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On Your Own at Home

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  • A safe home will help diminish potentially dangerous situations which can develop and threaten your safety when home alone.
  • Home Safety Checklist
  • Locks secured on all windows and doors
  • Smoke alarms on each level of your home
  • Fire Extinguisher within easy reach
  • Broken electrical cords replaced
  • Clearly written instructions for using appliances
  • Flashlight with batteries that work
  • Stairways clear of clutter

Child Safety Checklist

  • Never accept rides from anyone unless a parent is notified
  • Don't take unfamiliar short-cuts to or from school
  • Never enter your home if something looks wrong—door open, window broken
  • Call a parent as soon as you are home
  • Have a schedule of after-school activities
  • Have a backup person to call in case of an emergency
  • Have emergency phone numbers posted
  • Do not invite friends to your house, and do not visit friends without a parent's permission
  • Do not use any appliance without a parent's permission
     

FAQ

What do I do?

?When a stranger phones
Never tell them you are home alone
Say: "my mom is having a bath", or "my dad is asleep and will call back, can I take your name and number?"

? When the doorbell rings
Never go to the door, ignore the ringing
Pretend that there is no one home, they will come back later

? When my friends invite me over
Say: "I cannot leave home until my parents arrive"
Say: "I am not allowed to have friends over without a parent in the home"

Parents:

  • Discuss these safety tips with your children to make the experience of being home alone a positive one.
  • House Rules: involve your children in making the rules, make it fun
  • Emergencies/ Utility Problems/Fire: prepare your children for any type of problem
  • First Aid: have a fully assembled safety kit available.
  • Phone List: should be beside the phone and should have neighbours numbers in case or an emergency
  • Other Tips: leave a radio on, keep poisons out of reach, and teach about hazard symbols

The Key:

  • Your key to the house is your key to responsibility. Take good care of it.
  • Keep your key inside your pocket, wallet, shoe or knapsack.]
  • Always keep your key hidden from view
  • Never put your home address on your key chain in case it gets lost
  • Don't lend your key to anyone
  • If you lose your key, don't panic. It can happen to anyone. Try to remember when you last had it and retrace your steps
  • Don't let anyone know you've lost your key, except your back up emergency person and your parents

The Emergency - Fire Safety

  • Know and practice your family escape plan
  • If your clothes catch fire, remember always to STOP, DROP (on the floor), and ROLL (smother the flames)
  • Remember, once you get out of a burning building, always stay out

The Emergency - Sever Weather Safety

  • HIGH WINDS: Close the windows and doors securely; remain indoors
  • TORNADO WARNING: Stay close to a solid wall in the basement or on the lower floor
  • SNOW STORM: Stay indoors
  • THUNDERSTORM: Stay indoors and avoid opening doors and windows
  • POWER FAILURE: Prepare for the darkness by locating a flashlight. Call your parents. In cool weather, close the doors and windows to retain heat.

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Children left at home alone often experience feelings of loneliness, fear, boredom, and anxiety. Establish a daily schedule so your child knows what to do when they are home alone.

Resources

LatchkeyKids

Latch key How to stay safe at home