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Rotherham Locksmiths Advice For Parents With Young Children

6th September 2021

I believe it was that great philosopher Kim Wilde who said “We’re the kids in America, woah oh, we’re the kids in America, woah oh, Everybody live for the music go round.” Which really makes you think. Although not for long. Anyway, I was listening to Kim on Radio 2 (where all the cool kids hang out) just the other day and because of the way my brain works that got me thinking about what we teach our kids about home security. Now admittedly I don’t think this was at the forefront of Kim’s mind when she sang her hit but it’s all about the audience response isn’t it. 

Children today seem to have access to so much more information at their fingertips than we did at their age. We had parents, friends and family and the occasional magazine we shouldn’t have really been looking at, whereas today there’s an overwhelming amount of information for kids through the screens of their mobile phones or computers. 

However, with so much information out there it’s not always easy to navigate, and the knowledge that you want your children to absorb may not necessarily be the same as the knowledge they’re more interested in exploring. An example of this is in home security – I doubt there are many teenagers out there desperately looking up information about how to help keep their family’s home safe and looking for tips to prevent burglaries. But this information is important and as it’s unlikely to be the first thing youngsters fire up google to search about, it falls to parents to give this knowledge to their children. As such, I’ve put together five quick tips that you may wish to discuss as a family when eyes are diverted from phone screens. 

Lock around the clock
The Bill Haley impression is not compulsory with this one (ask your grandad), but implant in your children’s heads the importance of keeping the front door locked. This can’t be emphasised enough – burglars love #]an unsecure entrance, they are their holy grail – all the reward with little risk or effort needed. Locking the door is important when the house is empty of course, but also when occupied. Perhaps your children have time alone in the house after school – this is certainly an instance where, amongst the excitement of getting home, they must lock the door after them for their safety. A caveat to this is that they should also be shown how to get out of the house quickly in an emergency. Just take a minute or so ensuring they know the different locks and keys in the house, trusting them with this knowledge, and make locking the door a routine so that it becomes second nature. 

Caller Caution
Our second point to be drummed into kids is simple – don’t open the door to someone you don’t know, especially if you’re in the house alone. It might be a harmless caller, but it could also be someone with more sinister intentions. At best, children could be taught to keep the door shut and talk through the locked door, but this should also be done with caution as a manipulative criminal may find out they’re home alone and use this to their advantage, persuading them to open up. 

Understanding the alarm
Children and technology are usually a decent combination – think how often we get youngsters to solve our IT or phone issues. So why not trust them with the burglar alarm? I know many parents who don’t let their kids anywhere near the alarm which is bizarre to me – they carry out much more complicated technological tasks every day, so an alarm is nothing to be scared of. Take your kids through the settings of the alarm so they’re able to arm and disarm it themselves. Or let them have ten minutes on their own with it and they’ll probably be able to show you some useful feature on it that you didn’t even know about. 

Information is key
The kids know the technology but this does have its drawbacks. Us oldies can well remember our phone numbers from childhood, and offhand I can recall 5 or 6 of my friends’ numbers, 30 years on. I can’t remember any new numbers of course, as phones do that all for us, storing them until needed, so we don’t have that learning by repeatedly tapping in the numbers (or circling the rotary dial for real old school calls). This is all very convenient until we lose our phones. And we know children are generally more likely to lose things than adults. Therefore if they get into difficulty and don’t have a working mobile with them, it becomes more of a problem. This can be solved by ensuring that, as well as knowing the 999 number, your children also know one or two important contact numbers – for you or a trusted adult. This way, if they need to make a call on an unfamiliar phone they will still have a familiar number to call. You should also check that they know their full address and postcode in case this is ever needed to be given to a trusted person or emergency service. 

Walk away
I talk a lot about home security on this site and how to keep our homes and property safe. But it should go without saying that this is minor in comparison to our own personal safety. Houses and property can be insured and replaced, but our family cannot. Tell your children that if they arrive home to find something awry – a broken door or window – that they should not try to investigate themselves. This will put them in danger. Rather, you should have discussed beforehand what they do in a situation like this, whether it’s call you, the police, or go to a trusted neighbour and wait until an adult arrives. No possessions are worth putting yourself at risk. 

I hope these have been useful tips. It’s not the most fun subject for kids, and we’re not wanting to frighten them, but a little bit of knowledge will help give them confidence about what to do in the above circumstances  

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