A Danger in Disguise? - Home Security Tips for When Someone Comes Knocking at Your Door

When you hear a knock, it's not enough these days to determine if it's safe to open the door by simply asking "who's there?" or by taking a peek through the peephole. With criminals now disguising themselves as police officers, utility workers, and delivery men, those who sound and look like innocent strangers could very well danger in disguise.

Take the recent case of a man from Sacramento, California, whose home was burglarized by two men disguised as utility workers. According to FOX40 News, a man claiming to be with SMUD told the resident he needed to check a sewage system that was located behind his house. The homeowner escorted the man to the backyard and stayed there until the work was completed. In the meantime, another man dressed as a SMUD utility worker entered the home and stole personal belongings from the bedrooms, as reported by witnesses.

Fortunately, the victim of this crime was not harmed. But not everyone is as fortunate. According to the latest crime statistics produced by the U.S. Department of Justice, over 2 million of the home crimes that occur across the nation each year involve violence at the hands of a stranger.

Though statistics show that crime rates have decreased since the U.S. Department of Justice's 2008 report, one fact remains: criminals don't discriminate. Today's news stories and crime reports show us that it doesn't matter if you live in a 10,000-square-foot mansion or a modest one-bedroom apartment in the middle of town. Criminals look for easy targets and opportunities to carry out their dirty deeds with the least amount of risk of getting caught.

Today's criminals know that people aren't likely to open their door to a stranger. As a result, many have gotten craftier with their schemes as a way to trick people into feeling safe. This is why it's important to remain alert of your surroundings no matter where you are and to have a solid home security plan in place for when strangers show up at your front door.

Here are four home security tips that that can help keep you and your loved ones safe when someone comes knocking at your door:

Tip #1: Don't open the door to someone you don’t know if you aren't expecting their visit. It's one thing to receive a visit from a cable TV man when you've placed an order for service, but if someone claiming to be with "any" company that you did not call shows up at your door, don't open it. Even if someone claiming to be a police officer or firefighter is standing on your doorstep, your safety is more important than opening the door out of kindness or respect. When these situations occur, simply ask them for their name and the company they are with then call and verify their identify. For added protection, don't allow them to instruct you on which phone number to call. Find the listing yourself in your community directly or online search and call the number yourself.

Tip #2: Reinforce your door with a heavy duty door brace. There are certain situations where you may feel the need to open your door slightly to speak with someone or receive a delivery, such as when a mail carrier shows up at your door with a delivery that requires a signature. This is where having a high quality door brace can make all the difference. Compact and easy to install, a high quality security door brace can withstand over 1700 pounds of force. Installing it a few inches behind the inside of your front door allows you to open the door just enough to sign a delivery form and receive small packages with peace of mind. If it's a larger package, just ask the carrier to leave it on the front porch and retrieve it after they leave.

Security Door Brace Demo

Tip #3: Make it easy for your children to see who's on the other side of the door without having to open. For a child, it's hard to resist the temptation to open the door when they hear a knock, especially when they've grown used to the knock being one of their friends. To reduce the risk of your child opening the door to a stranger, be sure to provide your child with a way to see who's at the door without opening it. If your child is not able to reach the peephole, you can easily replace it with an electronic peephole viewer. This handy device employs a small battery-operated LCD display screen that makes it easy to view who's outside from various heights and angles. The LCD screen can be placed wherever you feel is easiest for your child and other members of your family to see it.

Tip #4: Ensure your children understand the appropriate safety measures to follow when someone knocks at the door. Although it's important to teach your children "why" they should follow the safety rules you put in place, you don't have to frighten them to get them to follow the rules. Reviewing and practicing the steps with your children is the best way to get them to develop good safety habits. When it comes to when they hear someone knock or ring the doorbell, make sure they understand they are never to open the door to a stranger. Keeping their innocence and curiosity in mind, be sure to follow tip #3 above and make it easy for each of your children to see who's at the door without risking their safety.

Adding each of these steps to your home security plan can provide you and your family with the protection you need should danger in disguise ever show up at your door.

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 (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.

Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:

The American Society for Industrial Security.

The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.

The Society of Professional Locksmiths.