This Back-to-School Essential Keeps Delivering all Year

This Back-to-School Essential Keeps Delivering all Year

Time flies when you’re a parent. So does money. For example: is it already a year since your last back-to-school shopping extravaganza?

At least some parenting purchases have more staying power than a new backpack. Take smart home security powered by, a back-to-school essential for many working families with older children.

With an array of after-school safeguards for your kids, it delivers peace of mind throughout the school year, and for years to come. Your kids can even grow into it as they become more independent—which is more than we can say for their new sneakers.

Fewer keys means fewer worries
back-to-school-lock This Back-to-School Essential Keeps Delivering all Year

As soon as your kids are old enough to arrive home on their own, starts making things easier with keyless smart locks and user codes for easy access.

Unlike keys, user codes can’t be dropped, lost on the bus, or left in the door. If forgotten, its owner can ring the doorbell camera and you can unlock the door from work. Like a set of keys, however, your child’s first user code can still confer a sense of responsibility that they’ll love.

Find out more: Four Ways to Use a Smart Lock

Technology makes check-ins less challenging
backtoschool-3 This Back-to-School Essential Keeps Delivering all Year

With every school year, your kids grow a little more independent. Meanwhile, you worry just as much as you ever did, and you need to know they’re okay after school.

Your app is here to help, offering peace of mind via quick, visual check-ins. You can see a quick snapshot from any Image Sensor, view a live feed from your indoor or outdoor cameras, and even get front-door video clips of your kids arriving home.

If you prefer a hands-off approach, also offers a range of custom alerts for specific activity and events, such as the kids not arriving home on time, or even the videogame cabinet being open for too long.

Find out more: Four Essential Back-to-School Alerts

Smart reminders ensure that your house stays secure
back-to-school-reminder This Back-to-School Essential Keeps Delivering all Year

As kids get older, they have more going on, which means they forget things. Unfortunately, this often includes securing the house when they’re last to leave. can help with actionable smartphone reminders. Once your teens have their own app, your house can remind them directly if a door isn’t locked, or the garage is open, or the security system isn’t armed when it should be. They’ll be able to fix things quickly with a remote command.

Read more: Versus Unlawful Entry

As kids grow, keeps up
backtoschool-3-1 This Back-to-School Essential Keeps Delivering all Year

Unlike this month’s back-to-school buys, keeps up with your family as you grow. When it’s time to add a new device like a doorbell camera or smart lock, your service provider is on hand to help. We also deliver new features and updates digitally through the cloud, keeping your home at the cutting edge of smart home technology.

To add smart home security to your parenting toolkit this year, enter your ZIP code below and get connected with an service provider.

Summer Children Safety Tips

Summer Children Safety Tips

Summer Children Safety Tips…This is the last in my series of blog posts on ways to make your home safe and secure for the summer months.  In previous posts, I have written about.

In this post, I write about summer children safety tips for your children.  Did you know that May through August has the greatest number of children injuries and deaths?  With children being home for the summer, they have less adult structures and more opportunities for injury.  Here are some areas to talk over with your children for their summer safety.

Summer Children Safety Tips

To learn more about any of these safety areas, click on the link to SafeKids.  Be safe and make sure your children are safe for the summer.

To know their full name, age, telephone number, area code, city and province.
How to phone long distance in an emergency, by dialing direct or with the operators assistance.
How to contact you, or another close relative in an emergency. How to contact a trusted neighbor, police, fire or ambulance services and when to make these calls.
When children are home alone they should tell phone callers that you are there, but you are busy and cannot come to the phone. The phoning party can call back later. Teach your child to cut short any phone calls with strangers and hang up the telephone if a stranger continues to talk.
When children are home alone, find out the identity of the person who comes to the door, without opening the door. If a stranger is at the door, teach your children to tell the stranger that your are busy, and he/she should go away and come back later. Teach your child not to engage in conversation with the visitor. If the child feels threatened, teach him to phone an emergency number. Emergency numbers could be your telephone number at work, that of the police or a trusted neighbor who will be home.
Where possible, your children should play and walk with other children.

