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Education and Training

Lethal Means Safety

Restricting access to objects or items that can be used to attempt suicide is one of the most effective prevention strategies.

What are lethal means? 

The term lethal means refers to objects or items that can be used to attempt suicide. Some lethal means are more immediately harmful or destructive than others. For example, if someone chooses to use a gun to end their life, the act is quick and almost always irreversible. Conversely, other methods like overdosing on pills or inhaling harmful chemicals allow more time for a person to reconsider or to experience intervention during a suicide attempt.

Keep your home suicide-safe

When someone is experiencing a suicidal crisis, firearms, medications, cleaners and other household items should be safely secured or removed to prevent serious injury and suicide. Following the guidance below can help SAVE a life. 


When possible, completely remove firearms from the home. Check with local gun ranges or police departments about possible storage options. If guns cannot be stored outside the home, store ammunition and the gun separately, both in locked safes. Use cable locks or gun safety locks in addition to storing the firearm in a locked safe.

Knives or sharp objects

Store cooking knives in a locked cabinet and remove other sharp objects that could be used to cut or pierce. Keep sharp objects that are not regularly used in a secure box or container and place in a difficult-to-reach space or outside the home, if possible.


Store medications in a locked container or medicine cabinet. Dispose of or destroy unused or expired medications. FDA guidance on safely disposing of medication can be found here.


Remove all alcohol from the home. If that is not possible, lock in a secure storage container or cabinet.


Safely store or remove items such as large ropes, cords, belts or other items that could be used to tie or bind things tightly. 


Keep cleaning supplies in a locked container or cabinet.

More actions to keep your loved one safe at home

Request a
cable gun lock.

SAVE helps distribute FREE cable gun locks to keep gun owners or their loved ones who are experiencing a suicidal crisis safe.