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Making your home safe from burglars

safe; safety; home; house; burglars; key;


Basic safety rules

Many kids have written in to ask about how to feel safe in their homes. Here are some ideas that may help you to feel safer.

  • Make sure that all windows and doors are locked when you leave the house.
  • Don't leave ladders or garden tools around outside the house. Make sure that any outside buildings like sheds and garages are locked.
  • Don't leave toys or bikes or anything else which is easy to steal outside the house.
  • Lock the front door if you are outside at the back or side of your house.
    secure the house before you leave home
  • Ask your parents or carers to check the garden and cut back any large bushes or trees which could help someone to hide while they check out the house.

Giving the right idea

If you are home alone, then there are some things you can do to make you feel and be safer.

  • Leave a light on if it will be dark by the time you get home, like in winter.
    leave a light on
  • Put the radio or TV on when you get home and leave it on if you are going out for a while, to the shop or a friend's home.
  • When you are inside, lock the doors, but leave a key inside the door so that you could get out quickly if you were in danger at any time.
  • Keep the garage doors closed.
  • Pick up newspapers and mail and bring them inside the house.
  • Don't open the door to anyone you don't know, whatever they say.
  • If it is dark outside, switch on an outside light if your house does not have sensor lights.
  • If the telephone rings, don't tell anyone you are alone - say something like, "Mum's busy right now - give me your number and I'll get her to call you back."
    burglar safe your house

What about keys and locks?

  • It's a good idea to wear your key round your neck on a cord.
  • Don't have your name on your key in case you lose it. You can have some sort of picture or marking on the key so that you know it's yours if you take it off and have mislaid it somewhere.
  • Have an emergency plan if you forget your key. Does a neighbour have a key? Can you go to a friend's house and call your parents or other family members to tell them that you are locked out? Work something out so that you know what to do in those circumstances.
  • Don't have a key hidden under a plant pot, doormat or wherever outside - burglars know all the places to look.
  • Never lend your key to anyone.
  • Never post personal information (eg your address) on the Internet.

What the Law says

The Law in South Australia doesn't say at what age a child can be left home alone. Parents or caregivers are responsible for the health and safety of the kids in their care.

If you are going to be home alone for a while, ask yourself some questions.

  1. What would I do if someone tried to break in when I was alone?
  2. What would I do if a fire started?
  3. What would I do if my younger brother or sister had an accident and needed help?

Talk to whoever cares for you and work out exactly what to do.

keep safe - get a dog
  • Have a list of telephone numbers next to the telephone that you can ring if you have a problem.
  • Go on a 'family safety tour' of your house and talk about what to do in an emergency.
  • Look at our topics on Water safety at home and Safety from fire for some ideas you may want to talk through with the family.
  • Get a dog.

Kids say

  • burglar"I was scared when someone rang up and didn't answer me. I locked all the doors."
  • "My bike was stolen from the back of my house and I never got it back."
  • "Someone set fire to our fence, but the house was safe."
  • "My house has been burgled. They took my Gameboy and some other stuff. Now I lock my bedroom door when I go out."
  • "I close my blinds so that people can't see into my room. We always close all the blinds in summer to keep the house cool anyway, but it means that no-one can see into the house to see what stuff you have got."
  • "Someone tried to get into my house one night but my dog barked and barked so they went away."

Dr Kim says:

Dr Kim 

Hearing about others having their homes broken into can be scary. Talk with your family and check out the ideas in this topic with them. Make sure you know what to do in an emergency and be prepared with torches, spare batteries and a portable radio in places where you can find them easily. Being prepared can make you feel and be much safer.

Look at this site to learn about dialling 000. Remember that you only do this in an emergency.”

Download the South Australian Police Home Security booklet and talk about it with your parents or carers. 

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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