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.