Maine law enforcement agencies are asking residents to do a couple of simple things in order to keep their families, and others, safe.

What Are the Two Things?

September is Safe Home Awareness Month in Maine, and the Department of Public Safety has some reminders about how residents can keep themselves, and even people they've never met, safe from harm. Can you guess? It's really very simple. Keep your firearms and prescription medications secure. If either one is taken from your home or falls into the hands of visitors, it could become dangerous or even deadly.

The Maine Legislature unanimously passed the Act to Establish Safe Homes Program in 2022, which promotes the importance of safe prescription drugs and weapons storage, helping to reduce accidental gun deaths and prevent suicide.

Is This Really An Issue?

Now, if you're asking yourself if this is really a problem in Maine, the answer is yes. Maine has the highest firearm mortality rate in New England. Some of the statistics from 2022, regarding both firearms and prescription drugs, are sobering:

  • 183 Maine residents were killed by firearms
  • 159 of those people took their own lives
  • There were more than 10,000 overdoses in Maine
  • 716 of those were drug deaths, which is a 13% increase over 2021

Safely storing your firearms and prescription drugs can help keep them out of the hands of people who want to harm themselves or others, as well as children who may come across them and accidentally misuse them.

Where Can I Find More Information?

The Safe Homes Program in Maine also extends to other dangerous weapons in homes, like hunting knives. Find more information on the Safe Homes Program website. 

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