Some types of medication can increase your risk of having an accident, or slow your reaction times in an emergency.

There are some practical steps you can take to make sure you can take your medication safely without putting yourself in danger.

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Medication and Staying Safe

Some medicines can cause similar side effects as alcohol and recreational drugs and can make you feel drowsy. This may make you more vulnerable when undertaking some activities around your home.

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Ask your doctor if your medication will make you drowsy.

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Don’t drive if you have taken medication that makes you feel drowsy.

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Avoid cooking if you are on medication that makes you feel drowsy.

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Ensure cigarettes are properly extinguished before going to bed.

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Take any old or unused medication back to the chemist or doctors to have them disposed of safely and without harming the environment.

Fire Safety and Medication

If you take medication that might impair your reactions in an emergency, we can offer advice to help you stay safe:

  • Tell your family, friends, and neighbours that your medication might make you drowsy.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms on each floor of your home.
  • Plan an escape route before you need one.
  • Know where the keys to your doors and windows are kept, in case you need to escape.
  • Don’t cook if you’re under the influence of drugs. Prepare something in advance, or eat something cold.
  • Take extra care with portable heaters. Keep them well away from flammable materials.

Planning ahead and making sure the people around you understand the risk can make a huge difference. If you do have a fire or other emergency, please call 999 or ask something else to do it for you.


If you are concerned about fire safety at home, please request a home fire safety check with our expert team. They will always provide personalised fire safety advice and, if you meet certain criteria, they will visit your home to help ensure you’re safe.

You should only take medication prescribed by your doctor, and always follow the dosage instructions. Drug abuse can cause lots of negative effects like dependency, illness, and even death. For more information about specific medications, please visit the NHS website (opens in a new tab).