use and parental supervision. ASK’s End Family Fire campaign wants parents and guardians to add another question to the list: “Is there any unlocked or loaded gun in the home?” This question has the power to save your child’s life.
For more information on the ASK campaign, check out Brady United .
Safe Storage of Medication
Any medication can be dangerous if taken incorrectly or by the wrong person – even medicines purchased over-the-counter. All medications should be stored securely in order to prevent your child or teen from accessing them.
When storing medications, remember to:
- Keep all medications out of reach and out of sight of children, even those with child-proof safety caps. Child-proofing only makes it harder for young children to quickly open the bottles, not impossible.
- Lock medications away in a medicine cabinet or lock box.
- Close and put medication away after every use.
- Keep visitors’ purses, bags or coats out of reach of children, in case medications are stored in them.
For more information about safe medication storage, visit Up and Away.
If you believe someone may have accidentally taken medicine or vitamins not prescribed for them – even if you aren’t completely sure – call the Northern New England Poison Control Center (NNEPC) right away.
How to Reach the NNEPC
Call 1-800-222-1222, toll-free 24 hours a day 7 days a week, confidential. TTY and interpreter service available
Chat online at www.NNECP.org
Text POISON to 85511
To be prepared for a poison emergency, program the poison center phone number into your phone today.