Halloween Safety Tips - Keep Your Children Safe Today!

October 30, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Home Security Headline News

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Video Courtesy of Expert Village

Times have dramatically changed since my kids were little.  We have child predators, child molesters, and just flat out crazy people who steal kids in a split second.  In the past Halloween safety was about making sure your kids didn’t get razor blades inside their candy.  Now when we stress child safety it’s about parents praying they don’t lost their kids through some type of abduction or worse while they are out “trick or treating.”

Here are the 2009 Halloween Safety Tips that we all know but it never hurts to reiterate and remind ourselves again about Child Safety.

2009 Halloween Safety Tips

1. Be sure older children TAKE FRIENDS and younger children are accompanied by a TRUSTED ADULT when “Trick or Treating.”

2. Accompany younger children to the door of every home they approach and make sure parents and guardians are familiar with every home and all people from which the children receive treats.

3. Teach children to NEVER enter a home without prior permission from their parents or guardian.

4. Teach children to NEVER approach a vehicle, occupied or not, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

5. Make sure all children wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick when out at dusk and at night.

6. Make sure children are able to see and breathe properly and easily when using facial masks. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.

7. Teach children to NEVER approach a home that is not well lit both inside and outside.

8. Teach children to stay alert for any suspicious incidents and report them to their parents, guardians, and/or the proper authority.

9. Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell this person is not my father/mother/guardian

10. Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to “Trick or Treating.”

11. Take a flashlight with fresh batteries to help guide you and your child’s way even if there are street lights in your neighborhood. Again, reflective tape added to your child’s costume or shoes is good idea.

12. Tell your children not to eat any of their treats until they come home so parents can inspect each and every piece.

13. Walk don’t run. Walking is safer and by not running children will be able to observe traffic more easily and each other.

14. Children should stay on sidewalks whenever possible. Avoid walking through yards and driveways.

15. Provide your child with emergency identification - like a bracelet or necklace. Place your child’s name, telephone number and address somewhere on their costume, closing or a piece of paper in their pocket.

* Partial list from Oregon State Police Missing Children Clearinghouse and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Have a fun time with your children and a Safe Halloween!!

Have a fun time with your children and a Safe Halloween!!

Remember, Stay Aware…Stay Alert…Stay Alive!!

School’s In Session-Is Your Child Coming Home Alone To A SAFE House?

September 7, 2009 by admin  
Filed under Home Security Headline News

Happy Labor Day Everyone!  This sort of ends the summer and begins the school season for many children throughout the country.  This is a time when many parents must decide whether or not to let their children come home from school by themselves.  For some parents their job may not allow a lot of flexibility so there may be no option other than to let your child come home alone.

 

If your children must come home from school by themselves, you are among a growing trend in our society of working parents who may have to struggle for after-school child care.  In fact, 17% of kindergarteners through eighth graders spend time after school in self-care at least once a week.

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends adult supervision for children under the age of 11 or 12, for many families this isn’t possible.  When faced with this situation, maturity should be the determining factor in whether a child should be left alone.

An important factor in your child’s overall safety when coming home from school alone is whether he/she is coming into a SAFE home.  With the number of home burglaries, home invasions, and predatory criminals hanging around our neighborhoods, it is up to each of us as parents to ensure our home is absolutely safe and free from predators lurking or someone being inside your home as your child arrives.

Having a home security system is one way to be alerted should there be any kind of security issues coming from your home such as a burglary, fire, panic alarm or duress holdup.  In an alarm event, the alarm company will quickly verify the alarm, dispatch the police if there’s no answer, then notify the homeowner of the alarm.

A security system can alleviate much of the stress parents may feel about having their child come home from school by themselves.  When a home security system is set up to cover major door entries, vulnerable windows, and fire protection, parents can feel a little better knowing their home is a much safer home as their child enters.  Also having the security system protected and monitored 24/7 by a well-respected alarm company can give parents a tremendous amount of peace of mind.

In our family we have had a security system for over 23 years.  My children were about 9/10 years old when they were allowed to come home from school by themselves.  The school bus dropped them off in front of the house and they were home by themselves for just a short time. I had a fairly flexible schedule at the time, so I would try to be home prior to their arriving or shortly thereafter. 

We educated our children on how to use the security system and let them turn it OFF/ON well before they would be doing it by themselves.  When that time came, even at that young age, we knew they would be fine.  In some cases I found children do better than many adults in using the security system.

Here are a few reasons to have a security system that protects your children when they come home by themselves:

1.  You know your children are walking into a SAFE home.  If there is any type of alarm event prior to or after children come home - burglary or fire, the homeowner is quickly notified by the alarm company and the police dispatched immediately.

2.  Once children are inside the home, have established rules that they are not allowed to leave the house until an adult arrives.   You can have them lock the doors, start on their homework, read, or watch TV until you get home.  Depending upon your neighborhood - you may want them to set the alarm in the STAY mode.  (That just sets all doors and windows).  My suggestion would be to at least have the perimeter set up with a chiming or voice alert if a door/window is opened when the alarm is off.

3.  Make sure the security system has both a panic button feature which sets off an audible alarm to immediately call for the police and a duress holdup alarm which is a code used if you are forced into your home by an intruder and told to shut off the alarm.  By entering the duress code - it shuts off the alarm and sends a silent, holdup alarm to the 24-hour monitoring center to immediately send the police to your home.

4.  As a security consultant one of the features I offered to homeowners was a paging alert.  When the child came home from school and entered their code to turn off the alarm, it automatically sent a page to mom or dad’s pager.  Mom/dad then knew that their child was home.  Today pagers are probably obsolete, but check with your alarm company to see if they have something similar that can be set up with  cell phone texting. 

Before you begin letting your child come home from school alone or leave for school in the morning, have a family conference to discuss the arrangements and make sure everyone knows what the rules are.  Make sure your child knows about staying safe in and around your home, fire safety, and of course, internet safety.  Have a home security plan in place so that each family member understands about being aware of their surroundings, noticing anything or anyone that appears suspicious, and not answering the door to strangers while home alone.

Does your child know how to call 911?  Do you have speed dial set up for mom or dad at work - or a neighbor?  Does your child know how to press the panic button?  Just knowing how to call a trusted adult for help can make a child feel better when they are home alone.

Once again, if you don’t have a security system for your home, you may find that the costs are very reasonable compared to any loses that could result from a home burglary.  When you have proactively protected your home and family - you know your children are SAFE when they come home alone, you personally will have less stress and more peace of mind - and that my friend is PRICELESS!

Happy Labor Day - Enjoy your day off.  

Stay safe & protect your home and family!