Pointers to keep children safe at home as parents return to office

A week before you rejoin office, it is important to survey the house thoroughly from inside and outside to figure out the potential weaknesses.

By Shyam Motwani

This year was a blessing in disguise for parents and children who got to spend maximum time with each other, albeit under unforeseen circumstances. This made the children, especially the younger ones very dependent on their parents as they got used to them being at home. Parents are constantly worried about their child’s safety when they are at home alone. The lockdown phase is slowly coming to an end. Some offices have resumed operations, but schools continue to remain closed, meaning kids will be home. The constant worrying of their parents for the safety of their child will persist even now.

As per Har Ghar Surakshit report 2020: Safety Insights from India’s police force, by Godrej Locks, 65 percent cops across India see an increase in home robberies and thefts post lockdown. While 53 percent cops believe that children are most vulnerable to home robberies and thefts.

Looking at this urgent need for parents concerning the safety of their children while they are away from home, here are some tips that can help manage the situation better and take charge of their child’s safety.

Assess the home for potential threats

A week before you rejoin office, it is important to survey the house thoroughly from inside and outside to figure out the potential weaknesses. Whether it’s an unreliable back door, an uneven window in your children’s room or the easily accessible balcony in the house. Once you identify the issues, make sure they are fixed before you start going back to your workplace. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of loopholes in home safety.

Protect the home from outside

Increase the lighting around your house and on the street. A well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get away, deterring them from targeting the area. You can opt for smart lights that can be switched on remotely when you are away to signal that someone is there at home. Make sure that the police verification of your house help is done and that he/she is trustworthy. While many of us take home safety for granted, it’s important to proactively eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery as it might lead to serious consequences.

Make use of technology

Children today are very smart and tech savvy since they are introduced to technology at a young age. Parents can use this to their advantage. They can use digital locks that can assure a higher degree of safety, as these are not easy to break. Also, one must install cameras for remote monitoring along with other devices like video door phones. Smart devices can also be used to set reminders, make emergency calls, and access entertainment like audiobooks, music, etc.

Educate children about the emergency numbers

It is important that children are educated about emergency numbers like 100 for police, 112 – the national emergency helpline number, 101 for fire brigade, etc. This should also include contacts of close family members. In case of an emergency, a lot of time is often wasted in figuring out the correct contact. Hence, it is important that such numbers are kept handy so that help can be provided in time.

Watch your behaviour

Humans form habits and most of us follow a particular routine. Unfortunately, this helps burglars figure out when to strike. They’ll pay attention to when you leave, how long you’re gone for, if you’ve locked the door, what time are the children alone at home, etc. Hence, it is important to be watchful of any changes in the surroundings and keep an eye on anyone who is on a lookout of your daily outings.

While there’s no definite way to prevent a burglar from breaking into your house, remaining vigilant and taking precautionary measures will help protect your home and children. So whether you choose motion-sensitive lights or a professionally monitored home safety system, as long as one is vigilant and taking steps, one is on the right track for keeping their children safe at home.

(The writer is EVP and Business Head, Godrej Locks.)


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