Here’s how to handle a situation when someone (a stranger) is knocking on your door.
It happens to all of us, sometimes regularly depending on the 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. Don’t ‘automatically’ open the door. 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 the door’s window (if it has one), but instead look out from a different or adjacent window – away from the door (they won’t see you that way). If you don’t recognize the person, you could ask through the door who they are and what they want, or you could choose to ignore it completely. The main thing is, it’s best to look first, before blindly opening the door.
Ignore the knock on the door
While ignoring the knock, you may simply decide to continue going about your normal activities inside – NOT pretending that you’re not home – not being particularly quiet. Reason being that IF the stranger is a burglar – that person may go ahead and break-in if they think no-one is home. By making some noise or turning on a light, the stranger will know someone is home. On the other hand the person may continue to knock hoping to get your attention.
By the way, here are 21 things that your burglar won’t tell you…
Ask what they want
Ask who they are and what they want…and ‘interview’ the stranger through the door while you keep it closed. If you have installed a heavy duty security door – the kind with steel bars that install as a secondary door outside of your existing front door (replaces your ‘screen door’), then you could open your primary door to speak with the stranger while still being mostly secure inside.
Set the door chain
If you have a door chain, you could simply crack open the door to speak with the stranger through the gap. Be sure that your door chain mounting bracket is attached well 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 secure grip.
If you do not recognize or trust the stranger on the other side of the door, and especially if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious about the circumstance – just in case, why not arm yourself?. You could do this discretely if you choose. If you don’t own a firearm, consider pepper spray, or keep a baseball bat or golf club by the door, etc.. It’s your life – security is a form of ‘life insurance’.
An extremely effective and simple door security bar…
‘Master Lock’ Door Security Bar
If you are a woman at home alone,
Let’s face it. Most women are not as physically strong as men, and may be vulnerable in that regard. Mention that your husband (or father, brother, etc.) is fixing the bathroom faucet and cannot be bothered right now (or something similarly indicating that a man is at home). This will deter a potentially bad situation.
Have an intercom speaker system
An intercom mounted at the outside of the front door for 2-way communication is an inexpensive and effective way to talk with the stranger at the door without actually opening the door.
Have a security camera
A security camera will enable you to see who is at the door (and to deter a potential burglar who will also see it). A Fake security camera is also an effective deterrent, and an inexpensive solution. Having a sign indicating video surveillance, is also a good deterrent.
Seriously… this very real looking “fake” security camera WILL be a burglar deterrent.
Fake Security Camera
Have a dog
A barking do will deter a stranger who has bad motives. If the solicitor is a potential burglar ‘casing the place’, they will not want to deal with a dog and will move on to easier targets.
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 a stranger 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 place’. 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.