10 Things To Do When A Stranger Knocks On Your Door
Here are a few ideas how to handle a situation when someone (a stranger) is knocking on your door.
It happens to all of us, sometimes somewhat regularly depending on your neighborhood. That is, we hear an unexpected knock on our front door.
The question is, what should we do?
Open the door
NOT the best idea (without doing other things first)… Some people blindly open the door to see who it is or what it is that they want. Obviously if you know/trust the person on the other side, that’s a different situation.
Look out a window first to see who is knocking
Avoid looking out a door window, but instead look through a different window away from the door if possible (they won’t see you that way). If you don’t recognize them, you could ask through the door what they want, or you could choose to ignore them altogether. The thing is, it’s best to look first, before opening the door.
Ignore the knock on the door
While ignoring the knock, you may decide to go about your normal business and to NOT pretend that you are not home by being quiet; but instead continue to do what you were doing, or even make some noise or turn on a light so that the person knows that someone IS home (possibly avoiding a burglary).
Ask what they want
…and ‘interview’ the person through the door while you keep it closed. You may consider installing a heavy duty security door (the kind with steel bars) which installs outside of your existing front door (replaces your ‘screen door’) so that you can see anyone who comes to the door and talk to them ‘securely’.
Set the door chain
…and crack open the door to speak to the person through the gap. Be sure that your door chain mounting bracket is attached with LONG screws into the door frame to help resist a ‘push in’. The standard screws that come with a door-chain are often too short for a good grip.
If you do not recognize/trust the person on the other side, and especially if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious about the circumstance, …just in case, why not arm yourself?. If you don’t own a firearm, consider pepper spray, keep a baseball bat or golf club by the door, pick up a fireplace poker, etc.. It’s your life – have some ‘life insurance’.
If you are a woman at home alone,
…mention that your husband (or father, if you are young) is fixing the bathroom faucet and cannot be bothered right now (or something similarly indicating that a man is at home).
Have an intercom speaker system
…at the outside of the front door for 2-way communication. These are inexpensive and effective.
Have a security camera
…to see who is at the door (and to deter a potential burglar). A Fake security camera is also an effective deterrent, and an inexpensive solution. Having a sign indicating video surveillance, is also a good deterrent.
Have a dog
…and allow the barking to ‘tell’ the solicitor that a dog lives there too. If the solicitor is a potential burglar ‘casing the joint’, they will not want to deal with a dog and will move on to easier prey.
In today’s world, it is always better to be on the safe side and NOT blindly open the door for just anyone. The few thoughts listed above are just a sampling of many options for you when someone knocks on your door. The point is, think about your options before just opening the door, and be prepared with a plan of action.
Remember that people can be dressed to impress but they may have ulterior motives. People may be wearing official looking uniforms while actually ‘casing the joint’. You are NOT obligated to let anyone into your home (except for police with a search warrant). Use your head and be cautious and suspicious. It may save your life or property.