Two of the most common ways unwanted visitors gain access to a property is when children are left at home alone – especially on weekends and over the upcoming end-of-year holidays when their parents are at work. Children commonly spend more time on a property on their own without their parents and yet they are often forgotten when home security planning is concerned.
Chubb Fire and Security suggests the following:
1. Remember your children when planning for your home’s security, especially when they are at home alone or during weekend or holiday periods.
2. Many home burglaries or hold-ups occur because children haven’t been told what to do when this happens.
3. Children must never allow unannounced visitors onto the property.
4. Children should be taught how to answer a telephone or gate intercom without betraying the fact that they are alone.
5. Rather than acknowledging that their parents are away from the property, they should say that the required person is not available and ask the caller to leave a message.
6. On no account should a visitor be allowed onto the property unannounced or without their parent’s permission.
7. Your children should never to be cajoled into going to the property’s gate to investigate an unannounced visitor.
8. Your children should know the location of your panic buttons, and more importantly, how to use them. If you have decided to invest in remote panic buttons, make sure your children have one at their disposal.
9. An easily accessible list of emergency contact numbers such as you and your spouse’s work and cell phone numbers as well as those of the immediate neighbours, your security company, the police and other emergency services, such as the fire department, should be left near the home’s main phone.
10. Most children have cell phones – input these numbers into their phones and if they have the facility, show your children how to use the speed dial facility on their phone.
11. It is advisable and indeed necessary to frequently test any fixed or mobile panic buttons, but please advise your monitoring centre first. False alarms cost lives and to do this as a means of testing response times could cost another person their life.