All of the home security experts will agree on this – you can install the latest and the most expensive home security features in your home, but if the people who live there do not know how to act and be careful, you might as well have left the front door wide open. As our children get older, they become full-blown members of the household and they need to learn about home security.
The questions that beg to be answered is when to give teach them about it and how to do it?
The Matter of Timing
It is probably best to start as early as possible with home security lessons. Of course, early on, these will not be full blown lessons, but more like hints at why it is important to lock the door, how to do it, how to answer the door and so on. These are little things that you can throw in every now and then, just so that your child is aware of some things.
The real, big talk about home security should definitely be done before the first time they will stay home alone. Depending on your child and the local laws, this can happen at different times in children's lives. Some parents feel comfortable leaving their mature 11-year olds home alone while others do not trust them even when they are 15. It all depends on a situation. The important thing is to have the talk before they are left home alone.
Explaining Home Security Features
You will be best off by starting from the home security features that they need to know everything about. They need to know everything there is about the locks that you have on your doors and windows. This is particularly true if you use particularly complex locks or keyless locks that can sometimes be confusing. Locksmiths from Sydney we consulted have told us that one of the most important things is to teach children to lock windows and back doors as well.
Depending on what other home security features you have installed in your home, you will need to talk to your child about those as well. Tell them how to work the alarm system and what to do if it goes off. The same goes for the video surveillance system, in case you have one of those installed too.
Teaching them the Procedures
This may sound a bit too strict and official, but there are really procedures that your child should learn about before they can stay home alone. For instance, they need to know how to behave when someone rings the bell and they are not sure who it is. Of course, the right thing to do is never to open the door. They should also contact you immediately.
You should also tell them what to do if they suspect that someone is trying to enter the house. They should call the neighbors, the police and, of course, you as well. It is better to have them raise false alarm than for them not to call anyone.
You will also want them to have all the important phone numbers nearby: yours, neighbors' numbers, police, fire department, poison control, emergency services, etc. In addition to this, you need to let them know that they should never tell anyone they are home alone over the phone. It is better if they say that you are in the backyard or bathroom and not able to pick up the phone because of that.
Do not Force Anything
If you notice that your child is too nervous before you leave them home alone, it might be a good idea to leave this for another time. There is no point in stressing your child out. Also, you should let them know that in case they should feel nervous while you are away, they can always call you up and ask you to come home. If this happens, do that. Come home.