Your Smartest, Safest School Year Begins at Home Heading back to school means it’s time for everyone to recommit to your family’s routine — or create new and better processes to keep your household safe, happy, and running smoothly. While many safety planning tips are geared towards out-of-home experiences, these conversations are sparked inside the home, and begin and end at the place where your family feels safest. Read on for some ways you can make this the smartest, most secure school year yet — for the kids, and the entire family. A little help from a Yale Smart Lock doesn’t hurt. Create a plan and stick to itAt the beginning of each new school year, re-align with your kids on what the family rules are, and what they need to remember to stay safe. As kids get older, they feel more comfortable with extra responsibilities. Discuss how they plan to get home from school, check in where they need support, nail down bedtimes and solidify who’s in charge of what chores. Do your kids have a code word if they feel unsafe somewhere? For older kids, do they have a key or know the entry code for the keypad lock on your front door to let themselves in? Chat through it with your children so you’re all prepared if something comes up. Get smart - literally“Smart Home” isn’t just a buzzword — it’s a lifestyle. At this point, you probably check the weather on your smartphone and use a digital device to rent movies or books, so why wouldn’t you also leverage technology to make your home run more smoothly? Equipping your front door with a Yale smart lock will make multitasking during the school year that much easier. Its sleek, secure hardware and connected solutions allow you to go keyless and hands-free and create unique entry codes for guests. It’ll also allow you to fully monitor the comings and goings of your kids and automatically activate the house security system when they’re home (Yale locks are compatible with Ring Alarm, Simplisafe and more), giving you complete peace of mind that they’re leaving and getting home when they’re supposed to and safe when they are. Pro Tip: though it may be seamless to use, digital safety practices are even more important when the tech is protecting your household. Make sure you are protecting your smart home system with strong passwords and avoid accessing your system from a public WiFi network. Align on school rulesMost schools have safety protocols that apply outside the home — be sure to brush up on these and discuss them with your little ones before their first day. Everything from what allergy-safe snacks are permitted in the classroom, to how to notify the school if someone else is picking up your child, to who has access to school premises (many schools have keypad codes for parents that are updated each year) will make your days run more smoothly and your child feel more secure in their environment. Knowing these guidelines ensures your kids are as safe at school as they are inside the home. Include kids in the conversationKids can be helpers in keeping your home running smoothly, if you let them. If they’re old enough, let them know how your home security system works, and steps they can take to make sure it’s working properly for everyone. What are protocols they should follow for opening the door? Answering the phone? Let them know how they can use your alarm system and smart lock, who they should and shouldn’t share it with, and how they can use tools in your home to be helpful members of the household. We’re wishing you all a safe and stress-free return back to your school year! Head to YaleHome.com to find the smart lock that best fits for your family and routines.