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Barnsley Locksmith Advice For Parents With Young Children

6th September 2021

Well, the summer school holidays are over and the kids should all now be back in the classroom. If yours aren’t, you’d better either check the school calendar or alternatively just remember that your kids are in their forties anyway, and it’s really up to their headteacher to address their attendance at work. 

So, children, hey? I’m guessing that some of you will have them and some of you won’t. It’s that sort of insightful analysis that brings you back here each month, isn’t it?  But even if you don’t have children, you’re probably aware of the concept – they’re like adults who haven’t lived as long yet and are generally smaller and less willing to have a bath or shower than their larger counterparts. That BBC documentary gig can’t be far off for me.  

The thing with children is, like pets, they generally need looking after and keeping safe. This may include minor inconveniences like providing them with food and clothes, as well as keeping a roof over their heads, and also trying to shield them from the various horrors of the world – good luck with that. Whilst we can’t protect them from everything, we can give them tools to how best navigate the world, and that also goes for my pet subject of home security. So today I’ve put together a few tips you can share with your children so they can feel part of keeping themselves and your household safe. 

Shut (and lock) that door

You don’t have to do the Larry Grayson impression whilst saying it as you’ll only get blank stares – take it from one who knows. It’s worth instilling in both adults and kids alike the knowledge that burglars just love getting access to houses without actually having to do any of the dirty work. Which is what can happen if your front door is left unlocked. Secondary school children often come home from school before any adults get in from work and so have a few hours with the house to themselves. Make sure they know to lock the door behind them when they get in. This will not only keep them safe, but also the property, and will keep your mind at rest until you get in to the regular evening chaos at home. Similarly, if the kids are last out of the house, ensure they know how to properly secure the house when they leave. 

Stranger Danger

Without wanting to sound like a 1970s public information film… “Charley says don’t go off with men or ladies you don’t know..”, we’ve all been brought up to be wary of strangers. This still holds when at home. Sad as it may seem, it’s safer to teach children to exercise caution in opening the door to anyone they don’t know. Yes, it could be someone entirely innocent such as a delivery man or woman, but it could also be someone who presents more danger. Make it a rule for them to only open the front door to someone they know, especially when home alone. If in doubt, talk through the door, but remind them to never let the caller know they’re home alone, as a manipulative thief could use this information to persuade them to open the door. We’re not trying to terrify our children, just get them to follow the “better safe than sorry” approach, and any genuine callers should understand this. 

Alarming lessons

We may as well admit it, kids are often far better with technology than adults, having been brought up on it. I would use the example of who is better at setting the video, but even that reference is now a good decade or so out of date. But given the kids are the ones to solve our IT issues, why do we often not trust them to use our burglar alarms. Spend a few minutes with them teaching them how to activate and de-activate the alarm so that you don’t get in the habit of not setting it “because the kids will be in first.” If they can stream Youtube videos of teenagers in Mexico opening their latest wrestling toys, an alarm system will be a piece of cake. Ensure they know the code and get them into the practice of setting and disarming it so that they are comfortable with it and feel part of the household’s security routine. 

Get that number remembered

Since mobile phones came along, the habit of remembering people’s phone numbers seems to have been lost. I can still remember many numbers from childhood but ask me any from the last decade or so, and not a clue – what’s the point when they’re stored in your phone? But what happens in an instance where your child is in difficulty and has either lost their phone or has no charge? They should always know at least one main phone number – either home or a parents’ mobile. Whilst you’re at it, reiterate that they know the emergency services number, and also their address just in case they ever need to give this to the police or someone trustworthy in an emergency situation. 

Stay Out

We can say what we like about keeping our property safe, but it pales into comparison against our own personal safety. This should be emphasised at every stage to our children. If they come home and find a broken window, or a forced door, they MUST stay outside. Going inside puts them at risk of disturbing an intruder, and we do not want our kids in that situation. Calmly discuss with them what they should do in this instance, whether it is calling you, the police, or running to a neighbour’s house. Our possessions can be replaced but our children can’t be. 

It's a balance between not wanting to scare our children, and also giving them tips and advice on what to do in certain situations. As their parent or guardian you are best placed to decide what they can cope with. But I would recommend you don’t shy away from getting them involved in some of the above suggestions so they’re better prepared should anything occur. 

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