Smart parents know to do their homework today when it comes to home safety and security during the school year, especially if kids are coming home to an empty house.
“With more kids today ‘home alone,’ there really are some golden rules parents should follow to make the home a safe and secure place,” said Bob Stuber, nationally acclaimed security expert, whose work with kids and safety issues has landed him on countless national TV shows, including “Oprah,” “The View” and ABC’s “Primetime.”
Bob Stuber’s Home Safety
And Security Tips For
• Motion Lights: Install motion detectors that activate lighting for the garage, patio, walkway or backyard. At certain times of the year, days are shorter and in some areas it can be dark when kids get home from school.
• Automatic Timer Lights and/or Remote-Controlled Lighting: Install automatic light timers on lamps inside the home and set them to activate prior to your child’s arrival. For a high-tech twist: Chamberlain’s Remote Light Control can be programmed to work with the garage door opener remote control and can activate a light or appliance, such as a TV or radio, as your child approaches the house.
• Safe Escape: Designate a “safe place” in your home where your child can go in case of bad weather or a home break-in. This can be a closet, bathroom or any other space that will provide protection away from windows, debris or the view of people.
• Garage Door Monitor: A common security breach is leaving the garage door open-a virtual invitation to thieves, since many people don’t lock the door between the garage and the home. “Think of a garage door monitor as a baby monitor for the garage,” said Stuber. Chamberlain’s Garage Door Monitor can be placed on a kitchen counter and will display a flashing red light if the garage door is open.
• Calling Parents After School: Teach your child to phone a parent or responsible adult as soon as he or she arrives home.
• Garage Door Opener Battery Backup System: Install a garage door opener with a battery backup system, such as the professionally installed LiftMaster EverCharge Battery Backup, or Chamberlain’s Whisper Drive Plus, available at home-improvement stores. Each will provide power to the garage door opener, keypad and remote controls for up to two days during a power outage.
• Wireless Keypad Entry: Children can drop or lose things, such as keys, at any time. A keypad that operates the garage door opener eliminates the need for your child to carry keys.
• Morning Lock Check: Every morning before your family leaves the house, all the doors and windows should be checked to make sure they are closed and locked. It’s very common for someone to open a door or window and forget to close and lock it. This is one of the first places a criminal checks to get into a house.
• In Case of Emergency: Teach your child to call 911 first and the neighbors on both sides and even across the street next. While the police or fire department is on the way, the neighbors can respond in seconds.