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Australian children need better home security skills

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With school holidays right around the corner, now's the time for parents to step in.

Australian parents are a bit lax around home security when it comes to their children, reveals a new study by smart home security firm Ring.

Of the more than 1,000 Aussie parents who took the survey, 37% think it is OK to leave a child aged 13 to 14 home alone. Even more alarming is that 7% think it is OK to leave a child aged 9-10 home alone, some for as much as 1-2 hours.

“The potential dangers related to leaving children home alone - like fires, break-ins, injuries and kidnappings - are real, so regardless of your child’s age, parents need to take security precautions when leaving their children at home alone or when letting them arrive home by themselves,” Ring APAC managing director Mark Fletcher said in a statement.

Many Australian children also lack basic home security skills. According to the survey, 34% of parents with home security systems say their children aged 7-16 do not know how to set the alarm. Six percent say their children do not know how to lock their doors and windows.

“These school holidays, parents need to make sure their home security is a top priority for their children. It is not about helicopter parenting, it is about making sure that you set up better security measures for your home and that your children have good security habits and feel safe, especially if they are being left unattended,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher suggests that parents run “security workshops” that teach children why they should let the parents answer the door, how to lock doors and windows, and whom to contact for help.

He also warns that giving children spare keys could increase the risk of the keys getting into the wrong hands, and that smart locks are a better way to give children access to the home without compromising security.

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