Here’s how to handle the situation when someone (a stranger) is knocking on your door.
It happens to most of you, sometimes regularly depending on the neighborhood. That is, you hear an unexpected knock on your front door.
The question is, what should you do when a stranger knocks on your door?
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 they want. Don’t ‘automatically’ open the door. Obviously if you know – trust the person on the other side, that’s a different situation (which is the next point, look first!).
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
You might simply ignore the knock and continue to go about your normal activities inside the home. There’s no law saying that you have to answer the door! Some people have an especially difficult time ignoring a stranger at the door. These same people tend to be the one’s who also feel compelled to answer every single junk phone call from telemarketers 😉 Unfortunately they’re taken advantage of more often.
By the way, here are 21 Things That Your Burglar Won’t Tell You…
Ask what they want (through the door)
Ask who it is and what they want. ‘Interview’ the stranger through the door while you keep it closed. That’s perfectly reasonable. If you have an additional ‘storm door’ (the kind with screens and/or plexiglass for winter), you might (slightly) open your primary door to speak with the stranger while still being mostly secure inside. Foot at the bottom of the door – ready to secure it, close it.
Set the door chain lock
If you have a door chain lock, 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 (~ 3 inch) screws into the door frame to help resist a ‘push in’. The standard screws that come with a door chain lock 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? Certainly if your gut is telling you something’s wrong, DO NOT answer the door. Arming yourself will enable protection should that person actually be a burglar or home invader. ‘Stuff’ happens. Just saying…
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.
An intercom mounted at the outside of the front door for 2-way communication is an effective way to talk with the stranger at the door without actually opening the door!
Video Doorbell – 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.
This has become a very popular doorbell security camera system:
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
Seriously… this very real looking “fake” security camera WILL be a burglar deterrent.
Fake Security Camera
Have a dog
A barking dog will help deter a stranger who has bad intentions. 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. Placing a extra large dog bowl (like this one) outside the front door is a deterrent to burglars!
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 (think) and be cautious, suspicious. It may save your life or property.