No matter what your situation is there are going to be times when your teen and even preteen children are going to be left at home.  Sometimes this may be with a babysitter but there will be times when they are just left HOME ALONE. When left alone your children should be “schooled” in some basic safety protocols that include what happens when someone who they don’t know is trying to get into the house and what happens if they are forced for whatever reason to evacuate the house.

Number One: Don’t let unauthorized persons into the house when parents are away. Unauthorized persons are not necessarily strangers.  They may be known to the child but not authorized at this time to be in the house. Your child needs to be given the decision making authority and be provided with the confidence to know that their reasonable decision making will not be questioned. No one gets in without the parent being contacted for permission for that person to enter. This means that you or alternative authority figures have to be available to be contacted by the child, if necessary. A fail safe is a call to 911 with the child saying the right phrase – “My name is … I live at … I am HOME ALONE and someone who I don’t know (or is not authorized) is trying to get into my house. Help Me.”

Number Two: What should you child do when s/he is HOME ALONE and someone is forcing there way into your home? It doesn’t work like the HOME ALONE Movie where the child stays and successfully defends his/her home from the home invaders. Although the child could try to hide, escape detection, and remain safe, the reality is that s/he could be discovered and harmed. The best choice for the child, when properly executed, is to follow a preplan evacuation route from the house, get to a pre arranged place of safety, and contact the police along with the parents. This evacuation plan works for home invasions, fires, and other emergencies requiring evacuation from the house.

The safest choice is not to let an unauthorized person into the house and, if necessary, knowing how to get out quickly to a place of safety while contacting the appropriate people. Talk this over with your kids and role play it – walk through these situations in order to put them in context for your children. This is necessary to make sure that they will respond properly under stress rather that freezing up at the point of impact.

Gary Klugiewicz is employed by as a law enforcement consultant. He is nationally known as law enforcement defensive tactics trainer. He can be contacted at