Make your home se­cu­rity child’s play dur­ing sum­mer break

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - St­ef­fan Ge­orge

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.

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