Published June 12th, 2024

Home security & safety for kids

Written by Level Home Staff

7 Home security lessons to teach your kids

Home security is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of your family. While many parents focus on securing their homes with the latest technology, it’s equally important to teach children basic home security measures. By instilling good habits early, you can help your kids develop a strong sense of personal safety and responsibility.

Understanding the basics of home security

Home security encompasses a range of practices designed to keep your home and family safe from intruders and other dangers. Teaching kids about home security means helping them understand how locks, alarms, and surveillance systems work, as well as why these measures are necessary. By understanding these basics, children can better appreciate the importance of security and contribute to a safer home environment.

7 home safety rules for kids

Rule 1: Never open the door without an adult present

A traditional safety rule for kids has been to never open the door to strangers, but modern parenting teaches children not to just consider any stranger dangerous and instead emphasizes “tricky people” in safety lessons. The idea is that the language of “tricky people” replaces "stranger danger" with a more empowering approach, encouraging children to trust their instincts.

Explain to your children that they should only open the door for people that are expected to arrive while an adult is not present. Even if you know someone, if they have not notified your adult, do not open the door. Teach them to always check through a peephole or window before opening the door and to use a door chain or other secondary lock when speaking to someone outside.

Tip: If you have a smart lock connected to HomeKit, you can set up notifications so you know whenever your door is locked or unlocked. It's an extra layer of security if your kids ever open the door without you present. In HomeKit, you go to the Lock Settings > Status and Notifications > toggle Activity Notifications ON.

Rule 2: Memorize important contact information

Kids should know or have easy access to important contact information. Ensure your children memorize their home address, parent or guardians’ phone numbers, and emergency contact numbers such as 911. This information is crucial if they ever need to call for help when you’re not around.

Rule 3: Know how to use the home security system

If your home has a security system, familiarize your kids with how it works. Show them how to arm and disarm the system, what to do if the alarm goes off, and how to use panic buttons if available. This knowledge can be crucial in an emergency situation.

Rule 4: Lock doors and windows

Emphasize the importance of always locking doors and windows, even when they are at home. Teach kids how to properly lock each type of window and door, and explain that an unlocked entry point can be an invitation to intruders. If you have any smart security devices, like smart locks on your front door for example, make sure your children know how to properly use them.

Tip: If you have a smart lock like Level Lock+, you can schedule auto-lock after a certain amount of time in the Level Home App to ensure your doors are never left unlocked.

Rule 5: What to do if they’re locked out

It happens to the best of us, but for a kid coming home from school it can feel like the end of the world to be locked out and it poses a big safety risk. Make sure your children know what to do if they’re locked out of the house and install a smart lock to prevent it from happening. Try using key fobs attached to their backpacks, or install a keypad so all they have to do is remember a code to get inside. These options are much safer than relying on a spare key under the mat and don’t carry the added risk of a kid misplacing the house key.

Rule 6: Safe use of the internet

With the increasing amount of time kids spend online, it’s essential to discuss internet safety. Teach your children never to share personal information online, such as their address, phone number, or birthday, and to avoid interacting with strangers on social media or other platforms.

Teaching kids about internet safety also means arming them with the knowledge they need to make smart decisions. Talk to your children about the potential dangers of interacting with strangers online so they can learn to recognize red flags and other alarming behaviors.

Rule 7: Safe behavior at home

Educate kids about the dangers of playing with fire, sharp objects, or electrical outlets. Make sure they understand the importance of keeping potentially dangerous items out of reach and what to do if they encounter a hazardous situation. Don’t forget to teach your kids about poisonous and toxic substances, and what to do if they or a sibling come into contact or ingest them. It’s a good idea to make sure they know who to call for poison control.

4 Safety tips for kids when home alone

Set your children up for success when they’re home by themselves with these 4 simple tips.

Tip 1: Secure all entry points

We already discussed the importance of making sure your kids know how to secure all doors and windows. To prepare them for being home alone, reinforce the habit of double-checking that everything is locked and secured.

Tip 2: Don’t wander off

Make sure your kids know that just because you aren’t home, doesn’t mean they can wander off. Teach them the importance of staying home and in the unlikely event they need to go to a neighbor for help, ensure they know to alert you where they are ASAP.

Tip 3: Educate kids about potential hazards

Explain common household dangers to your kids and how to avoid them. Discuss why certain items or areas are off-limits and what to do if they encounter something potentially dangerous.

Remember to child-proof your home by securing heavy furniture, covering electrical outlets, and keeping dangerous items out of reach. A safe environment reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.

Tip 4: Improvise, adapt, & overcome

Prepare your kids to handle emergencies by teaching them what to do in case of a fire, break-in, or medical emergency when you aren’t home. You can also identify safe places in your home where kids can go in case of danger. This could be a particular room or a specific area where they can stay until help arrives. Practice emergency drills regularly so they know exactly what to do if something goes wrong – we’ll talk more about this in the next section.

3 Home security drills to practice with kids

Activity 1: Role-playing scenarios

Create role-playing scenarios where kids can practice responding to different situations, such as someone at the door or an emergency at home. This helps them understand how to react appropriately in real-life situations.

Activity 2: Emergency response scenarios

Conduct regular home security drills to practice what to do during different types of emergencies. This helps ensure that kids know the procedures and can act quickly and confidently if needed.

Activity 3: DIY home safety projects

Engage your kids in creating home safety checklists and assembling emergency kits. Try letting them help you install home security devices like smart locks or cameras. These projects teach them about safety measures and help them feel more involved in keeping the home secure.

Conclusion

By teaching your kids these home security lessons, you help them develop important skills and habits that will keep them safe now and in the future. Whether you’re focusing on basic safety rules or more advanced security measures, these lessons are an essential part of raising responsible and secure children.