With a home security system, your children will be safer. Home security features for the entire home will protect your child from break ins, fires, gas leaks, and other dangers. But there are some features that are especially useful for children, such as door monitors, keyless entry codes, video cameras, and home automation that can turn the lights on and lock the door behind them. Read on to learn how you can use your home security system to protect your children, and find more tips for keeping your kids safe at home.

Door and Window Monitors

While entry sensors for your doors and windows are primarily used to alert you to anyone entering your home, they're also useful for alerts when a child is leaving your home as well. Most alarm systems will chime when a door or window is opened, and this can tell parents that a child is headed out the front or back door. This is especially important if you live on a busy street or have a pool in your backyard, as a quick alert will tell you that you need to check in on your child.

Sensors can also be placed on sensitive cabinets with cleaning supplies or other hazardous materials, or on gun safes. Along with a childproof lock, a sensor will let you know that the cabinet or safe has been accessed, and that you should react quickly to the situation. Sensors on a gun safe in particular should have an audible alarm to alert children that they should not be touching the safe.

Keyless Entry Codes

Many of today's home security systems offer door entry without keys, using codes to access the front door instead. This is convenient, as your child will not have keys to lose at school, but it's also great for child security. Assign a personal pin to each family member, and you'll be able to verify that your child has made it home safely -- even when you're not home.

Security Cameras

There are a number of ways to use security cameras to protect your children at home. You can use them to verify that your kids made it home safely, and see that your child has entered the home alone -- not with a burglar right behind them. Security cameras are also useful for monitoring babysitters as they care for your children. Or, you can use cameras to verify that your children are practicing safety at home, such as using kitchen equipment safely.

Keychain Remotes

Some home security systems on the market today will have available key chain remotes that connect to your home security system. While you may enjoy having the remote on your own key chain, consider getting one for your child as well. They can function as a GPS and a panic button even when your kids aren't at home.

Home Automation

With home automation, your security system can look out for your kids even when they're forgetful. With a home setting that engages when your child walks in the door, your security system can remember to lock doors and arm the alarm system even when they don't remember. Or, you can use a mobile app to check if they remembered and do it for them if they don't. Home automation also offers comfort features, turning lights on and setting the right temperature for kids when they get home.

Using the Security System

Children who are old enough to understand that the security system is not a toy should be taught how to use it properly. Show them how to use the keypad to arm or disarm the system, and how to call for help. If they know how to use the panic button, they can be protected with an immediate emergency response. Be sure that children know how to speak to monitoring agents, and that they know the code you've set up with your home security company.

Other Ways to Protect Children at Home

Your home security system can help keep your children safe at home, but it's not the only resource you have for child safety. Take these steps to further protect your children at home, particularly when they are home alone:

  • Make sure kids are mature enough to stay home alone: Don't allow children under 12 to be home alone, and carefully consider whether they are ready to do so at this age.
  • Check in while you're out: Set up a time to call home and keep the lines of communication open so they know they can always get in touch with you if you're needed.
  • Get a first aid kit: Keep well stocked first aid kits at home including bandages, ice packs, and neosporin.
  • Use protective gear for sports: Bumps and bruises can be serious if you're not using protective gear. Buy and use protective gear when biking or skating, and set a good example for your child by using your own gear as well.
  • Teach children emergency numbers: Children should know emergency numbers including 911, your cell phone number, and the number of a trusted family member or friend they can call for help. They should also know your home address so they can tell 911 operators where they are. Put numbers in your child's cell phone if they have one.
  • Teach stranger danger: Explain stranger danger to your children and remind them that any stranger at the door could be dangerous, even if they seem helpful or friendly at first.
  • Know the dangers in your area: Research sexual predators in your neighborhood and warn children to avoid the area.
  • Remind children to lock up your home: Make it a rule that your kids arm your system, lock doors, and secure windows, even when the whole family is home.
  • Childproof: Move hazardous materials including matches, cleaning supplies, and sharp objects out of reach of children. Use safety gates and secure TVs and furniture to walls.
  • Practice safety drills: Discuss and practice what your family, including your children, should do during an emergency. Plan what you will do during a fire, if you need to escape, or if you're burglarized. Teach older children how to handle home emergencies including fires and blackouts if you're not at home.
  • Create a secret pass code for your family: With the secret passcode, your family and friends or authorities can reassure your child that things are okay and it's safe to do what they're asking.
  • Teach safe phone and door use: Remind children they should not answer the phone or door except with the help of an adult.
  • Stay cyber smart: Do not allow older children to post personal information or family vacation plans on social media.
  • Make children aware of sharing information: Tell children that they should never let anyone know that they are home alone.
  • Consider creating a panic room in your home: This should include a backup telephone, panic button, and basic emergency supplies such as food and water. It can be as simple as a closet with an interior lock or as extensive as a professionally installed panic room.