Not only should parents be concerned with who is on the other side of the door when someone comes knocking, it’s important to teach our children to be just as cautious. With many home invaders disguising themselves as utility workers, delivery staff, and even law enforcement officers, it’s important for you and your family to take the necessary steps to make sure the people who appear through your peephole as innocent-looking strangers aren’t danger in disguise.
by Jordan Frankel
A story released by CBSAtlanta.com supports the deceptive strategies used by today’s criminals. Recently in Atlanta, Georgia, a man wearing a bulletproof vest with the word Sheriff or Police printed on the front stepped onto a homeowner’s porch with a gun drawn. After claiming to be a police officer, the homeowner became suspicious. He found it odd that a police officer would climb or jump over the gated 6-foot fence surrounding his property that he knew was locked. Instead of opening the door, the homeowner ran to the backyard to let his dog loose. It was then that the video from the home security camera captured the phony cop fleeing from the scene, along with two other individuals who were hiding nearby.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) of 2008, out of the 2.2 million violent crimes that occurred in a victim’s home by a “stranger”:
• 15.9% involved rape/sexual assault
• 7.2% involved robbery
• 4.1% involved physical assault
This same report also shows that criminals don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you live in a beautiful, well-manicured neighborhood or in an old apartment complex. Most criminals don’t select their victims by level of income, race, or status. To them it’s all about finding an easy target. This is why you need to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, no matter if you’re at home or not. It’s also important to have a basic home security plan in place to help safeguard your family when someone comes knocking at your door.
The following are a few home security tips that can help keep you and your family safe:
If you aren’t expecting someone, don’t open the door. Although this may sound like common sense, many people feel compelled to open the front door to what appears to be a police officer or utility worker. It’s important to be cautious. If the person on the other side of the door identifies themselves as law enforcement or a representative of a utility company, with the door closed, ask for their name. After that call the agency or company they claim to be employed by to verify their identify.
Make sure your children have a way to see who’s on the other side of the door without opening it. When you live on a block full of kids, it’s easy for your children to assume the knock at the door is little Billy or Meagan wanting to know if they can come out and play. And no matter how many times you’ve told them “not” to open the door without your permission, in their excitement they forget and do it anyway. This is why it’s important to take extra measures.
You can do this by installing an extra peephole at your child’s eye level. Even better, replace your existing peephole with an electronic peephole viewer. At a cost of less than $100.00 dollars, this device utilizes a small battery-operated LCD screen to allow viewing the outdoors from multiple angles and heights from inside your home. It’s a great device that even the smallest child in your family can use to see who’s at the door without opening it.
Secure your door with a high quality door brace. Don’t make the mistake of relying on a lock with a chain to protect you while you crack open the door to speak with someone. It doesn’t take much force to break such a device. In these types of situations, you need a high quality door brace for protection. With a door brace installed 3 to 4 inches behind the interior of your front door, it has the ability to withstand a minimum of 1775 pounds of brute force. This unyielding barrier allows you to safely open your door a few inches to receive mail or small packages. In the case of larger packages, simply ask the delivery person to hand you the signature sheet through the door and leave the package on the doorstep.
Instill a “safety first” mentality in your children. It’s not enough these days to rely on only yourself to keep your children safe. The more you teach your children about the potential dangers in the world and how to stay safe, the better they can protect themselves. In addition to teaching your children “why” and “how” to look to see who’s at the door before opening it, it’s just as important they follow the golden rule: NEVER OPEN THE DOOR TO A STRANGER!
You never know who is lurking on the other side of your door. Taking the time to fortify your home security plan will help protect you and your family from the potential dangers when unknown visitors come knocking.
Jordan Frankel, commonly known as the Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel`s security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan`s ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys – coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel is a proud member of The American Society for Industrial Security. The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security, and The Society of Professional Locksmiths.