9 Home Safety Skills To Teach Kids

Friends, I need to be candid about something. In order to reduce stress and prevent my meltdown from last summer, I was planning on going super low gear editorially here at Boston Mamas this summer. But then I started thinking about how awesome it would be to do a long form editorial/video series here at Boston Mamas, in tandem with a social companion series for my Edit Your Life Show Instagram feed. And summer seemed like the perfect time to do it since kids are around more! The resulting summer of life skills series has proven to be the opposite of low gear, but man, it has been awesome and I have loved hearing from folks about how the series is inspiring them to tackle life skills with their kids this summer. HOORAY!

Today I want to talk about home safety, with the idea being that it’s really important to teach your kids basic safety and that you can do so in a way that will not freak them out. Here are 9 home safety life skills to teach your kids. And if you want to continue to level up your kids’ life skills, see my previous posts: how to negotiate, key library skills, public transit skills, green kitchen skills, grocery store skills, bathroom life skills, home cleaning skills, out-in-the-world life skills, school lunch skills.

1. Assemble a first aid kit

We already had a central location for first aid supplies, and when Violet’s Girl Scout troop did their first aid unit this past spring, she went through and refreshed our supplies and created an official box. SO ADORABLE AND PRACTICAL! If you’d like to put together a kit, I like this first-aid kit list from REI because it starts with a section on basic care items (which is what our first aid kit has) then goes on to itemize other elements.

2. Lock windows and doors

So many break-ins (home or car) seem to happen when doors are left unlocked! Teach your kids to lock the windows and doors at the end of the day. We have a routine when everyone is in for the night of walking around and checking all the doors and windows as we snap off lights and shut down the house for the night.

3. Stow an emergency house key

When I was a kid we literally “hid” a key under the doormat. DON’T DO THIS. Whether it’s a secret lock box, decoy rock, or something else, identify a location for and stow an emergency house key and talk to your kids about how to access it and not tell other people where it lives.

4. Check stove burners

I am admittedly now verging on OCD on this one because a few months ago I smelled gas as I was walking through the kitchen and found one of our stove burners on. O.M.G. Reinforce with whoever is using the stove to double (triple, quadruple) check that the stove burners are off.

Essential home safety skills to teach kids

Essential home safety skills to teach kids

5. Locate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (and change their batteries)

Teach your kids where detectors are and how to change batteries. 

6. Use a fire extinguisher

Identify a location for your fire extinguisher and test it out with your kids.

7. Learn key phone numbers

Gone are the days of memorizing phone numbers, right? I know so few numbers by heart now! But I recommend having your kids memorize key phone numbers. Laurel and Violet both know Jon and my phone numbers, and we have taught them about 911.

8. Establish a family meeting spot

Just as kids do at school fire drills, talk about a family meeting spot close to—but not immediately at—the house in case something happens.

9. Meet your neighbors

I think one of the best ways to keep your home safe is to build community by meeting your neighbors. When I think back to different places I have lived it’s amazing how in some places neighbors never talk to others, whereas in our current neighborhood, we know everyone around us and ultimately we all talk and watch out for one another. And making sure your kids know the neighbors is not only an important piece of community safety but will also help them with interpersonal skills.  

Looking to level up other life skills? Check out these posts: how to negotiate, key library skills, public transit skills, green kitchen skills, grocery store skills, bathroom life skills, home cleaning skills, out-in-the-world life skills, school lunch skills. And here’s a video version of this post!