If you don’t read the whole post, please at least read this first bit:
- This post is a bit out of character for my blog, but I felt the tips our local police provided were something all people should really know.
- So many break-ins happen during the day when crooks think people aren’t home. They’ll ring the bell or knock, and if no one responds, kick in the door.
- My advice is DON’T BE SILENT. Respond firmly from behind the locked door. “WE aren’t interested!” implying more than one person is home.
- Don’t engage in further conversation, and if they don’t leave tell them you’re calling 9-1-1… and do. Err on the side of being too cautious.
- Trust your instincts… and please be safe.
I sometimes wonder if I’m overreacting or being an overprotective parent & husband. Especially in my response to what appears to be an increase in crime, especially home break-ins. Maybe it’s our increased interconnection via social media like Facebook and Nextdoor.com, and the speed with news travels these days, but it seems worse than when I was a kid. What do you think?
I received some tips via a neighbor today, concerning how to handle people that come to your door. The tips were provided by our local police department, and I thought they made a lot of sense. I’ve always maintained that if you’re home alone and/or with your kids, don’t open the door if you don’t know who it is. Am I being too overprotective?
We have a number of wireless devices that allow two way communication with the front door, as well as wireless cameras on other entry points, both internal and external. In addition to the very popular Ring Doorbell pictured a bit further down in this post, we love our Blink Wireless cameras, and our Nest cameras. Overkill perhaps, but it makes my family feel safer.
Maybe it’s just a girl scout selling cookies or a neighbor you don’t know locked out of their house? Honestly, it may be unchristian of me, but I don’t want my family to take the chance and open the door. If you don’t invest in one of these systems, I recommend shouting through the locked door, “We’re not interested!” The worst thing would be to make it appear no one was home by being silent!
And it’s that time of the year, when door-to-door solicitations begin to occur more frequently. School fundraisers, Girl Scout cookie sales, and youth sports group fundraisers are just a few of the more common neighborhood solicitations. But how do you know when you should or shouldn’t answer the door? And what’s legitimate or not?
Door-to-Door Solicitation Do’s and Don’ts
- If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t want to answer the door, then don’t. Tell them you are not interested through the door.
- If you are unsure if a solicitor is legitimate, ask for identification verifying that they are employed by the company they claim to work for. If they don’t have any I.D., don’t give them any money and tell them to leave.
- Ask to see a solicitor’s license. City ordinance requires a license for persons engaging in door-to-door selling. The license should be carried by the salesperson and shall be submitted to any police officer or citizen for examination upon request. Police Records handles the application process and issues the license.
- Door-to-door selling is prohibited (where we live), by City ordinance, after 8 p.m. unless there is a prior invitation from the occupant of said private residence.
- If a solicitor refuses to leave after being asked to, or becomes irate, shut the door. If they still don’t leave, call 911.
- If you don’t feel comfortable giving the solicitor any money DON’T! Do not let anyone “guilt” you into giving them money or buying their product.
- Do not believe stories such as “I live in your neighborhood”, or “My car is broken down just around the corner.” If you don’t recognize this person as one of your neighbors, they’re probably not. If their car is truly broken down, offer to call 911 for them.
- At no time should you let any of these people in your house! Not even to use the phone.
It’s important to listen to your “gut feeling” and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Door-to-door solicitation is not against the law as long as solicitors follow the law and City ordinances.
Residents who don’t want any type of solicitation on their property are encouraged to post a “No Soliciting” sign near the doorbell or in plain sight at the front door to indicate that solicitations are not welcome.
- And remember; when in doubt always call 9-1-1.
So, am I overreacting?