While you do your best to keep your loved ones safe and secure at home, there are some steps that your children need to take to stay safe as well. After all, there will be times when they are alone or when you are otherwise unable to help them. These are some of the steps that you can take to teach your children about improved home security.
Fire Safety Exit Strategy
In the event of a fire, your loved ones should all know how to exit the home independently unless they are not mobile. Explain the importance of getting out of the house immediately and meeting at a rendezvous point that has been predetermined. More than that, instruct your kids to never go back in the house for toys, pets, or anything else. Make sure they at least two safe routes from their room to get out of the house and where to meet afterward.
Different Types of Alarms
If your home is like most, it may have a security system, fire or smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector. Your child’s response to these systems may need to vary. For example, if the smoke alarm goes off, the child should crawl on the floor to exit the home to avoid breathing in too much smoke. If the carbon monoxide detector goes off, they also need to leave the house, but if the security system goes off, the response may be different. Help them understand what the plan is for each of these situations.
Answering the Door or Phone
At a very young age, children should learn how to handle strangers at the door. For example, if someone knocks while you are in the shower or down the street, they should not answer the door on their own, and they definitely should not tell a stranger that you aren’t home. Teach them to use a peep-hole or window to make sure they know the person before answering the door.
If your children are allowed to answer the phone, make sure they know what to say and what not to say. You can practice a standard greeting that includes their name and your family name, such as “Smith residence, Jane speaking.” They should also make sure they never tell anyone if you aren’t home.
How to Stay Safe Online
The internet is a blessing, but it can also be very dangerous. Social media and other sites represent a great opportunity for child predators to get ahold of your children. Make sure you install parental controls on all your computers to limit their access to the internet. You should also teach them how to stay safe on the internet and how to use social media responsibly.
Parents can take great steps to keep loved ones safe inside the home, but you cannot reasonably cover all the bases all of the time. By teaching your children about home safety and security, you are enabling them to take control of their safety and security when necessary.