viernes, 27 de marzo de 2015

Home Security and Children Alone At Home

Home Security and Children Alone At Home

Your home security system’s primary purpose is to protect your family and possessions from risk due to burglary, fire and medical emergency.  While you and your spouse may be familiar with the operation of your security system, in the event that your children are alone at home, they need to understand how to use the system in your absence.
When should you teach your children how to use your home security system?  As every parent knows, each child is different, physically and emotionally.  As a general guideline however is if your child is old enough to be left alone at home, your child is probably ready to receive basic training on how to use the home security system.
There are three main reasons for teaching your children how to use your home security system:
  1. This reinforces the importance of family safety.   Every experience for a child is a learning experience.  You as a parent are always under observation by your children and they learn early in life from you.  Educating children on the family home security systems is a great opportunity to teach about the importance of safety and instills a sense of independence and confidence.
  2. This prepares your children for emergencies.  For whatever reason your child is alone at home, or if the adult present (e.g., grandparent) is unable to perform due to a medical emergency, it is vital that the child is able to assist. This involves knowing what to do and being comfortable doing it (permission and knowledge).  This might include calling for help from the monitoring center via the home security control panel or simply hitting the remote control emergency panic button to summon help. Each child develops at his or her own pace, so use your best judgment when determining what age to expose your children to safety discussions.
  3. Prevent false alarms.  Take the time to show your child how to manually enter the security code to arm or disarm your home security system.  If your child does set off a false alarm, they need to be taught how to communicate and what to say to the remote monitoring center to cancel the emergency request. False alarms are inconvenient for the homeowner; and they take up time, money and resources for emergency response personnel. Note that some cities will fine (charge) the homeowner for the cost of emergency personnel.
Teach How to Arm/Disarm the Home Security System – If your child will spend time alone in the house, he/she needs to be taught how to arm and disarm the home security system.  If your child will let himself into the house after school they can either manually enter the access code into the keypad or control panel, or if using a smart-phone, simply enter the code before walking in the door.  If there is a false alarm, the same procedure applies to disable the security system and advise the remote monitoring center that everything is ok.
Start by showing your child how to use the keypad/control panel, including what buttons to press for different scenarios. Most home security systems will allow for multiple access codes for different members of the family.  Give your child an access code that is easy to remember so he/she can practice arming/disarming the system.  You should pick an easy-to-remember access code for the child, such as his or her birthday, numeric name or favorite sports player’s jersey number.  In addition, you children should know the “safety word” you have chosen with your remote security monitoring center to indicate if the family is in danger.
Make sure that your child understands that the access codes are FAMILY SECRETS that no one else should know about and should not be told to anyone.  Also, your child should never disarm the home security system for a stranger (for example, delivery person) unless a supervising adult has given permission (for example, the babysitter, relative).
General Safety – Your children should have an understanding of general home safety.
  • Stranger Danger - Explain to your children that there are all kinds of strangers in this world, both good and bad.  They should understand that fireman and police officers are there to help them in the case of an emergency and they should not open the front door to people they don´t know.  If your child is not certain how to respond, they should know what they should do, for example, calling you, a neighbor, etc.
  • Fire Safety - Explain to your children that fire is dangerous and not a toy (e.g., matches or lighter) to play with.  If they are in the kitchen, they should be taught how to safely heat something on the stove or microwave.  Also, explain that the child should never handle fire without adult supervision.
  • First Aid Kit - Explain to your children that if there is a medical emergency where the first aid kit is stored.  Since the contents, just like the medicine cabinet, may contain deadly medications if not probably used, great care should be used if there is no adult present.  Your child should also know how to summon help for a medical emergency using your home security system.
  • Emergency Numbers - Write out a list of important emergency telephone numbers and post it somewhere where your child has easy access.
Home security is an important issue for all the members of the family. Be sure your child knows the importance of personal and home safety, and how home security systems help protect them.

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