As parents, our primary purpose in life is to protect our kids so they grow up happy and healthy. We can’t always protect them out in the world, but there are plenty of things we can do at home to improve safety.
A home security system is a family’s first line of defense against break-ins and burglaries. Simply having one installed and putting a sign in your yard is often enough to discourage burglars. On the flip side, if the system isn’t turned on or is used improperly, your home security can be compromised.
It’s important for everyone in your house to understand how the home security system works – including kids. Even young children understand the concept of an alarm. They innately know that it’s an alert, but they also need to understand why you have a security system and how it works.
Start By Discussing the Importance of Home Security
Before going over the system, it’s worth taking the time to discuss the need for home security with your kids. Having the conversation can be a little touchy because you don’t want to frighten your kids, but you do want them to take security seriously.
A few points to hit on include:
- Not letting strangers in the house
- Locking all doors when they’re at home
- Not leaving any windows open
- Making sure the alarm is on when you leave home
Make it clear that they are protected while they’re at home because you have a security system. Follow up by giving them a sense of empowerment by letting them know they play an important role in making sure everything works.
Point Out the Location of Equipment
The first step in teaching your kids about the home security system is to point out where the equipment is located around the house. The tour should include the central hub, motion sensors, cameras and intercoms. While you’re going around the house show your kid how the locks on the windows and doors work.
As you go along explain how each piece of equipment works starting with how to check if it’s on or properly in place. Provide a quick demonstration and let your kids practice using the equipment. It’s also a good idea to let the alarm ring for the security system followed by the fire alarm so your kids can hear the difference.
Explain Why Each Part is Important
Home security systems come with many benefits, largely because they protect against a number of threats. This is a good time to explain how each of the pieces of equipment works together as a whole to provide those benefits.
Kids have a way of being complacent. They think if the front door is locked it’s no big deal if the back door is open. You have to explain if one part isn’t working it can compromise the entire system. That way they know to take every precaution and let you know if something isn’t working properly.
What To Do If the Alarm Goes Off
No one ever wants to actually have their alarm system go off, but it happens every day. How people immediately react can have a significant impact on the events. If the home security alarms were to go off kids need to know where to go and what to do to keep themselves safe.
The most important thing is to plan escape routes from different areas in the home. Show your kids where to go if they’re in their room when the home security alarm goes off. If their room is on the second floor you’ll also need to find a way for them to safely exit out of a window if possible.
Another important part of your home security system is keeping contact info readily available. Kids are taught to call 9-1-1 in an emergency, but they may also need to reach you if you’re not home, a family member or a neighbor. Keep a written list of contact information somewhere that’s easily accessible for your kids, like on the refrigerator door.
Keeping Information Confidential
One of the most important things to impart on your kids is the importance of keeping home security information secret. Home security systems operate on codes and keys to allow entry. The more people that know how to bypass the system the less effective it will be.
Stress that your kids aren’t to share the codes or location of hidden keys with anyone, even their friends. This includes sharing sensitive information online. If a friend does learn the code it should be changed immediately just to play it safe.