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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 strategies to prevent suicide.

What are Lethal Means? 

The term “lethal means” refers to objects or items that can be used to attempt suicide. The term “lethal” is important because some methods are more 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 to reconsider or to be saved 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. 

Firearms

When possible, remove firearms completely 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.

Medications

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.

Alcohol

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

Ligatures

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

Cleaners

Keep cleaning supplies in a locked container or cabinet.

Other Actions You Can Take to Keep Your Loved One Safe at Home

Request a Cable Gun Lock

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

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