School is starting up – is your child arriving home alone? If so, check out our home safety checklist!
Many kids stay by themselves after school; it’s important for parents to feel that their child is safe and secure when they are home alone. To help you and your child prepare so you can both feel better about it, we have compiled the following checklist. This comprehensive checklist has been compiled from many sources, including The Red Cross, Parent & Child Magazine, and Scholastic.com.
Being prepared is key to safety and feeling secure. Take the time to review and implement this plan with your child for a safer, happier school year!
Have an emergency plan. Practice an emergency plan with your child so they know what to do in case of fire, injury, or other emergencies. Write the plan down and make sure they know where it is. Even if you believe it to be common sense, review the sound of the alarm and what to do if it goes off. S/he should get out of the house immediately and then call 911 from a neighbor’s house. Review the emergency exits by drawing a map that outlines the best pathways to safety from each room in the house.
Post relevant phone numbers. Have numbers for a trusted neighbor, your cell and work number and other emergency numbers in a prominent location. If children have approved access to smart phones or tablets, download the free Red Cross First Aid App so they’ll have instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies.
Place flashlights in assessable locations. Let children know where the flashlights are. Make sure that the batteries are fresh, and that the child knows how to use them.
Inspect your home thoroughly for any safety risks.
- Make sure that all of the smoke detectors are functioning properly.
- Remove or safely store in locked areas dangerous items like guns, knives, hand tools, power tools, razor blades, scissors, ammunition and other objects that can cause injury.
- Make sure potential poisons like detergents, polishes, pesticides, lighter fluid and lamp oils are stored in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.
- Make sure medicine is kept in a locked storage place or out of reach.
- Install safety covers on all unused electrical outlets.
Always check in. Make it a rule that your child calls a parent (or another adult that you designate) or leaves you a message as soon as s/he gets home. This can be the first step in a daily routine that includes homework, a snack, and some downtime.
Make the phone (almost) off-limits. Your child shouldn’t answer the phone for just anyone, so set up guidelines. If you have a land line with caller ID, tell her not to answer the phone if she doesn’t recognize the name or number. If you don’t have caller ID, tell him that she should let every call go to voice mail. If you child is old enough to have her own cell phone, use the same guidelines.
Don’t leave the house. Your child should not leave the house unattended unless cleared with you first or there is an emergency such as a fire. Make sure that he is aware of the risks of leaving home.
Take the same way home. Have them take the same route to and from school every day. If your child walks, review each street that she uses. If she takes a school bus, make sure that she takes it every day, even if she is offered a ride from a friend. Knowing her route allows you to predict how long it will take her to arrive home, and to trace her steps if there is ever a problem.
- Not to talk about being home alone in public or on social media.
- Never tell someone on the telephone that the parents are not at home. Say something like “He or she is busy right now. Can I take a message?”
- Lock the doors; if the home has an electronic security system, children should learn how to turn it on and have it on when home alone for extra protection.
- Never open the door to delivery people or service representatives. Ask delivery people to leave the package at the door or tell them to come back at another time. Service representatives, such as a TV cable installer, should have an appointment when an adult is at home.
Lock the doors. If the home has an electronic security system, children should learn how to turn it on and have it on when home alone for extra protection. Security systems with remote access, like Honeywell Total Connect, allow parents to be notified and view activity in the interior or exterior of their home for extra peace of mind.
Keep them busy. Although a child needs some downtime to rest and rejuvenate, your child will be less likely to get into trouble if he’s occupied with homework, practicing music, and chores. Review what they have accomplished and give them feedback when you get home. Reinforcement is key to getting things done!
Practice first aid. Keep a first aid kit handy and review it with your child. Help her distinguish between a true emergency and a minor one that she can handle herself.
Consider enrolling older children in an online Red Cross babysitting course so they can learn first aid skills and how to care for younger family members. Babysitting Basics is geared towards children aged 11-15 while Advanced Child Care Training is well-suited for those aged 16 and up.
We at Secur-Tek, Inc hope this checklist is helpful and wish you and your family a safe and productive school year. If you have any questions or needs concerning your home security or automation needs please give us a call!