In many families, both parents work full time, creating a situation where teens who don’t need babysitters or child care anymore, are home alone – often for hours at a time. Regardless of how mature or trustworthy you think your teenage kids are, you probably worry about their safety when you’re working or not at home, and you worry about what could happen to your kids if your home isn’t well-protected. You can stop wondering how to ensure their safety and protect your home, because these suggestions will get your started and lessen your concerns.
Use Peep Holes in Solid Wood Doors
While it may not happen often, you’ve probably had times when solicitors come to the door – selling magazines or anything else. It’s important that your kids not answer the door when they are home alone – unless it is for a friend, family member, or someone they know – like a next door neighbor. Having a peep hole in the door will conceal your teen from the outsider’s view, so they won’t feel embarrassed about not being able to answer the door.
Have Lighted Motion Detectors Outside Your Home
Having a lighted path when you come is important – both for your own safety, and so you can see well enough to unlock the door to your house. If you have lights that are controlled by motion detectors, you will not have to pay the electricity for lights that aren’t in use, and your kids will know that something is awry if the light is going on and off when you’re not at home and not supposed to be home yet. Animals like rabbits, cats and possibly even squirrels may trigger the sensor, but the light is usually on for less time than it would be with a person.
Double Bolts on Your Doors
A double bolt may not be an entirely full-proof burglar deterrent, but it definitely makes it much harder for the thief to get in. You can install a double bolt that can be opened with a key, and install a key-less one for added safety. Make sure your teens know that locking the key-less dead bolt is important when you aren’t home. You can also install something like a barrel bolt, but make sure it’s not made of a metal that is magnetized. Have an understanding with your kids that you’ll call when you’re on your way home so they can unlock the key-less dead bolt.
Never Allow Your Teens to Be Home Alone – for Extended Periods
Be aware of the type of crime there is in your community, when it happens, and who the targets or victims are. Knowing that can help you make sure that your teen (or teens,) are never home alone – for more than an hour or so, especially at night. If they have to be at home for any prolonged period, make sure you have an emergency plan, including a list of phone numbers that you keep in a central location. Arrange the list so that the most important emergency contacts are listed first.
Make sure you have a family emergency escape plan. Your teens should be taught that if there is any kind of danger, or a fire, that they should use that plan. Make sure they also have a place where they can go – should they need help, or for refuge. As long as your kids understand the importance of keeping themselves safe, not answering the door, and not letting anyone in the house who isn’t expected, things should be okay. Every teen should also know when to call or send a text to 911. The availability of emergency responders should make you and your kids feel more comfortable.