Mar26

Leaving your children home alone can be scary, but with today’s technology, there are more ways than ever to keep your family safe. We put together this list of nine safety tips every parent should know before leaving their child home alone. Use these tips to help keep your young ones safe.

 

  1. Childproof Your House

Plan ahead, and start childproofing your house long before you actually leave your kids alone. You can use these steps to childproof your home:

  • Put child safety locks on any cabinets with alcohol, medication, chemicals, etc.
  • Put child locks on the stove.
  • Add covers to electrical outlets.
  • Put child safety gates in front of stairs and doorways if there are any younger children at home.

 

  1. Secure Your House

Every house should have smoke detectors as a fire safety measure. Take an extra step and add carbon monoxide detectors too. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be very dangerous, so it’s worth the added protection to have these detectors in your home.

Another easy piece of technology to add to your home is window and door sensors. Depending on how you decide to set them up, these sensors could trigger a text message or notification on your phone, emit a little beep, or blast a loud alarm.

Also consider a security monitoring system. Just putting a sign in your yard can deter potential intruders when you aren’t home, but your best bet is to set up an advanced security monitoring system that you can arm and disarm right from your phone. Add security cameras and get a look at what’s going on in your house live—at any time—on your phone, tablet, or computer.

 

  1. Secure the Backyard

If you have a pool in your backyard, put up a fence and lock the gate to prevent children from falling in or drowning. If you use pesticides or herbicides, don’t allow your children to go into the yard alone for at least forty-eight hours after application so they aren’t exposed to these chemicals.

 

  1. Set Some Rules with Your Children

Anytime you include your children in the decision-making process, they will feel more empowered and are more likely to follow the rules Of course, there may be some nonnegotiable rules, but write them down together so you and your children are on the same page.

Use these suggestions to start the conversation:

  • You may ask your children to call you as soon as they get home from school or their friends’ houses.
  • They can’t leave the house unless it’s an emergency.
  • Define what an emergency means and what the action plan is in that situation.
  • Agree that you will be home on time or call if you are running late.

 

  1. Make a List of Resources

Just as you would with a babysitter, provide your children with a list of important phone numbers: a neighbor you trust, the closest family member, your phone number, and any other emergency numbers that might be helpful.

Add your address and the address of the people on the phone list, just in case. While your children should know your home address if you’re leaving them alone, they may panic and forget it if an emergency arises.

 

  1. Review Basic Safety Skills

Even if you feel confident that your children know basic home safety skills (first aid, kitchen safety, etc.), at least review where everything is and what they need to know should someone get hurt while you’re away.

 

  1. Talk about the Internet

Besides reminding your children to not tell many people when they’re staying home alone, review some internet safety tips with them as well. Monitor and control their access to certain websites with parental control software if necessary.

 

  1. Give Them Something to Do

Keeping kids busy means they’re less likely to get into trouble. Give your children a list of chores to complete while you’re gone, or come up with a list of activities they can do if they’re bored.

 

  1. Prepare for the Unknown

The reality is there are dangers out there, and preparing for these situations can help your children feel more confident when they’re home alone. Role play what they should do if a stranger, neighbor, delivery person, etc. comes to the door. Even if you have a video doorbell to remotely answer the door, make sure your children know what to do if the device doesn’t work.

You don’t want to scare your kids as you prepare them for the unknown, so check out A Kid’s Guide to Home Safety for some fun ways to practice these safety rules with your young ones.

When it comes down to it, you’re the only one who can decide if your children are ready to stay home alone. By using the above tips, you’ll know they’re safe—even when you can’t be home with them.

For even more resources on keeping your kids safe at home, visit our Home Security, Crime Prevention, and Safety Center for Kids.

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26

Why Americans are Scared to Travel

by Laura Schmitz on March 26, 2018

Travel, Fears, Danger, Adventure, Globe Trotting, Travel Fears

 

It’s no secret that hurtling in a metal tube at 600 mph, 30,000 feet into Earth’s atmosphere can make hearts race. But what else makes people’s palms sweat when planning their next vacation?

