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The Caller At Your Door
We feel that this is one of the most important sections in our security guide. Most of the advice given here involves home security that you can have for free. All you need to do is to read this section, learn this section, and remember this section!
We have already covered many of the types of physical security products available, and, the best way to use them to your advantage.
Of course, not all attempts to relieve you of your valuables may be made by someone trying to force an entry into your house. Sometimes all a thief has to do is to gain access to your property by distraction, or by deception.
What To Do
If you are alone in the house when someone unexpected turns up on your doorstep, don’t let on that you are home alone. Perhaps consider calling out “I’ll get it”, when you are within earshot of the door.
Always put your door chain on before opening the door, and, never remove it until you are certain that it is safe to do so. Using a door chain demonstrates to any caller that you have security in mind
Are you expecting someone to call?
Always ask to see identification, don’t be hurried and don’t be fobbed off with excuses. Any legitimate caller will be happy to provide ID.
An ID card does not, of course prove anything, anyone could simply make their own. If you are still in doubt, ring the company that they claim to be from to verify their identity and visit. Don’t rely on the phone number on the ID card, look up the number in the phone book.
Keep a list of useful phone numbers in a handy place. Gas, electricity board, etc. you can always ask the caller to return in, say, 5 or 10 minutes.
If you want to put them off altogether, to check their credentials, or if you are suspicious of them, make sure that you have a ready excuse in mind.
“I’m expecting visitors, now isn’t a good time”.
“Can you come back this afternoon/tomorrow/next week”
“I must go, I Have something on the cooker”
Never say, “I’m just going out”, you’ll be advertising a potentially empty house! Someone may return, even if you’re still in.
Be polite, but be firm! Never let anyone pressure you into letting them in. If you feel threatened, shut and lock the door and call the police immediately.
Is the caller at your door simply trying to keep you talking?
A distraction burglary involves just this. You may be kept occupied at the front door whilst an accomplice breaks in, or gets through an open door or window around the back.
If you have let a caller in, are they distracting you inside the house? Asking you to fetch things for them or perhaps turning taps/switches on in different rooms while they pretend to check the boiler/gas/electrics etc.
Display a “We don’t buy or sell from this door”, type sticker. You can usually obtain one from your local police crime prevention officer. Otherwise, consider making your own.
We recommend something like this:
We do not buy or sell at this door
We do not undertake doorstep surveys
All visitors strictly by appointment
Verifiable Identification will be required from all callers
See, firm but polite!
Even if you live alone, always put “we”, never, “I”.
Don’t advertise that you live alone, it could give the impression that you are an easier target.
The use of this type of sign, especially a home-made one, will show that you are security conscious, and take your safety seriously.
Don’t be caught out. Always be prepared to deal with any callers.
Remember, even the best locks in the world count for nothing if a thief can simply bluff his/her way into your home, or distract you whilst someone else gets in elsewhere.