If you take a moment to think back to when you were expecting your first child, you will remember a weekend where you spend every waking minute baby-proofing your home (or, more likely, you bossing your significant other around because that bump of yours kind of made things hard). You did this for one reason: you wanted to protect your little one from any bumps and bruises. It was to keep them safe. It is one of the biggest responsibilities we have as parents. To keep our kids safe, especially when they are at home; the one place on earth where they should have no worries or woes, no matter what age they are.
Now, we’re not saying you are going to be able to prevent every bump from ever occurring like you have some sort of Minority Report machine that detects accidents before they happen. But, there are certain things you can do that will crank the safety setting up to eleven.
So, with the help of our friends, our readers and those that wrote in, here are some of the best ways you can keep your home and family safe from all sorts:
Teach ‘Em The Basics
The best thing you can ever give your children is knowledge, and that is truer than ever when it comes to their safety. So, first things first, make sure you kids know what their home address is, your main telephone number and your full names. Next up on the knowledge list is how to dial the number for emergency services and how to talk to the operator. Kids can get shy in this instance, so teach them to speak clearly and loudly.
Make It Easier For Them
Another great little hack is to add a ‘favourite contacts’ section into your phone, such as you and your partner and at least two other immediate family members. You should also make these numbers accessible on your fridge, and then teach your kids a) how to access these favourites and b) how to dial the numbers and whose they are, whether it be Aunty Maddie or Granny G.
Create Some Codes
When we are away from our kids, we worry. It is only natural (especially with the amount of clickbaity and negative media being churned out these days). As such, what you should do is create a couple of codes. That could be a text code, something your kids can type out in a text if they are ever hurt, scared or in danger, something quick like 123 or qwerty. The other thing is having a code word. Only give this word to certain trusted family and friends and let your children know they are never to leave the house with anyone that doesn’t know the codeword. Learn it, change it often and don’t tell anyone it.
Safety Systems That Work
It is so important to regularly update your safety systems because the last thing you want to find out is that they don’t work when they need it. We’re talking about speaking to someone like ecscorrosion.com to prevent your fire sprinkler system from corroding. We’re not just talking about your home alarm here. We’re talking about checking your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide systems. Check your fire extinguishers and blankets are still okay. Basically, your home needs to be as safe as it is secure, that’s a fact, that’s why there are so many adverts at this time of year.
Get A Lovely, Noisy Dog
There are a plethora of reasons why you need to get a dog (such as how happy it will make your kids), but at the top of the list is the fact dogs are such a great security measure. Yes, there are questions to ask yourself first, such as can you afford one but, if you can, then great. Thieves don’t like dogs. It is not worth the risk to them. It is the number one deterrent to them, above alarm systems. Yes, you could just stick a “Beware Dog” sticker on the front door, or do a Home Alone and make a cardboard cut out and stick it in the window, but the best thing you can do is give a dog a home and give your home that extra level of security.
Get Your Home Checked
The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to have your home professionally checked, especially at this time of year. Have your gutters cleared of debris to stop any water damage from happening? Have your trees and branches cleared a bit so that any high winds don’t threaten your home. Get your chimney swept. All these little things can make a huge difference to your home and, as the old adage goes, it is better to prevent than aid.
Become Friends With The Neighbors
There is a great article on andthenwesaved.com about why we should be friends with our neighbors, but none more appropriate than the fact no one is better placed to look out for you than those that live either side and opposite your home. That is why it is well worth becoming best buddies with these people. You look out for their house when they are away and they will do the same. It is as simple as that and yet so effective. Anything unusual gets reported to you, not to mention the fact your mailbox will get emptied and your bins put out when you’re not there to do it. It’s the community spirit we’re scared of losing.
Lock Up… Properly
It is so worth running around your house twice a week and just double-checking all the doors and windows are locked, you know, just in case. It doesn’t matter whether you are going out for the day or just going to sleep for the night, doors should be kept locked, something you can teach your kids to do as well. Even if you are just chilling in the garden as a family, having the door locked is a great idea. The other thing you should avoid doing is leaving any spare keys in obvious places, such as that one brick by your doorstep, or that one flowerpot in your front yard. If you are going to leave one anywhere, make sure it is with your now best-bud of a neighbor. It just isn’t worth running the risk.