Make your home security child’s play during summer break
FOR many parents, the lengthy summer holidays can be the cause of countless problems.
Those who work full-time often face the dilemma of what to do with their children during the working day. If no close friends or relatives are on hand to look after the kids, many will employ babysitting/childminding services or trust their child with a key to the house, assuming they are of an appropriate age.
The employment of external child-minding services or granting your child possession of a key puts the access to your home in someone else’s hands and this can cause problems.
Without direct supervision over your key at all times, there are numerous factors to bear in mind to ensure the security of your home.
Children have a nasty habit of putting things down and forgetting where they put them, if this is your key, there are potential pitfalls. Keep the number of your local Master Locksmiths Association member stored in you phone in case your child is locked in or out of your home. An MLA member would be able to create a new replacement key, or, if you fear your key may have surfaced within the public domain, replace your locks to ensure security.
Although an enormous amount of trust is put in child minders, it can still be a troubling experience to give away the key to your home. Giving a key to a child minder presents them with the opportunity to allow other people access to your home and a key could easily be stolen through no fault of their own. A solution to this problem would be to invest in a patented key system, a system which protects the key from being copied without proof of ownership. In many instances, such a locking system can be re-configured, so if a key does go missing, the locks can be reworked by a specially trained MLA member to deny the missing key access to the home.
Many parents will leave keys out for their children or child minders to pick up in their absence. This can be a perilous practice and under no circumstances should you leave keys near the door or within easy view. A key safe should be installed in a discreet location so you can safely leave a key for someone else to pick up. As well as looking for quick access to the home, a burglar would also be looking for a quick escape. If they managed to gain access through a small window, the discovery of a door key allows them to cause much more damage, steal larger items and potentially gives them unlimited access to your home. If it is absolutely necessary for you to hide a key, be sure to select an appropriate location which wouldn’t be easily stumbled across.
Be sure to instruct either your child or child minder on proper security practice, for example, ensure they are aware of the code for the alarm system and set it whenever the house is left unoccupied for a period of time.
It may be wise to make close friends or relatives aware of the situation so they are able to drop by and check.