Family fire is preventable
Take these four simple steps to help protect your family and prevent these avoidable tragedies.
Store all guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition.
ASK family, friends, and members of your community about unlocked or loaded guns in their homes.
Have conversations with family, friends, and community members about responsible gun ownership and gun safety.
Learn about safe storage programs in your area and familiarize yourself with the gun laws in your state.
As your household changes over time, rethink how your approach to gun storage might need to adjust to meet new family circumstances.
Store your guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition
Safe storage must be a top priority for all gun owners. Research the various gun storage options available to determine which is best for your family.
Trigger locks: External locks attached directly to the firearm.
Cable locks: Threaded through the chamber of the firearm, keeping the chamber open and empty.
Lock boxes, carrying cases, and safes can help protect firearms from damage.
Some gun safes offer biometric technology, which only recognizes and opens with your unique fingerprint. Biometric technology also allows for quick access.
ASK family, friends, and members of your community about unlocked or loaded guns in the home
Parents dropping off their kids for a playdate: “My kid is pretty curious, and our doctor recommended that I ask — is there an unlocked gun where my child will play?”
Teens taking their first babysitting job: “Is there an unlocked and/or loaded gun in your home?”
Young adults moving into a group home: “Does anyone own a gun? If so, how is it stored?
When considering the care of an elderly family member, especially those who may suffer from a form of dementia: “Do we need to rethink how we safely store any guns?”
Talk about responsible gun ownership with family, friends, and people in your community
Having regular conversations about gun safety with those close to you reduces the chance of family fire incidents.
Make sure that gun safety and safe storage is discussed and a part of your family’s safety conversation.
It’s important to consider how these conversations will change as your family evolves and grows.
Gun owners can play a key role in ending family fire by educating friends, family, and members of their community about responsible gun ownership and safe storage practices, and gun safety.
Learn about safe storage options in your area and familiarize yourself with gun laws in your state
Local police departments are a great first step to learn about community programs and resources, as well as offsite storage options.
If you no longer want a gun in the home, contact local law enforcement to learn how to legally and safely dispose of your unwanted firearm.
Familiarize yourself with the available mechanisms to help someone who may be in a temporary crisis, like Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
On any given day in America, an average of 63* of our mothers, brothers, partners, and friends are taken from us by gun suicide
When you store every gun in your home locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition, you just might protect your loved ones from the deadliest method of suicide.
*This is a five-year average (2014-2018) of CDC data.
When someone is in crisis, delaying their access to a lethal weapon could save their life.
- Firearms are by far the deadliest method of suicide -- 90% of suicide attempts with a gun are fatal.
- 69% of Veteran suicides involve a gun, which means an estimated 12 Veterans a day die by gun suicide.
- The vast majority of people who survive a suicide attempt -- 90% -- don’t go on to die by suicide. 70% never make another attempt.
- In 75% of youth firearm suicides for which the gun storage method could be identified, the gun was stored loaded and unlocked.
Other Steps You Can Take To Prevent Gun Suicide
Be sure to have a conversation with your loved ones
When you check in with friends and family, ask how they are feeling and don’t be afraid to have tough conversations about firearms and suicide risk.
Don’t hesitate to ask: “Is there an unlocked gun in your home?"
Consider offsite storage
In some cases, you may need to temporarily store your firearms outside of the home.
Offsite storage options may be available in your area - including firearm retailers, shooting ranges, and law enforcement facilities - keeping loved ones safe while preserving gun ownership rights.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which provides 24/7 free and confidential support. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.
Protect your kids from the risks of an unsecured gun.
Kids are curious about everything. Including guns. Talking to them about gun safety in the home is a good first step, but you can do more.
Even if children have been exposed to firearms from a young age through hunting and sports shooting, it is still essential to always store your guns locked, unloaded, and separately from ammunition.
Other Steps You Can Take to Prevent Unintentional Shootings
Have regular, lifesaving conversations about gun safety with friends and family
Parents and guardians ask all sorts of questions before their children visit other homes; whether about pets in the house, various allergens, internet access--guns should be no different.
Add one more question to the conversation: “Is there an unlocked gun in your house?
Let’s make a commitment to keep our children safe from injury by securing our firearms today
4.6 million children live in homes with access to an unlocked or unsupervised gun.
A 2021 study of child access to firearms found that 33% of gun-owning parents who thought their child could not access a household firearm had a child who reported they could.
Locking all household firearms could reduce firearm suicide and unintentional firearm fatalities among youth by up to 32%.