The team at Your Local Security looked at the top travel fears according to 25 travel experts, then dug into Google Search Trends data to pinpoint Americans’ biggest travel woes. Take a look at some of the most common travel fears in the US, and read on for tips on how to tame those anxieties when embarking on your next adventure.

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Mar12

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Home Security

by Erica Mace on March 12, 2018

Opened wooden door to modern living room interior

A Beginners Guide to Home Security

Whether you’ve owned a house for years or the ink is still drying on your first real estate contract, now is the time to install a security system. But with all the options and technology available, it can be hard to decide exactly what is the best alarm system for your home.

Maybe you’re interested in the whole nine yards, with everything from twenty-four-hour security monitoring to remote monitoring with live streaming video. Or maybe you just want a few motion sensors to keep an eye on your windows. Either way, we’ve filled this guide with nine things you probably didn’t know about home security, and why it’s so important to have some sort of alarm system in your home.

 

  1. A Security System Can Save You Money on Home Insurance

Many home insurance companies offer a discount if you have a security system. This service allows you to keep an eye on your home via live stream to your phone, tablet, or computer, reducing your risk for property crimes, like theft. It also lets you benefit from twenty-four-hour monitoring from a reputable company.

If a burglar does attempt to break into your house, the authorities can be contacted quickly, and your home can suffer less damage—which insurance companies will appreciate since they have an active interest in your property.

 

  1. It Can Also Raise the Value of Your Home

A hard-wired security system will likely stay in the house even if you move, which will boost the value of your home when you sell it. Most buyers would rather pay for a property with a preinstalled system than handle this step later on.

 

  1. You Can Monitor Your Children

Do you have school-aged children who spend time home alone after school or on the weekend? The same live stream that allows you to see if anything is happening in your home can also alert you when your children walk through the door. Or you can check in on them to make sure they’re doing their homework instead of watching TV.

 

  1. You Can Manage Your House from Your Mobile Device

With home automation apps, you can arm and disarm your security system and cameras, lock or unlock your doors, control your thermostat, and turn your lights off and on—all from your phone or other mobile device. You can also get notifications anytime your door or windows are opened and reminders if you forgot to lock your door.

Burglars are more likely to break into a home if they know the owner is on vacation, so if you can’t hire a house sitter, being able to remotely control the lights is your next best option for deterring thieves.

Remotely controlling your thermostat and lights also increases energy savings and lowers utility bills.

 

  1. Modern Motion Sensors Won’t Be Triggered by Most Pets

Motion sensors are a great tool if you have several windows in your house. More advanced sensors can now detect how large a moving object is, so small pets won’t set off a false alarm. You can set the sensors to trigger an alarm at sixty- or eighty-pound weight minimums.

 

  1. Alarm Systems Aren’t Just for Deterring Burglars

Alarm systems used to warn homeowners only if their houses were broken into, but now, some companies offer fire, carbon monoxide, and flood monitoring—meaning you can have peace of mind knowing your house is protected from thieves and Mother Nature.

 

  1. Security Systems Don’t Just Protect Your Home

If you have a parent living with you—or a health concern of your own—a personal emergency response system can work with your security system in the event of an emergency. An inconspicuous, waterproof pendant connects to your existing security system for easy health monitoring.

 

  1. You Can Be More Aware of Scammers

Unfortunately, many people try to gain access to your home under the guise of selling a security system. They may also be identity thieves attempting to get your credit card number or other personal information.

Whether you have a security system or not, if you don’t recognize the name of the security company or someone shows up at your door trying to sell you a security system, be aware it may be a scam.

 

  1. It’s Not as Expensive as You Might Think

The most popular home security systems will cost you around $27.99–$58.99 per month. According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, houses without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized, so a home security system is a sound investment.

If you also consider how much safer your family and home will be, especially if your house is at a higher risk for a break-in, the protection is easily worth the cost of a dinner out.

 

Ready to see what options are available for your home? Check out our packages and get a free quote.

 

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