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Santa has very sharp hearing. Before he enters your house, he listens for the still breathing of everyone in the household.
He will only come down the chimney when he is sure everyone is asleep. This does not prevent children from waking while he is still there. He gets so busy setting out his gifts that he might forget to listen. It is on rare occasion, of course, a child will spy him.
Don't fret though; he won't disappear because someone woke up. He will often assure the child and send the child off to bed, finish his work and with a tap to his nose, go right up the chimney and on his way.