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Mandi Mace on Guarding Your Door
August 2010
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Mandi Mace on Guarding Your Door

By Mandi Mace

Mandi Mace

Mandi Mace

You’d be surprised how many attackers come right through the front door! Those types of attackers are manipulative and have some of the most realistic, believable excuses for why they need to get into your apartment or house. Some of the excuses I’ve heard are:

  • His/her car has broken down and they need to phone someone for help.
  • He/she is a worker that needs to check your electricity or water from inside your home.
  • He/she is taking a survey for the city or state you live in.

Regardless of the reason this person gives you, if you don’t know them well you should definitely be suspicious of anyone who wants to get into your home. No one should come to your house unannounced and assume they can just come on in! I recently read that over 12,000 occurrences of burglary are done through distraction. Sometimes these people even get so crafty that they work in pairs. One person will deliver the distraction while another gets into your home and either attacks you or steals. Both elderly and single women are perfect targets for these predators.

Anytime there’s a knock at your door or your doorbell or buzzer goes off, be on guard! Always look through a window or peephole first to determine whether or not you know the person well. Once you see that the person on the other side of your door isn’t a friend or family member, make sure you chain your door if you want to crack your door open and speak through the crack. Be mindful if the person at your doorstep keeps looking around the side of your house or acts incredibly anxious. Sometimes attackers will keep you at your front door while the other goes around your house looking for another way in!

If someone is claiming to be a police officer or other sort of official, ask for them to provide ID. You can also call whatever organization they claim to be from and verify that they are who they are and that they sent them to your house. Someone who isn’t trying to pull something won’t care if you go through those safety steps before letting them in. If you’re still unsure after all that, you can always ask them to reschedule a time to come back and then make sure you’re not alone when they do. A legitimate visitor to your door won’t be desperate to get inside. If the person on the other side of your door persists and won’t leave, call the police! Why take chances waiting and seeing what they’ll do?

Our government has even come up with a campaign to promote smart behavior when it comes to your front door and who you open it for! It’s called “Stop, Chain, Check”—pretty clever! They provide information about what you should and shouldn’t do, so they’re a great resource. It’s also a great idea to consider keeping a self-defense product like Mace concealed, but handy somewhere near your front door. That way, even if you do chain your door, if someone tries to force their way in you can stop them, shut the door and call the police! You can never be too prepared when it comes to your safety!

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