The $33 Bunnings hack that could save a child’s life

An Aussie mum has shared her ‘amazing’ Bunnings hack for keeping her children safe and helping her to have a little peace of mind when in need of some ‘alone time’.

Ingrid Norgrove from Tasmania is a mother to three children, two who have autism and severe ADHD. Living on the corner of a busy main road has her constantly paranoid that her children may have managed to open a door and wander outside unsupervised.

“They’re incredible little people, with individual strengths and challenges but they have no fear and no impulse control,” Ms Norgrove explained.

Ingrid Norgrove demonstrating her Bunnings hack
Ingrid Norgrove shared the Arlec alarm bought at Bunnings she uses to deter her young children from leaving the house unsupervised. Source: Facebook/Bunnings

The mum spotted the Arlec Window and Door Magnetic Contact Alarm at Bunnings for $33.25, designed to be attached to doors and window and sound the alarm when an intruder enters the home.

She thought they could also be useful for making sure her children didn’t leave the home without her noticing.

“I’m so paranoid about them getting out. This is an added safety measure. Obviously doesn’t replace adequate supervision,” the mum said, sharing a video of how she uses the alarms in a Facebook group.

“These door alarms have alerted me several times now when an exit point has been breached. They make a god awful sound and can’t be ignored. Acts as a deterrent when used in conjunction with a chain lock which has been helpful,” the mum shared.

‘Simple and cheap’ alarm adds extra safety measure

The busy mum said while she is sure there are “superior” products on the market, the pack for sale at Bunnings for $33.25 as well as at other electronic retailers is “fast, cheap and can be deactivated with a switch”.

Ms Norgrove told Yahoo News Australia she was inspired to share the video of her hack after hearing about four-year-old Bronson Williams, who died after he was hit by a garbage truck while riding his bike.

“I don’t know the individual circumstances surrounding the accident, but it is certainly a fear close to my heart with our own family living on a main road,” Ms Norgrove said.

“The event made me want to share how the really simple and cheap alarm has helped our family by providing an additional measure of safety.”

‘This is amazing’

The mum joked another useful part of the alarms was that she could finally “pee without fear”.

Plenty of parents in the Facebook group said they knew that feeling all too well.

“This is amazing! I’m going to Bunnings tomorrow!” one woman wrote.

“I hope they bring you some peace of mind. My niece has three sons, two on the Spectrum and they are young adults now but I don’t think she had a moment of peace when they were younger,” one person commented.

“Thank you for sharing, my daughter is 2.5-years-old and knows how to unlock the main door and screen door and tries to run down the street if I'm not quick enough,” one mother wrote.

The Arlec Window and Door Magnetic Contact Alarm at Bunnings for $33.25 and sold at other retailers
The Arlec Window and Door Magnetic Contact Alarm at Bunnings for $33.25 used by Ingrid Norgrove in her Facebook video. Source: Bunnings

A few members of the group said they could think of other useful ways to use the alarms.

“We used these when I started sleepwalking when I was pregnant... after I was found in the driveway, at 2am, attempting to ‘get in the car’ (no car in the driveway and no keys to be found),” one woman replied.

“I want this on my recycling bin when the neighbour fills it up with regular rubbish in the night then the garbage collectors won’t collect it because it’s contaminated,” a user wrote.

Many people were interested in placing the alarms on their fridges and pantries, not only to stop little hands from sneaking treats but to deter themselves from midnight snacks.

“I used these on my fridge when my twins were toddlers and would empty the fridge while I was in the toilet,” one mum wrote.

Regardless of the use, the group members praised Ms Norgrove for her ‘out of the box thinking’ with the Bunnings alarm and thanked her for sharing the wisdom.

“Well done. What a clever idea to keep your kids safe, as you said doesn't replace supervision, but no matter how much of a super mum you are you still have to pee and shower and sleep,” one woman wrote.

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