College Student Security Tips

College Student Security Tips

College students are vulnerable to threats to their personal safety.   This is my third post in a series of three posts about school security. The Department of Education reports that on average 20 aggravated assaults and 25 forcible sex offenses were recorded per 100,000 students on college campuses and dormitories. Enhancing personal safety is a top concern for students and their parents alike. Here are 7 top common-sense tips for protecting your personal safety:

1. Keep dorm room doors locked at all times.

Keeping your dorm room locked is a first line of defense against unwanted visitors and threats against personal safety. Always lock the door when you are in your room or away from it, and never give out spare keys or door codes.

2. Whenever possible, walk with a friend or a group.

There is safety in numbers. When you are walking on campus, especially at night, walk with a friend or with a group whenever possible. Let your roommate know your schedule and when you’ll think you’ll be back in the dorm room.

3. Don’t allow strangers in your dorm room.

If someone is at the door that you don’t know or aren’t expecting, don’t let them in. It’s always best to be safe. Many attackers will force their way in when you open the door.

4. Avoid stairwells.

Attackers often lurk in dark or dimly lit stairwells, waiting for an unsuspecting victim. If you are walking alone, it’s best to avoid dark stairwells in buildings and parking garages whenever you can. When possible use the elevator instead.

5. Carry mace, pepper spray, a loud whistle or other personal security item.

You can ward off a would-be attacker and protect yourself by carrying a loud whistle or personal alarm. Mace or pepper spray can also be useful; you just need to be careful that you use the sprays properly. It’s also a good idea to take a personal defense class, which will prepare you for what to do if someone tries to attack you.

6. Limit walking on campus at night.

The majority of attacks on campus happen at night. Avoid walking alone on campus when it gets dark. And if you have to, walk in well-lit populated areas or walk with a friend.

7. Don’t post personal information on social media.

College students love social media. However, posting a lot of personal information such as your location, phone number, date of birth, personal photos and your whereabouts—can put your personal safety at risk. Posting personal information can leave you vulnerable to stalkers, attackers and identity and other people who may jeopardize your well-being.

Following the above tips can enhance your personal safety and keep you safe on campus.  I hope that you have found these posts on school security useful for you and your children.

Staying Safe In High School

Staying Safe In High School

This is the second post in a series of three posts about school security.  When you read the experts, they will tell you that despite all of our security measures and policies, we cannot guarantee school security for our children.

When it comes to high school students, they are old enough to take  more responsibility for keeping themselves safe. The following article from Educationbug share some ways high school students can take responsibility for their school safety.

Staying Safe in High School

  • Know where you are. As they move from class to class, students should be aware of the location of the nearest exit, the nearest hand sanitizer, and the nearest fire alarm. They don’t need to be obsessive about this: they just need to be mindful.
  • Get to know the people around you. By learning about their peers and the school’s faculty and staff, students will learn whom they can trust and whom they can rely on should a safety issue arise. Beyond that, knowing the people you’re with helps to provide a sense of belonging.
  • Know the rules. It’s impossible to avoid behaviors like bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, if you don’t have a good understanding of what they are. Read the school’s policy or ask a guidance counselor if you are unsure. In addition, students should know policies on what is considered a weapon (some students have received detention or suspension for unintentionally violating such policies), the guidelines for the school dress-code, and any other school rules that they are expected to follow.
  • Report suspicious, wrong, risky, and dangerous behavior. Even students who are not in themselves engaging in unsafe behaviors can contribute to an atmosphere of unrest and danger if they don’t report problems that they see. Reports can be given anonymously, and they need to know that if they see something suspicious, they don’t have to be sure that it was wrong: the school officials who investigate are the ones responsible for determining that.
  • Keep yourself out of trouble. In avoiding problematic behaviors such as acting out, harassment, drug use, gang membership, bullying, rumor-mongering, and the like, students not only keep themselves on the straight and narrow, but also set a good example and help to create a good learning atmosphere for others.
  • Follow all safety protocols. When students take classes like chemistry, shop, and stage design, they work with equipment and materials that can cause injury. It is essential for their own safety and the safety of others that they follow all the guidelines for handling equipment and materials and wear the proper safety garb, and that they know where first aid kits are and how to use them.
  • In physical education classes and as members of athletic teams, particularly when engaged in contact sports, it is essential for students to show regard for the safety of themselves and others by following all training practices, including wearing appropriate and properly adjusted equipment, and following guidelines for stretching and strength building before engaging in joint activities.
  • Be a Safe Driver or Passenger. Not only on the streets, but especially in the school parking lots where there are many pedestrians walking in unpredictable patterns, safe driving is a key issue for high school students whose transport to school is a student-driven automobile. Automobile passengers help keep everyone safe by wearing seatbelts and not distracting the driver. School bus passengers help keep everyone safe by entering and exiting the bus in an orderly manner, sitting properly in bus seats with only the acceptable number of students per seat, avoiding distracting behavior, and following the bus driver’s directions at all times.
  • Plan Your Out. In the course of your high school career, you may be invited to try drugs, alcohol, or tobacco or engage in a behavior that is against the rules, risky, or dangerous. If you know what your answer and behavior will be beforehand, you’ll be less off guard if such a thing happens.
School Bus Safety Tips

