Security issues you need to discuss with your domestic employee
What do you do when you are home alone to ensure your safety? You don’t open for service providers you know you didn’t hire to come to your home, you keep all doors locked and you definitely do not tell a stranger phoning that you are vulnerable and home alone. But does your domestic worker or children’s nanny or au pair know to follow these same rules?
Basic home safety
You need to ensure that your employee knows what to do should the unthinkable happen – a home invasion. Share these basic home safety rules with your employee to protect them, your home and potentially even your children.
- When inside security gates and doors should remain locked. It is easy to forget about entry points such as garages, laundry rooms or store rooms. Drive home that these accesses should be kept locked at all times.
- When going outside to hang washing for example, or even just to enjoy some sunshine, it is always a good idea to keep a phone, panic button and keys or remotes with you.
- Should someone phone the employee must never divulge the fact that they are home alone, or what time you will be back. A better option is to say that you are busy at the moment and will return the call when you get a moment.
- Make it clear that you will let them know if you are expecting a service provider or delivery man to come by. Opening your home to someone that is not expected should be a clear non-negotiable.
- When someone is at the gate ask your employee to never venture out. It is safer to talk over the intercom or from inside the house. It is easy to overpower an unsuspecting person, especially if there is more than one assailant waiting out of sight.
In case of emergency
Should the worst happen you want to rest assured that your employee knows exactly what to do. Whether in the case of a home invasion or medical emergency it is your responsibly as employer to ensure that anyone working inside your home knows how to protect themselves and your loved ones in the case of a nanny or au pair.
- Ensure that your employee knows the details for alerting your alarm company in the case of a home invasion or other possible security threat.
- Your employee should know what number to phone in the eventuality of any emergency. It is always a good idea to have a list of emergency numbers put up somewhere that is easily accessible. You could even ask your employee to save vital numbers in their phone
- Don’t forget to give your employee backup numbers of family or friends to reach in case of emergency when you are, for whatever reason, not contactable.
- Your personal security plan should contain a safe room in case of home invasion, it is best to share this with your employee so that they can follow that same plan of action in this eventuality.
- If you haven’t already, seriously consider sending your employee for a first aid course in the case of a medical emergency happening at home while you are not home.
- If you have young children and a pool, hot tub or even a fish pond or rainwater collection point it goes without saying that your employee has to know the potential risks and how to guard against these.
When travelling to and from your home a criminal will quite easily pick up your employee’s routine. There are some basic personal safety tips you can share to protect your employee during those few minutes of travelling.
- Advise your employee to not walk while texting. It is also best to keep expensive devices, such as phones or tablets, out of sight while waiting for a bus, taxi or Uber. When busy on a phone or other device the person becomes an easy target as they are so distracted.
- Never pay your employee in cash, even if they are only working for you on one day a week. Criminals will soon pick up this routine and your employee then becomes a target. Also advise your employee to, where possible, avoid walking around with a large sum of money on them, it is best to have only the cash that is needed.
- Make it clear that you will frown upon your employee discussing your family’s routines, holiday plans, or weekend timetables with anyone. It is easy for some information to slip out in conversation while waiting for the bus. Your employee needs to be aware of this potential risk and must be able to identify the warming signs from individuals who might be fishing for information that could result in a security risk for your family.
Just as protecting your family, home and belongings is a vital part of your security considerations so too should your responsibility be in ensuring any employee that works from your home is safe, and has the knowledge and plan of action in place in case of an emergency.