Although times have changed from the days of sending kindergarten children walking home from school in the snow, many parents eventually face the decision whether to allow a preteen to walk or take the bus home to spend some time unsupervised before you and your spouse get home from work. Even with a responsible and conscientious child, this can be a nerve-wracking decision -- but with the advent of wireless surveillance, there are more ways than ever before to keep an eye on your child. Read on to learn more about some of the security systems that may help you put your mind at rest when allowing your preteen to head straight home after school.
Integrated "smart home" systems
Instead of a single video surveillance camera, you might want to consider a "smart home" system that includes video surveillance, automatic door locks and lights, and even heating and cooling controls. These systems are integrated into your home and give you a great deal of control and oversight, allowing you to adjust your heater or air conditioner, turn on lights in anticipation of your child arriving home from school, or help you see whether your child is doing his or her homework as instructed.
The most sophisticated systems can even allow you to set up specific passcodes for each household member, helping you immediately see whether it's your teen, your spouse, or a housesitter entering your home. You can set up your smart home system so that you get real-time alerts if your child hasn't arrived home by a certain time, helping you immediately check in whenever needed.
Biometric door locks
If you're not confident in your preteen's ability to remember a security passcode or disarm a security system upon entering your home or are concerned that he or she may give out this passcode to friends indiscriminately, you may instead want to invest in a biometric door lock. This allows you to program in your child's own fingerprints or iris scan so that only he or she can operate the door lock. This also allows you to program in temporary passes for housekeepers, dogsitters, or other family members who need access to your home for a limited (or during a specified) period of time.
Biometric door locks may be the security method that allows you the most control over who can access your home and when they can do so.