School Bus Safety Tips

School Bus Safety Tips… Soon your children will be going back to school. As parents, you will have survived another summer with them at home! In the next several posts on my blog, I will address various aspects of school safety and security. I hope you find these tips useful to your children’s school safety for the coming year.

School Bus Safety

In a few weeks, the yellow school buses will start rolling again. Nationally, 23.5 million children are transported by bus on a daily basis. It is one of the safest forms of transportation. On average there are only seven passenger fatalities each year. Most of these occur during the boarding and leaving the bus.

What about the lack of Seat belts?

People believe that children are not protected in a bus because they have no seat belts. School buses have been designed with a protection system that fits kindergarten students all the way through high school without the use of seat belts. The protection system is called compartmentalization because the seats are strong, closely spaced, high backed and well padded to absorb energy during a crash.

Here is a short video on school bus safety tips. I invite you to watch with your children these bus safety tips. Talk with them about them so that your child has a safe and good experience with their bus trips.

How to Keep Your Teenager Safe from Cyber-bullying

How to Keep Your Teenager Safe from Cyber-bullying

I could address many areas regarding teenage school safety and security. One topic that often flies under the radar is cyber-bullying. Look for a moment at these 2014 statistics on cyber-bullying.

  • Over half (52 percent) of young people report being cyber bullied
  • More than half of young people surveyed say that they never told their parents when cyber bullying happens to them
  • Over half (55 percent) of all teens who use social media have witnessed outright bullying via that medium
  • An astounding 95 percent of teens who witnessed bullying on scial media report that others, like them, have ignored the behavior


In short, cyber-bullying is happening via social media, cell phones and computers. Parents have little knowledge that it is happening. Cyber-bullying can lead to depression, a drop in grades, self-harming behaviors, and in some cases suicide.

What are the Specific Forms of Cyberbully?

1. Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances.
2. Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group.
3. Impersonation: Breaking into someone’s e-mail or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others.
4. Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.
5. Cyber-stalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats.
6. Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs.
7. Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online.
8. Cyber-threats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies

What Can You Do About Cyber-bullying?

Standing up to peers is a hard thing to do for people of all ages. But you can make it easier for kids by giving them the confidence and the support they need to do so. Here are some ways parents can help children develop these traits:

• Teach children to be assertive. Emphasize peaceful ways to solve problems and encourage kids to stand up for themselves verbally, not violently.
• Show kids safe ways to help others. Make it clear that you expect kids to take action if they see someone being hurt, or if they are hurt themselves.
• Hold kids accountable. If children stand by and watch someone being bullied, make it clear that their behavior hurts the victim too.
• Get to know their friends. Encourage your children to invite their friends to your home or accompany you on family outings.
• Be a good example. If you see someone being bullied or hurt, help them.
• Build empathy in your kids. If you see examples of people being bullied or hurt in movies, television, or books, talk with your children about how these people must feel. Ask your children how they would feel in that situation and what they would do to make it better. Point out ways characters helped out, or didn’t, and have your children think up different ways to help.
• Help them develop social skills. From a young age, encourage your children to play with others and to be friends with many different people. Have them spend time with people of different ages, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, and mental and physical abilities.
• Young people are using the Internet more than ever and most have Internet access from home. For many children, the Internet isn’t simply a convenient way to research or a fun after school activity – it’s a big part of their social life. Emailing and chatting with friends are children’s most common online activities, after studying and playing games. But like many other social situations, some kids bully other kids online.

As our teenagers are more and more involved in the digital online world, cyber-bullying will increase as a problem. Have a talk with your teenager about cyber-bullying. Listen and learn from them about this world. Then offer your wisdom on the situation.

If you would like a free parent’s guide to cyberbullying, click here Parent Guide.