Teaching your kids what to do when the burglar alarm goes off

Home security systems are great because they often scare burglars and keep your house safe, but children might have a hard time understanding what to do when the alarm goes off. You can tell them to run or find other family members, but just telling your child about this once or twice won’t prepare them for when the alarm really does go off. There are a few things that you should do to ensure that your child is fully prepared for this situation.

loud noise

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Understand the Alarm
You can tell your child about what to do when the alarm goes off, but your child might freeze when it actually starts making noise. Children are usually afraid of loud noises. This is especially true if they know that the noise means that an intruder has entered the house.

The best thing that you can do is to get your child used to the alarm. If you have an alarm that isn’t connected to a monitoring service, then you should intentionally make it go off a few times so that your child knows what it sounds like. Make sure that the neighbors know about this before doing it. This ensures that your child knows exactly what the alarm sounds like. If your alarm is connected to a monitoring service, then don’t do this because the police might be summoned.

You should also teach your child how to arm and use the alarm. This will allow your child to stop the alarm if there isn’t a burglar. This will also give your child some control over the security system. “Doing this will ensure that your child can act naturally when the alarm goes off”, says Jennifer Anderson a maker of Safe Sound Family Burglar Alarms.

Create a Plan
Don’t expect your child to know what to do when the alarm goes off. Not having a plan will make your child feel helpless because he or she will be confused if there is a burglar. You should create several plans so that your child will know exactly what to do.

For example, what should your child do if he or she is alone? You should make a plan for common situations so that your child knows how to react based on who is in the house and what is happening.

Try to make the plans as comprehensive as possible. If something goes wrong, then your child might not know how to react. Just consider all of the factors that you possible can to reduce the likelihood of your child becoming confused during a situation.

The only way for your child to understand how to react when the alarm goes off is to practice your plan. If you cannot set off your alarm because it is connected to a monitoring service, then use a fire alarm or something else that makes a loud noise to simulate the alarm going off.

You should be in total control the first few times. Show your child what he or she should do and how to react to certain things happening. You should then give your child some control after he or she starts to understand the routine. For example, lead your child by the hand at first and bring him or her outside. Make your child take the lead during later practice runs to ensure that your child knows what to do.

If you don’t want your child to forget your escape plans, then it would be a good idea to practice this about once a month. Don’t do this too frequently. Your child might resent you for being overly cautious.

At the same time, do this until you are confident that your child can properly react during a real situation. It might also be a good idea to make your child practice without you to ensure that he or she knows what to do during a situation.

Children often have a hard time understanding alarm systems and why they are important, but you can teach your child how to properly react by getting him or her acquainted with the system, making a plan and then practicing that plan until your child is comfortable with reacting to the alarm. This just might help save his or her life if a burglar ever does enter the house.


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