No matter what you do to protect your home, it could all be for naught if you don’t recognize the one thing that could jeopardize it all, your child. For homes with young children or teens, it’s important to consider the roles those kids will play when it comes to home security. They will need to know garage codes and security codes and may be left alone. The way they handle this information and home alone situations ultimately affect the security of your home.
Passwords and Codes:
Kids are listening. Even if you think they aren’t, they are. If you’ve spoken passwords or garage codes out loud, chances are they’ve heard. And while they can’t remember to keep their mouth closed while eating, they’ll probably remember that. And they’ll talk, because that’s something else they do a lot of.
Teach them what’s private and what’s not. If they are old enough for their own passwords, stress the importance of never sharing them, even with friends. Anything that gives access to your home or anything inside your home should stay between family.
This may be obvious, but it’s still important. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t open the door to strangers.
If your kids are old enough to stay home alone, make sure they know who they can open the door to. Provide a list, a short list, of trusted individuals. If someone comes by that isn’t on that list, no admittance, no exceptions. Advise your friends that if they know you won’t be home, they shouldn’t come knocking on the door, because if they’re not on the list, they won’t get in.
You should even provide protocol on what to do if there is a delivery. Most of the time the delivery will simply leave a package on the front door, which is the best course of action if there is a delivery while you are away. Advise them never to disclose that they are home alone.
Kids and teens often don’t think twice about what they post online, leaving them open to identity theft and your home open to a burglary. Discuss what they should and shouldn’t post, delete anything they’ve posted in the past that may be to0 revealing, and explain to them why you are asking them to be vigilant. They are more likely to cooperate if they understand.
Provide kids a checklist of what they should do, shouldn’t do, and what should be secured when you’re not home. Where are your emergency number located? How many doors and windows need to be checked and locked? Should they arm the security system? Put it on the list.
Review the list together, walking through each step and making sure they can properly operate all door locks, window locks, security systems and security devices you might have in place.
While it might be scary to think of something bad happening while you’re not home, the fact is, it might. Have a plan. Prepare your child for the possibility of a burglary or severe weather and teach them how to react. Make sure they know how to call 911 and recite their name and home address. Show them where to go in case of a tornado. Have a safe location they can go if they need to leave the house quickly. Practicing different scenarios will make these situations less scary and make your child less likely to panic in the face of danger.
No matter the situation, kids are always a wild card. Whether they accidentally turn off your security system, or tell the neighbor kids your garage code, they always add an extra element of the unknown. The simple answer when it comes to kids and home security is just, be prepared.