In today’s society, good habits can often save you a lot of frustration and heartbreak. With security, a simple routine can often be the difference between your house being broken into, and your family home remaining safe and sound from intruders.

Routines are an excellent way to teach young children (and some adults) the importance of safety and security around the home.

Here are some great routines and tips to develop healthy habits around security with kids:

1) Picking up toys

This is a great habit to start at a young age. Not only does it teach kids that everything has a place, it also teaches them how to take responsibility for their possessions. Bikes or toys outside are an easy target for an opportunistic thief, so make sure the kids put them away.

By giving children jobs to do, it develops a sense of responsibility as they get older.

2) Locking the door properly

This is something simple you can start today. Teach your children how to lock and unlock a deadbolt. Take your time to teach the how and why a lock works. Teach how to lock both doors and windows properly.

3) Teach your children how to use an alarm

To get your kids to be more aware of security and develop good habits, start getting them involved with the basics of an alarm. If they are still young, make sure that they see you turn the alarm on and off.

If they are old enough, teach them how to use the alarm and why an alarm is important. Create a passcode that is easy for your children to remember. 

A great way to have a habit stick is to create a routine of turning the alarm on when leaving the house or going to bed. Have a little saying every time you leave home. “Doors locked? Windows locked? Alarm on? Ok, Let’s go!”

4) Don’t answer the door or phone without an adult

If you choose to let your children answer the phone and door here are some things you should teach them.

If you children are home alone and they answer the phone, have them take a message. Your children should get the person’s name and phone number and write it down. Make sure your children understand never to tell the callers their name, phone number or address. Your kids should never state that you are not home. Teach them to say you are busy instead.

If you are not home and the door bell rings, the kids should not answer the door. If they are old enough, make sure your children talk through the door and don’t open it. They should follow the same rules to answering the phone. Consider getting a peephole so the children and yourself can see who is on the other side. 

If the person doesn’t go away, teach your kids to either call a trusted neighbour or the police.

5) Teach the children how to respond in an emergency

Teaching your kids how to respond in an emergency is very important for their safety and security. 

Teach your kids how to use a phone in an emergency. Have a list of numbers near the phone that they can call. These numbers can include 000, you and your husband’s mobile number, a nearby family member and a trusted neighbour.

Create and practice a safety drill for your family. Make sure the children understand what to do if there is a fire or an intruder. Teach them what to do in an emergency when you are not home.

6) Educate your kids about online safety

As technology becomes increasingly incorporated into our lives, it is important to teach our kids good safety and security when online.

Shared information can lead to home burglaries and other problematic situations, so make sure your kids understand why being safe is important when talking to people online. 

If you and the family are going on holidays, I recommend not letting everyone know. Information shared online about upcoming holidays can be used by potential thieves to know when you are not home. 

And lastly, make sure your children know not to let other people know when they are home alone.

7) Lead by example

Kids respond well to repetition and reinforcement. However, one of the main methods a child learns is through observing your everyday habits and behaviours. It is important that you develop good security habits yourself.

Lock all doors and windows on a regular basis and set the alarm as well. This should be done every time you leave home or go to bed.

Get the kids involved with this. At the very least you can get them make sure that their bedroom window is closed and locked.

8) Do a quick security check

Set yourself a small amount of time to do a quick check of your home’s security. The first thing your should do is check that you have locks on all your doors and windows. If you don’t, make sure you set time aside to get some installed.

Double check that your alarm is working. Make sure all sensors are working and the battery is fully charged. 

The next step is to make sure that your front and back doors are made of solid wood or metal construction. It should be hard for an intruder to kick down your door. 

Consider putting up generic security signs advertising that your home is secure. Don’t specify the make or model of the security system, you just want to let potential burglars that you home is secured.

Make sure anything of value is either stored away or not easily seen from the road. 

And lastly, do a quick walk around your property and look for any potential hiding places such as bushes. Either remove the hiding places or trim back any shrubs. Bring little Miss or Mr along and see if they can find anything you missed. Ask the questions “If were a burglar, how would I get in”?

What routines do you have with your kids to keep them safe and secure at home? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • #4 … Kids should never say you are not home. uumm…. thats because you should never leave your kids at home alone in the first place.


  • great tips thank you


  • Currently we are starting off with putting toys in their appropriate place.


  • We have taught our child how to call 000 and how to respond to the questions that they would ask in an emergency.


  • I taught my kids all of the above except for alarms (we don’t have one) and cyber security (they weren’t online back then) I also struggled with getting them to pick up toys too :/


  • some great tips….thank you!


  • We have an emergency evacuation plan in case of fire.


  • I have a very mature 7 year old boy who is a HUGE rule follower!! ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS obeys the rules and has no hesitation in telling other what the rules are.
    I have repeatedly stressed to never open the front door without me, even if he thinks he knows who is there or even if we are expecting someone the need to check who it is. I have repeated stressed, I MUST be with him. Always receive comments from every other mum about how responsible he is, and how mature he is and how I can rely upon him to always do the right thing etc etc etc…….. So…Imagine my surprise when I said I was going to the laundry (which is out the back door and down the steps, only to return with him with a very strange look on his face, saying there was someone at the door. When I asked him if he opened the door, he said, well yes mum, I thought it was Mrs…… Upon opening the door and realising it wasn’t he immediately slammed the door in their face and came to me. (I was so shocked that he could possibly have done that, after the repeated ongoing explanations, reminders etc, that I no doubt raised my voice with all the concern and shock and a voice to ensure he NEVER did it again – however all at the front door – you can imagine the real estate lady’s look on her face – having heard the entire thing – the berating, when I opened the door with a smile and a ‘can I help you’. Needless to say, she made it very brief and took off. My point is : here I am thinking there is NO WAY my son, who is so responsible, so mature and believe me – everyone who meets him (truly, everyone who knows him or even those who meet him for a short period of time), but with ALL of us, knowing how ‘responsible’ how much of a ‘rule follower’ he is – that he would simply open the door – absolutely astounded me. He immediately said when he was walking to me, ‘sorry mum, I thought it was Mrs….@#$’ And whilst they are both slightly larger women and both have the same colour hair – really, not only were we not expecting her, they were certainly different in height and in appearance. I share this as a reminder that even though if you are lucky enough – well like I thought I was – that they can still absolutely shock you with the naivety when the actual occasion arises. Thanks for reading.


  • Very good and important article!


  • Good advice. I often wonder if we’ve adequately prepared our kids for how to act in an emergency.


  • Some very good ideas on how the kids can keep themselves safe.


  • We’ve been very careful to teach our kids very young what to do in case of fire or medical emergency.


  • I never open the security door without knowing who it is abd thankfully kids know this too plus they never answer the door with hubby or myself.


  • Great tips – the other thing we always did was to make sure the children knew their address and name so that we could be contacted if they became lost.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I remember my parents drilling our home phone number into our memories when I was a kid. I don’t think I will ever forget it, even though they have had a different phone number for the last 20 years! Making your children remember contact details is important, and something that I’ve continued on with my kids.


  • Great important safety tips!


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