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Safety advice for when a stranger knocks at your door

There's an unexpected knock from a stranger at the front door. What to do?

There'san unexpected knock from a stranger at the front door.What to do?

1. Be cautious when opening the door. Do not blindly open the door to see who it is or what it is that they want.

2. Ignore the knock on the door . You may want to go about your normal business and NOT pretend that you are not home, but instead continue to do what you were doing, or even make some noise or turn on a light so that the person knows that someone IS home (possibly avoiding a burglary).

3. Look out a window first to see who it is - Avoid looking out a door window, but instead go and look through another window away from the door if possible. If you don't recognize them, you could shout through the door and ask what they want, or you could choose to ignore them.

4. Set the door chain. Be sure that your door chain is set well with LONG screws into the door frame to help resist a "push in." Crack open the door to speak to the person through the gap.

5. Ask what they want and "interview" the person through the closed door. You may consider installing a heavy duty security door (the kind with steel bars) outside of your existing front door so that you can see anyone who comes to the door and talk to them "securely."

6. If you are at home alone - mention that another person husband/father/mother or other individual is fixing the bathroom faucet and cannot be bothered right now (or something similarly indicating that another person is at home).

7. Have an intercom speaker system at the outside of the front door for two-way communication.

8. Install a security camera to see who is at the door (and to potentially deter a burglar). Having a sign indicating video surveillance can be a deterrent.

9. Have a dog - and allow the barking to "tell" anyone that a dog lives there too.

Remember that people can be dressed to impress but they may have ulterior motives. People may be wearing official looking uniforms while actually "casing your house." Use good common sense and always be cautious. Remember to call the police to report a suspicious person.

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