Today, it is common for children to come home before their parents. Many families rely on two incomes and as the children get older, there may be times when they are the only ones at home. With the school year just underway, it is probably a good time to sit down with your children and go over some basic home security tips that will keep them safe and offer you more peace of mind.

Create an Open Forum – if your children feel that they can come to you with anything without an overreaction, they are more likely to share their day. This is important because you need to know if something suspicious has happened or if there is someone they do not know hanging around the home. It is also important in case they are unsure of something or embarrassed to tell you they forgot the code, or something similar.

Go Over Security Procedures – parents should go over all security procedures with their children until they know them inside out and out. Let them set the alarm on their own as well as disengage it. Basically, you want them to do a dry run as though they are leaving or entering the home.

Emergency Contact Information – supply the kids with a list of all emergency contact numbers. This should include your work and cell numbers, as well as a trustworthy neighbor that is home during those hours. You may also want to create a safety word they can use if they call you at work. You can supply your secretary or receptionist with this word so you know if they are calling with an emergency.

Spare Keys – this can be a dicey situation, as you know kids will eventually lose their keys, but you also do not want to place it in a place that can put them in danger retrieving it or that can be too obvious for someone looking to break into the home. It can be left with that neighbor mentioned above that is always home or in a hidden location on your property. If the key is ever used, it is suggested that you change its location before placing it again.