Safety Tips

Girl reading alone in bedroom of Central Oregon home.

Home Alone? How to Keep Your Kids Safe

Now that school is back in full swing, parent's schedules are bursting at the seams as they juggle after-school activities, tutoring, and parent meetings. Families with multiple children are especially affected. How can Janie get to flute lessons when Junior needs time to finish his science project at home? Common situations like these leave parents wondering, "When is it okay to start letting my kids stay home alone?"

Once considered a working parents issue, this now affects all families as our children's list of extracurricular activities only seems to grow. Parents have many concerns when they need to leave their kids home alone. The good news is that security technology has evolved along with our needs, giving us the ability to be there for our kids in ways we couldn't before.

Given that this is such a common problem for modern parents, we are making this blog topic a two part series. Read below to learn five ways today's security technology can keep your kids safe and comfortable when you can't be home with them.

Bend, Oregon children coming home from school.

  1. Keep close.
  2. Okay, so you can't be home right now - this doesn't mean you can't keep a close eye on things at home. With a smartphone security app, you can receive immediate alerts when your kids arrive home and disarm the alarm system. If you have cameras, you will have the added reassurance of watching them safely come through the door. If you haven't had a chance to upgrade to Mobile Access, please give us a call to learn more about this feature.

  3. Oh no! Where's the key?
  4. It's typical for kids to occasionally lose or forget their key. For this reason, most families have a back-up plan in place to help kids with these absent-minded moments. It's risky to place a key under the mat and not always comfortable to ask a neighbor to hold an extra key. A high-tech solution to this problem is to install automatic locks. Janie texted she's lost her key? No problem. You can unlock the front door from your smartphone within seconds, all while still cheering Junior at football practice.

    Redmond, Oregon boy doing homework by himself.

  5. Did you do your homework?
  6. How can you be sure your child is getting his homework done when you're not there? Many parents have found that a simple indoor IP camera has solved this issue for them. Point the camera at the dining table or your child's homework station and let him know you expect to see him studying there during a certain time period. You can check in on your child to be sure he's diligently working on his homework from your smartphone. Call us and we can install indoor cameras which work with your current security system and smartphone apps.

  7. Are your parent's home?
  8. The biggest concern a parent has when their kids are home alone is that a stranger will knock on the front door. We give all the important instructions. Don't open the door to a stranger, we say. Don't tell anyone that your parent's aren't home. Yet, they are still kids - so we continue to worry they may make a mistake and forgetfully open the door anyway. You can take complete control over the front door situation when you install a Smart Alert Doorbell Camera. Tell your kids not to answer the door at all because you will answer it for them. With a doorbell camera, you can see and talk with new visitors in real time from your smartphone. You can also give strangers the impression that you are home when you're not.

    Medicine cabinet in Madras home.

  9. What are they doing when you're away?
  10. We all know what the mice do when the cat is away . . . unfortunately, curious kids are no different. When you're not home, your kids may take the opportunity to explore the off-limits areas of your home they wouldn't normally venture into. Sometimes this is a Christmas present scavenger hunt. Other times it is much more dangerous. For instance, when they look through prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet or discover the hidden key to your gun safe. You can further protect off-limit areas in your home with alarm sensors which will alert you to a breach of access. You can even put a sensor on your hidden Christmas presents closet!

    If you have kids, they are most likely the reason you have a security system in the first place. We all take what measures we can to protect what matters most to us. It's good to know that we now have more resources than ever before to protect our children when we can't be home with them. Watch for next month's blog which offers five more ways we can protect our children at home by using today's existing security technology.

    Stay tuned for more safety tips brought to you by East Cascade Security.

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