If you’re a stay at home mom, no one needs to tell you it’s a lot of work. In addition to making meals, paying bills, and walking the dog, it’s your responsibility to ensure your kids are safe, and that includes while they’re inside your home. If you’re wondering what you can do to create a safe home environment for you and your kids, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve put together this checklist of six tips so you can take a proactive approach to enhancing the safety and security of your home.

1. Get a monitored home security system.

You might not know it, but 38.1 percent of house burglaries happen during daylight hours, when you’re likely to be at home. The good news is 90 percent of convicted burglars said they moved on to an easier target once they discovered a house had a home security system. A monitored home security system may not only help keep the bad guys at bay, it offers a number of other safety and security perks. Using security cameras to check on your baby from another room and finding out who’s knocking at the door before you open it are two security system benefits stay at home moms are sure to appreciate. To add to your knowledge, learn more about why having a home security system can benefit you and your family.

2. Ensure your house is locked at all times.

You’re probably accustomed to locking the doors and windows when you leave your home, but keeping them locked while you’re inside may be even more important. More than one third of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window. You should also be aware that the locks on sliding glass doors are typically weak. If your home has a sliding glass door, purchase a security bar designed to help prevent the door from being opened.

3. Keep tightlipped about your coming and goings.

Because you’re at home during the day, you may oversee household maintenance tasks, like scheduling carpet cleaning or getting the dishwasher fixed. If so, be careful about what you say when workers are in your home. Unfortunately, some repairmen have been known to moonlight as criminals. They may make small talk in an effort to learn more about your routine or eavesdrop when you’re on the phone chatting about an upcoming trip. Then they’ll plan a strategic break-in based on what they’ve learned.

4. Identify “safe people” in your neighborhood.

When your motherly intuition tells you your child is old enough for a conversation about emergencies, walk them through a few scenarios. Coach them on what actions they should take, make sure they know who the “safe people” are in your neighborhood and which house they live in. A few times a year, help them practice how to react by staging emergency scenarios, such as a fire, break-in or what to do if you get hurt and need help. You’ll want to be sure those identified as “safe people” have a list of emergency contact numbers.

5. Make an evacuation plan

Create an evacuation plan for your house and practice escaping through a handful of exits. If you have older children, they might enjoy helping create the plan. Make sure your children know possible ways to get out of your home from the places they spend the most time, such as their bedroom, kitchen and entertainment room. This is a good opportunity to make sure your children know how to unlock your home’s windows and doors.

6. Watch out for scammers and don’t hesitate to call police.

You’re home during the day when scammers are most likely to canvas neighborhoods. They’ll do things like offer to repave your driveway, or fake an emergency while their partner enters your home through the back door. Keeping up on the local news, and especially the happenings in your neighborhood, is one way to stay a step ahead of con artists. If you feel you’re being scammed, close the door immediately and call the police. Remember to trust your gut. If someone gives you bad vibes, there’s very likely a reason.

Now that you’ve learned six easy ways to make your home sweet home a safer place, you can proudly proclaim that “when it comes to home security, mom knows best.”

Written by Alexia Chianis

Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more

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