To all parents and homeowners: have you ever got your children involved in keeping their home safe?  Now, getting your children involved in the protection of their home may sound like a crazy idea but the skills and knowledge they learn in how to protect themselves and their family from dangers are great life lessons for their future, making them more independent. So how do you start? Read below:

1) Introduce and Explain the Monitoring Devices

Several monitoring devices can be found within your home and it’s important to introduce these devices to your children.  Start with the basics first: the smoke detector. Most likely, your children will have heard of a smoke detector at school and have actually practiced a fire drill at some point in time.  What’s important is to explain to your child what carbon monoxide is and the difference between it and a smoke detector.  After introducing them to these devices, go through a fire drill/escape plan with your child, detailing what must be done when each sound is heard.  Letting your children know what to do when each device is sounded prepares them for emergencies and gives them the skills for independent living in the future.

2) The Home Security System

Introduce your children to the home security system, explaining to them what it does and what it protects. Also, show them where it can be found in the house so they don’t accidentally set the alarm off by opening a window wrong.  However, do not tell them how it’s operated.  You can save this part for when your child is much older. Next, if you have an app on your mobile device that allows you to control your security system, make sure that you don’t give them this device, especially younger children. You don’t want them accidently disabling the system.  If the app permits, lock it with a security code so that it’s only accessible by you.

3) Have a Routine in Place

To make sure your teenagers are doing their part, teach them a simple routine that’ll allows them to learn about keeping their home safe will being able to become more independent.  An example could be as follows: Before leaving the home, make sure all appliances are turned off and all main floor doors and windows are locked. Not only will they learn an important skill but will understand what it means to take responsibility.

4) Use School Teachings

Did you know that what kids learn at school about personal safety can come in handy at home? One of the best ways to teach your children about home safety is to relate it back to something they’ve already learn. Let’s look at it further:

Don’t talk to strangers – Just like when children are taught not to talk to strangers, the same can be applied to home safety. When planning a vacation or doing upgrades to your home, it’s best not to discuss these things with strangers.  Close neighbours, family and friends is okay but not someone you just met.

Check your surroundings – When your teenage children go out with their friends, parents will always remind them to keep an eye out on the surroundings, making sure that they’re not in a dangerous place.  The same can be said for your home safety.  Conduct a routine check around the home to make sure that there’s nothing there that could help a burglar break in.  Also, use this as an opportunity to trim large bushes and trees to prevent burglars from hiding behind them.

Check to see if anyone is following you – When kids are old enough to walk home from school alone, this is one lesson that is learned first. The same could be said about your home.  As you go about your day, leaving and returning home, check to see if there’s anyone who’s keeping an eye on you and your routine.  Look out for suspicious activities (such as cars that come, stop and leave immediately) or other things that could a be trigger.

There are many ways parents and homeowners can get their children involved, from creating fun checklists to learning about new security methods.  Regardless of the method that is chosen, getting your children involved in protecting their home is a great way to build confidence, learn new skills and become more independent. Start today and get your children involved.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.