The first day of school is upon us. You’ve probably already done all the basics — gathered school supplies, practiced your chosen safe route to school with your kids, and filled out the activities calendar. But what about your home security? Check out these simple tips to prepare your home security and your family for another school year.
Use your security system to your advantage
Many security systems feature smartphone-friendly integrations, like the Resideo Total Connect app. These can be goldmines for people wanting to keep an eye on what’s going on in their home (or double check to make sure their kids got home on time). By setting up apps like this, you can:
- Arm and disarm your system from your smartphone. The Total Connect app allows you to set up a geo-fence that will send a notification reminder to your phone if you leave a predetermined area without arming your system.
- Receive a notification whenever there is activity on your system. That means when the kids get home from school and enter their alarm code, you get a notification.
- Remotely lock or unlock your door. It happens to the best of us — we all forget our keys sometimes, and your kids are no exception! If you have smart locks, you can let your kids in and lock the door again without ever leaving your desk.
- Monitor your security cameras while you are away. View live video, speak through two-way audio or take snapshots of what’s going on inside your home.
- See or talk to whoever rings your video doorbell. Receive an alert when the doorbell rings and answer from wherever you are.
Develop a security routine
There are useful routines that can help your home security — like the 9pm Routine that Washington County Sheriff recommends. Aiming to reduce property crime, this routine involves picking the same time every evening and locking your doors, checking your car, yard, etc. for valuables, turning on exterior lights, and arming your security system.
Ensure your family knows your emergency plan
If you don’t have an emergency plan yet, there’s a lot of great info out there on how to make one, from a communications plan to an emergency savings plan. If you do already have an emergency plan in place, now is a good time to take a moment to review it with your family — make sure your kids know where family meeting place is, at least 3 different ways to get there from your home, and who in your family to contact via text or email to let them know they’re okay.
Use a family password
No, we’re not talking about using one family password for all of your website log ins (don’t do that). We are talking about coming up with a code word or password that each person in your family can remember and encouraging your kids to use it in potentially dangerous situations. For teens, this could mean texting you the password if they are in a peer pressure situation or experiencing bullying and need you to intervene. For younger kids, it could be teaching them to ask for the family code word if they are approached by strangers or if someone other than you tries to pick them up from school, and then not going with that person or running to a get a trusted adult if the stranger get it wrong.