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Home safety is an important, even life-saving topic that you should teach your children about at an early age. If you educate your children on basic home safety principles when they’re young, the lessons will stick with them for a lifetime.

Learn to lock a deadbolt. Let your children know that the door should always be locked to keep them safe—even when they’re home. However, it’s important they also know how to unlock it in case of an emergency.

Arm and disarm the home security system. With thousands of burglaries happening each day, it’s wise to invest in a home security system. Teach your children how to arm and disarm the system and what to do should it go off when they’re home or sleeping.

Memorize the escape plan. Just like how elementary schools conduct fire drills, it’s important to have an emergency escape plan at home as well. Walk your children through the house to show them the safest exit routes, and designate a meeting place outside the home where family members should gather if an emergency occurs.

Know important emergency contacts. Post important contact information on the fridge or in an easy-to-access location. Teach young children how to use the phone, dial a number and ask for help. This list could include contacts such as 911, Poison Control, parents’ cellphones, a family doctor, or a trusted friend or neighbor.

Never answer the front door. Children should never answer the front door, especially if they’re home alone. Tell children to alert an adult when the doorbell rings.

Don’t climb on furniture. Heavy furniture, such as TVs, bookshelves and entertainment centers, can tip if children climb on them. You can secure these pieces to the wall studs and add nylon straps to increase security. It’s also important to teach children that climbing on furniture is always dangerous—even if safety measures are in place.

Use medicine safely. Store medicine in locked cabinets that are inaccessible to children. However, should children come across any medicine, they need to know never to consume anything unless it’s given to them by a parent or trusted adult.

Young children often imitate the actions and behaviors of their parents and siblings. Practice the safe habits you want them to emulate, and they’ll likely mimic your moves.

Source: Sage Singleton/RISMedia’s Housecall

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