Family Safety: Codewords

What are the things that you worry about when thinking about safety?  What about with your family? With my background and interest areas, stuff that comes to mind for me includes fires, violent people, and medical emergencies.

The basics of home and family safety include some things like working smoke detectors (one per floor and one in every bedroom) and “EDITH” (Exit Drills In The Home).  And in today’s world, the basics need to include what to do when there is a violent person/active shooter (lockdown drills and something like “Avoid, Barricade, and Confront” or ABC).    

These types of situations, and many others, need a parent/adult to take control and direct the family to safety.  Rapidly getting the attention of a group of people, especially kids can be difficult. In emergency situations, taking action and getting to safety quickly is important.  Generally, plain language is preferred to codes but in a family situation “codewords” can be a way to get everyone to focus and follow the adult.

Choosing a codeword should be done with the family and the word should be something that does not come up in routine conversations but, it should be recognizable.  It is important to spend some time talking about it and ensuring that it is treated seriously.


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