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I feel like as parents we focus so much on keeping our babies and toddlers safe but there’s not a ton of talk on steps to keep your teens safe at home. Once they reach that age where you feel they’re responsible enough to stay home alone, there are some things you can do as parents to help them feel and be safer at home. Confidence is the biggest thing and I’ve found that the more my teens know they more comfortable they feel staying home.
Tips for Keeping Teens Safe at Home
Here are some things you might want to consider talking to your teens about or showing them around your house as well as things you can do to help them feel confident to stay home alone.
- Security – obviously, one of the first things you’ll want to show your teen is how to use your home security system. We have a combo of items for home security like door/window alarms, smart locks, and our Lorex Camera System. Not only can they check the cameras at any time, but I can set up notifications, see recorded footage, and check in on the house when I’m not at home.
- Make sure they have numbers not only for emergencies but for the neighbors or nearby family members as well.
- House phone – while most teens have their own phones, are they great about keeping them charged? Having a landline or even another cellphone that stays charged is something to think about.
- Show them how the smoke or carbon monoxide detectors work in your home. Have them help check the batteries when you do so they remember that they’re there and what they do.
- Make sure they have an emergency plan.
- Have open conversations about answering the door or who is allowed to come over when you’re not home. I love that my boys can see who’s at the door without opening a curtain thanks to our Lorex cameras and I can check back to see who was ringing as well.
- Teach them kitchen safety and where/how to use the fire extinguisher. I love teaching my boys how to cook but need to remind myself to talk to them about kitchen safety as I’m teaching them to cook new meals. Little things like don’t put water on a grease fire!
- Talk to them about what you liked/didn’t like about staying home alone when you were a teen. We’ve had lots of talks about things I was worried about when I stayed home and how I can ease their minds from those things.
- Help them get into the habit of making sure the garage or other doors/windows are closed. One of the benefits of having my Lorex cameras set up is that I can quickly peek to see if the bikes got put away and door put back down without having to automate EVERYTHING.
- Make sure they know what to do in case of a power outage. Have them help find a spot for flashlights and check the batteries regularly.
- It might seem obvious to you but make sure they don’t give out the alarm or door codes to everyone. Sometimes teens can be overly trusting of friends. We found a door lock that we could easily change the codes on so if we do need to give a dog sitter or someone else a code to get in, we don’t have to give them our family code making it easy to add/delete codes as needed.
- Most important make sure they know the best way to get a hold of you. Whether they should call, text, or message and where you’ll be and when.
I love the freedom teens have. Especially those that are driving and coming/going on their own, and making sure you’ve done whatever you can to keep them safe at home will help ease your mind when you’re away. Installing our Lorex camera system was one of the biggest things we did to ease our minds a bit when we’re away. You can read our experience with this system here.
Giving teens responsibilities like staying home alone gives them that much more experience to be ready to leave home when it’s time. Teaching them how to “adult” is much easier in slow steps along the way instead of panicking before they leave for college and trying to cram it all in at once. Things like showing them how the fire or carbon monoxide alarms work not only keep them safe but teaches them that little life skill that they’ll need when they leave.