As Florida public schools resume session, it can be a good time to talk with kids about home security and home safety. Approximately seven million American children under the age of 12 spend part of each school day home alone, according to the Afterschool Alliance.
There is not a state law in Florida mandating a child be a certain age to be left home alone, but the Florida Department of Children and Families recommend 12 be the youngest age at which a child comes home to an empty house. Of course, only you know if your child is mature enough to care for themselves for a few hours in the afternoon.
If your kid will be coming home to stay by themselves in the afternoon when school lets out, here are some ways you can help them and your home stay safe and secure. Basic things to ensure your child can do on their own include:
Also find ways to help make your home less of a target. Since most home burglaries take place between 10 AM and 3 PM, you can decrease the likelihood of a burglar by using automatic lights on and off or having a neighbor park their car in your driveway to make it seem like an adult is home.
Fire is the biggest danger to children home alone, Go over rules for cooking while you are gone, and consider a no stove or oven rule. By stocking healthy, fun foods that don’t require heating or only need a minute in a microwave, you can help reduce the risk of fire. Have a family fire safety plan and escape routes marked so your child knows what to do in case of a fire.
Back to school in Florida shouldn’t be a time of anxiety. By talking to your children and planning ahead, you can create a safe and secure home environment and reduce the risks of break-ins, fire, or injury.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.