It may feel like summer is just getting started, but Michigan schools are soon to be back in session. With kids heading back to the classroom, it’s the perfect time to discuss home security. More specifically, the safety of your kids when left home alone before, or after school.
Leaving children home alone for any stretch of time is nerve-wracking for many parents. Luckily, the security industry has kept the pain points of working families in mind. With smart home technology, your security system allows you to check in on your home, and all in it.
What does this mean? You’ll never have to wonder again if Sarah made it home safely, or if your teenager is getting into trouble at home. Here are five, easy-to-follow tips on using your security system to maximize your kids’ safety, and your own peace of mind.
1. Teach kids to use the home alarm system
Empower your kids to operate the home alarm system. Yes—really! Home security systems are fairly easy to arm and disarm, meaning most in your family can operate the system, with the proper code and instruction. Your home security system can be armed to “stay mode,” meaning the perimeter of the home is protected, meanwhile your kids can move freely throughout the home. Knowing EPS Security’s award-winning Monitoring Center will be notified if a door is breached, a window is broken, or other, allows your kids to feel and be safer.
In our Monitoring Center, there is no “after hours.” Whether an alarm sounds at 6:00 AM or 6:00 PM, if armed, your alarm system will alert our team of dedicated operators. From there, we will call to verify the safety of your home, and send authorities as needed.
Most home alarm systems include a duress button—an important feature to share with your kids when offering alarm system instructions. While smart phones are more popular than ever among kids and teens, many are still stuck in the “in-between.” Additionally, landlines are going out of style. Even if your child has their own phone, there is an easier way to alert the authorities of an emergency—the duress button on your security keypad.
A duress button is a feature on your central keypad that triggers immediate, and discreet, 911 dispatch. This easy-to-see icon alerts the EPS Monitoring Center to contact the police, without your children needing to call 911. Showing your children this feature can save precious time in the event of a fire, break-in, or medical emergency.
2. Instruct your kids to re-arm the alarm system when arriving home
Most burglaries occur between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, when intruders assume adults will be away from home. This leaves students arriving home from a half-day, staying home sick, or getting off the bus in the early afternoon, at risk of becoming incidental targets. Setting the system to “stay mode,” means keeping your kids safely inside until your return. So you can finish your work day, with one less worry.
Our team of EPS Monitoring Center Operators are not babysitters, but we’re the next best thing.
3. Monitor your home alarm system status, remotely
Home security systems with EPS offer remote compatibility, meaning you can check in on your alarm system status from anywhere, anytime. The remote access app, called Total Connect, allows you to control the home alarm system from afar, and to receive real-time alerts. With the tap of a button, parents can:
- Check an activity log to determine who armed/disarmed the system last
- Determine the alarm’s current arm/disarm status
- Arm/disarm the system remotely
- Receive instant notification if an alarm is triggered at home
Staying connected to your home, and the activity in it, while away, provides priceless reassurance. Not only this, but it’s also a great option if your children aren’t quite ready to operate the security system themselves. From the office, warehouse, etc., you can disarm the home to allow your kids inside, and rearm the system until your return.
4. Check in with Total Connect cameras
Letting kids and teenagers stay home alone while you finish the work day, implies a certain level of trust. Still, having the ability to check in on your home visually, can’t hurt. Total Connect-compatible, HD Wi-Fi cameras allow you to pull up a live camera view in your home. Using Total Connect cameras, you can do a quick check to ensure Johnny is doing homework before playing video games, or to monitor that Mia made it off the school bus, safely. You can even communicate with your kids using built-in two-way audio.
5. Lock and unlock your doors from your phone
Kids misplace toys, clothes, books—essentially anything they can get their hands on. It stands to reason that there’s a good chance children may lose their house key. This is both an inconvenience, and a security issue. Some parents resort to the old “hide a key under a rock,” solution. This is never a good idea. A superior solution is the utilization of “smart” or electronic door locks. These compatible door-locking devices replace your typical key-in-lock door hardware.
Your kiddos can make use of a personalized code, rather than a key, to enter the home. Additionally, using the Total Connect app, you can unlock the doors remotely, if you prefer not to provide your children with a code (or if it slips their mind). These locks are convenient solutions to guard the entry points of your home, while easing your day-to-day routines.
The EPS advantage
The odds are, your children will be safe while home on their own. With something as precious as your kids, however, it never hurts to take additional safety steps. A home alarm solution from EPS Security will protect your children while they’re home alone, and safeguard your whole family in the evening.
At EPS Security, we’ve protected Michigan homes and families for more than 65 years. The protection of your people, places, and things, remains our highest priority. Securing your home around-the-clock, in and out of the school year, means partnering with a security provider you can rely on. At the end of the day, security is about more than technology—it’s about who you trust to take care of those you love most.
Let EPS help you in that next step, today.