Your home is your family’s sanctuary, and you want everyone involved in keeping it safe. Help your kids learn about the necessary security measures for your home so they can develop safety-conscious habits. Here are some tips about how to teach kids home security habits.
Locking the House
One of the essential elements of home security is an awareness of the home’s perimeter and its potential entry points. Since thieves prefer easy access through unlocked windows or doors, show your kids how to lock these entry points. Make a safety map for them, so they can be reminded of all the doors and windows and have a lockdown drill with them. Additionally, go outside of the house with the kids, walk around the perimeter of the home and point out the most vulnerable entry points.
Once you’ve gone over the lock locations, teach your kids about your home security system. Show your kids how to activate and deactivate the alarm in the house and practice with them multiple times. You should continue to practice activating and deactivating the alarm, as it should be something they’re comfortable with. When applicable, have your children in charge of deactivating the system when you return home from an outing.
If you don’t currently have security cameras, consider investing in wire-free cameras with DVR, that way you can protect your home and record any activity on the premises. Be sure to show your family how the cameras are activated, how they can access the footage and the camera’s power source.
Keeping Things Tidy
Teach your kids the nuanced security strategies that will deter theft and keep the home safe and secured. When possessions and valuables are out in the open, thieves will be increasingly drawn to your home. You can help your kids understand this concept by placing an item they value — a toy or favorite food — in an area of the house that is visible. If you put the item up high, where your kid has to stand on something to reach it, it is similar to the lengths a thief may go to. This example will help them realize the importance of concealing valuable items and increase their practice of putting away possessions.
While most of your kids’ security habits are preventive, they should also know how to respond to a security threat. Introduce your children to the neighbors and bring them to any neighborhood watch meetings, so they know who to call when they’re suspicious of a break-in. If your kids come home from school without you and they notice that the home’s security has been compromised, they should call 911. Most break-ins take less than 20 minutes, but the perpetrator could still be in the house when your kids come home. Additionally, if they notice a stranger close to the home’s proximity who displays suspicious behavior they should call 911.
In addition to emergency response, your kids should learn how to conduct a security check. A security check should be designed to monitor the various systems and measures that your family has in place. For example, a security check would include checking the batteries of security cameras and alarms, testing the locks of the doors and windows, placing security signs in visual places around the house and removal of any shrubbery that could be used as a hiding place.
Your kids can quickly develop safety and security habits with your guidance. When you create drill-like situations where your kids practice these habits, they will learn them well and be able to use them without hesitation. Once everyone in your family is well-versed in the safety systems and procedures, you can rest assured that your home will stay safe.