Your most important job as a parent is protecting your children. The fact is that as they get older you’re not always going to be with them to keep them out of harm’s way.
However, you can help make sure they’re safe when they’re home alone by talking to them about home security and what to do in an emergency.
Here are some important home security tips to teach your children:
- Teach them how to operate your home security system – You should begin by teaching your children the basics, such as how to arm and disarm the system as well as how to tell the difference between the different alerts. You and your children should work together to determine an arm/disarm code for your alarm system that they’ll remember. It’s very important to let them know they shouldn’t share the code with anyone else.
- Remind them of the basics – Be sure your children understand that they should call 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency.
- Tell them not to open the door to anyone – You should instruct your children to ignore anyone who knocks on the door or rings the bell. If they’re frightened, have them call you on the phone so you can wait with them until the person goes away.
- Explain the importance of keeping doors and windows locked – Instruct your kids that even windows on the second floor should be locked when you’re not home. In addition, if your kids enter the house through the garage when they come home from school, impress upon them the importance of immediately closing and locking the garage door as well as the door from the garage to your home.
- Instruct them to screen all phone calls – This is especially true for younger children because they typically offer too much information to the caller. Teach your children to check the caller ID before they answer the phone and not to accept calls from people they don’t know.
- Play it safe on social media – Instruct your older children not to share too much information with friends over social media like the fact that they’re home alone – even if the privacy settings are on. Criminals can bypass security and read what your children are writing.
- Do emergency drills with your kids – In addition to talking to your children about what to do in an emergency, you should also develop a safety plan and run through it when them. Draw a map of your home and teach them how to evacuate the house from every room. Identify a safe meeting place outside the home, such as a neighbor’s house, for your children to go to in case there’s a fire.
If you follow these tips, you’ll feel much more comfortable about leaving your children home alone.