Sunday, April 20, 2008

So who is standing outside your door, and how safe are you?

Today I had to think about how smart I am when it comes to me knowing verses using safety tips. What made me question it? My kids were looking out the window saying that some one was banging on our door. I looked out the window and called for my husband to come up from the basement. Then I opened the door, why, the guy had a uniform on and looked official. I was thinking that there was another problem with the water pipes like last weekend. It turns out he was one of those pushy sales guys that go door to door for Union Energy. He would not leave until my husband came up and said no thank you. James then asked me why I had called him. “There was a strange guy at our door, of course I want you to come up just in case.”

Then I thought about it. If it was dark I would not have opened my door, I would have talked through the door until I knew what the guy wanted. I know better then to open the door, today I failed the test. I opened it because I saw the official looking uniform, though I did not know what or who the guy was. Safety 101 you don’t open your door to strangers until you identify them and what they want, and sometimes you still check with the company if they want into your home. We teach this to our children, but I the adult did not follow a simple guideline. Just because it looks like a cop, UPS, flower delivery or pizza delivery does not mean the uniform is not a rental. If you are not expecting someone delivering something then are they lost or something else?

One of the most common ways thieves are able to walk around a neighbourhood looking for a home to break into is to have some type of uniform on. This way people don’t even give them a second glance. They must be there for a reason. It makes it easy to go to a door and see if anyone is home. If someone sees them going around the house looking for way to get in, they are just looking for a meter, or some damage or something. Though most people will not even think about checking why they are there. It is a great way to case a house or even break in if the opportunity is there.

Then you have the wonderful knowledge that they don’t care if you are home or not, if you open the door bam you have a home invasion. Now I don’t live in a rich area, and we don’t have a lot so I don’t think we have to worry too much about someone doing a home invasion. But at the same time we do know that there is a building with drug dealers about four blocks away. A person on drugs, or in need of drugs is not thinking clearly and will be happy to get enough money for the next fix. So who is standing at your door?

I am not trying to scare people, just make them more aware of simple things to try to keep our selves safer. If someone is at your door and is planning to rob you, they are also planning to hurt you. Otherwise they would break in when you are not home. Now most home invasions are a crime of opportunity. If you open the door they are in, if not they move onto the next home or apartment. If you are the target they are going to get into your home even if you don’t open the door, but at least the door will slow them down a little. At that point in time robbery is probably not the main crime on their minds and all you can do is try to get yourself and your family away from them and hopefully you have a cell to call 911.

What made my brain start thinking about this, the guy walked past our window about ½ hr later. Then about 20 minutes later the police were out in the back looking around all the homes and seemed to be looking for clues. The timing just made me think about how stupid I had been for opening the door to a stranger, in uniform or not.

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