Safety tips for unsupervised teens

Important phone numbers should be memorized or easy located. / WFXL

School is out in Southwest Georgia and although many kids will spend their days in camp, there are plenty who will stay at home alone.

As parents head to work, leaving their children home alone, officials say there are a few things to keep in mind.

Children between the ages of nine to 12 may be left home alone just for a brief period of time. Officials advise that children in this age range be left at home alone for no more than two hours.

Although teens 13 and older can stay at home for 12 hours without adult supervision, officials say parents must make sure they have an action plan in case of emergency. For starters, kids need access to important phone numbers. These numbers should be memorized or in plain view.

Parents are also advised to check smoke detectors to see if they're working properly.

"If you make sure all of your smoke detectors are working properly, that gives you an early indicator that there is a fire in the house," said Asst. Fire Chief Sebon Burns, Albany Fire Department.

If meals aren't prepared in advance, children may have to cook for themselves. Fire officials advise that parents remind kids to stay in the kitchen while cooking and remember to turn all pot handles to the inside so that they aren't hanging off the stove.

If a fire does occur, Asst. Fire Chief Sebon Burns says kids should not try to put it out themselves; instead they should call for help.

Children also should never open the door for strangers and if the person outside the doors calls for an adult officials say the best thing for the child to do is to put on an act.

"Kind of put on an acting job. Like she's in the shower or she's busy right now. Can you come back?" said Sheriff Reggie Rachals, Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Reggie Rachals says parents should gage a child's maturity level before leaving them without supervision.

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