Regardless of the reason, parents should not leave their children alone at home because things can happen. Kids might get hurt or do things that can harm others. You should only leave your children unsupervised when you feel that they are mature or responsible enough to take care of themselves.
The age varies, but as much as possible, they should never be left alone. If your children are below 8 years old, it is imperative that you never leave them unsupervised. If your child is over 10 years old, you can leave them for at least 30 minutes. As the child grows, you can leave them but that will depend on their maturity level.
Granting that your child is more than 10 years old and you have to do something outside, here are some tips you should follow before you leave:
Define ground rules
You have to orient your kids of your ground rules, such as never letting a stranger inside the house, keeping the doors and windows locked at all times, never telling a caller know that they (the children) are alone, never using the stove or microwave, etc.
Make sure that they know what to do
You will know the readiness of your child to be left alone when you ask a question and he/she answers appropriately. For example, you have to ask your child what to do when there is an emergency. You need to ask where he/she might find the first aid supplies, what he/she will do if there is fire, etc.
You have to be convinced that your child will follow the ground rules you set. You know your children best, if they complain, and therefore you are the best judge on whether they can take care of themselves alone. If they can’t do that, you really need to ask a relative or a sitter to watch over the kid until you get back.