By the Violence and Injury Prevention Team
While there are many potential risks from products we store in our homes, two of the most dangerous are firearms and medicine. Keeping these products away from children and others who might intentionally or unintentionally misuse them is an important way to keep our families safe.
The Key is Safe Storage
Firearms: Many assume kids or other household members do not know where firearms are kept at home. But research shows that kids often know where they are in the house, and many firearm owners handle unlocked firearms without their caregiver’s knowledge.
Medications: While opiate medications are a well-known and serious addiction concern, other common household medications, including other pain medications, pose significant health risks when not used as directed. Cannabis is also potentially hazardous, particularly to children. Cannabis products often sell in forms like gummy bears, making them attractive to kids.
Keep your Family and Community Safe
- Securely store firearms and medications, including cannabis, using a safe or lockbox.
- Store firearms locked and unloaded.
- Store and lock ammunition in a separate place.
- Even if you only keep one firearm loaded, it’s safest to lock it up!
- Firearms stored with quick-opening locks are ready right away.
- Combination lockboxes are more secure than key locks.
- Keep the key with you and the combination private.
- Temporarily remove firearms from your home if you have a depressed or suicidal family member or frequent visitors – find temporary firearm storage near you here.
- Use secure medicine disposals after taking medication – find a drop-off location near you here.
- Ask family and friends to use these safe storage steps!
Protect Your Family and Community
We have the power to help protect our families and our communities. Responsible firearm and medication storage can be as simple as taking one additional step to reduce unauthorized access to firearms and medications. The safety of those we love is in our hands!
For depression or suicide ideation, support is available through:
- Crisis Connections 24-Hr Crisis Line: 866-427-4747
- Washington Recovery Helpline 24-Hr Line: 1-866-789-1511
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24-Hr Line: 1-800-273-8255
- Washington Temporary Firearm Storage
- Find a medicine drop-off location near you
Originally posted on June 6, 2022.