Home safety and security is important to all of us. We all want to be able to feel that our home is the one place we can go to feel safe. Today this idea is being challenged in a number of ways for home security. Parents are working longer hours, leaving children at home alone and unsupervised. Many families are caring for seniors who are handicapped or mentally impaired. Then there is the unwanted danger that the internet brings into the home.
It’s not possible to eliminate all possibility that an emergency can happen at home. It is possible to avoid the impact of many dangers by planning for them ahead of time, and by instituting safety measures that will make them less likely to happen.
Dangers To Children
Small children should never be left home without adult supervision. There are just too many things that can happen to small children when adults are not around. Arrange for a babysitter to take care of them when you are at work, or hire a nanny. Screen hired workers carefully, making sure they are experienced at their job and have been background-checked. You may want to consider installing a camera in the house to view their progress remotely, at least at first.
Keep additional contact names for people to call to take care of your children in an emergency. These should be people you trust who can watch your children if you have to leave unexpectedly for a few hours. Relatives are a good option if they are known to be good with children.
Monitor internet usage by older children carefully. Unfortunately, one of the ways predators gain access to the home is via websites on the internet. Older children are looking for social connection, and may not be aware of the dangers involved.
Arrange appointments with service technicians, such as handymen, on a day when you will be home. Do not leave this responsibility to children. Be sure to ask the technician to show you proper identification when he comes to the door. If you have any doubts about his identification, call his service company.
Impaired seniors are a danger to themselves in certain situations at home. They should be supervised in areas such as the kitchen, where burns from cooking food are possible. If you are caring for a senior who is physically handicapped, it may be wise to include some physical aids around the home, such as walkers and grab bars, to help them get around safely.
Stairs are a common place for falls for seniors over 80 years. If you do not have a stair lift, seniors should be supervised when coming down the stairs.
Family Safety Policies
It is important to have established safety procedures for your family that are understood by everyone. Make sure that your children know how to call 911 in an emergency, and review a plan for safe exit from the home in case of fire. Children should be made aware of the necessity to lock doors when they leave home. They should also be instructed never to let a stranger into the home for any reason.
It is difficult to plan for all emergencies, but the most common dangers to home life can be averted with thoughtful prior planning.