Home security and salesmen

Some tips on home security and the nuisance that is door to door salesmen.

  1. Do not under any circumstances let door to door salesmen into your house. While their product may be legitimate, you don’t know this person, and by letting him or her into your house, they are seeing everything that you have to steal, whether or not you have an alarm, dogs, or a moat. Letting strangers into your house compromises your security at the most fundamental level.
  2. There are no free lunches. If someone from the Kirby Company comes to your front door and offers to clean your carpet “for free”, it is not free, and you will have to suffer through a 3 hour sales pitch to get you to buy a 2,000 dollar vacuum.  Same goes for Cutco knives, or any of those shysters.  Ask questions.  Nothing is free.  Keep asking questions until you find the hook, and if they don’t tell you the hook, tell them to scram.
  3. Additionally, companies like those above are the driving force behind why you never let a stranger into your house – I almost worked for Kirby when I was in college, and let me tell you, some of the people they hired were not exactly “cream of the crop”.
  4. If you’re talking to a salesman and they’re on your porch, keep a buffer between them and you.  For example, at my house, our front door has an exterior glass door – it’s actually storm glass so it’s pretty shatter resistant.  If there is anyone on my porch, salesmen or otherwise, the storm door stays closed and locked between us so that I have that barrier of protection.
  5. Don’t forget that it’s your property.  If you ask someone to leave, kindly or not, they are legally required to leave.  If they don’t, then they’re trespassing, and you should call the Five-Oh.  If you make the mistake of letting a salesman into your house, then they will do everything in their power to not leave your house until they’ve made a sale.  Your most powerful weapon is “If you’re not out of here in 10 minutes, I’m calling the cops.”

Door to door salesmen are thankfully a dying breed, but they’re still pretty damn annoying.  Homeowners will constantly be pestered by people coming by to sell them the latest knives/vacuums/poodle restraint devices/cocaine/whatever, and a lot of the time, homeowners just give in.  You don’t have to do that – it’s your house, and you have every right to be safe and secure in your house.  If that means you have to tell some poor slob to “f*ck off”, then that is what you have to do.

Being master of your own property, your home is one of the most fundamental rights that exists.


  1. If I’m not expecting somebody, I just don’t answer the door. I figure whoever is showing up unexpected is probably someone I’d rather not talk to.

  2. For the record, Cutco (at least when I worked for them) didn’t do unsolicited door to door sales. It was all scheduled appointments, made in advance, from lists of contacts given by previous customers. It was basically the Amway or Avon style system: start with friends and family, get referred to their friends and family, etc.

    Other than that minor detail, I totally agree with you. Also, if you have a screen door, use it, and keep it locked when everyone’s home. If someone you don’t recognize knocks on your door, it’s much easier to shut the door on them while they’re trying to open the screen than when they’ve already got a boot wedged in the main door.

  3. As far as I’m concerned, wedging a boot in my door constitutes trespassing, and it’s time to call the police. If that doesn’t work there is always the nuclear option.

  4. Wedging their boot in my door? “I was in fear of my life, officer.”

    I ALWAYS tell them “no thank you” right away, usually before they’ve gotten more than 3 or 4 words into their spiel.

  5. Oi, don’t forget that door-to-door type are also good intel gatherers.

    Around these parts, we get a rash of “alarm company” sales folk who want to come in and discuss your security. I tell them I have a top-of-the-line system. They always want to know who with.

    Not once have I failed to flummox them by replying: “Now you should know, of all people, that the first key of a good security system is not telling anyone what it is. I would think you would advise all your customers of that… Say, can I see that ID badge again?”

    Never fails to clear the front stoop.

  6. If someone came to your house trying to sell knives, you could pull the “that’s not a knife” routine and pull out a katana (“now that’s a knife”).

    This why security cameras are nice, so that you can see who is at the door without checking.

    What if there were such a thing as a door-to-door gun salesman?

  7. Actually, I’d like to get a CCTV camera installed in my front door that I can view from the monitor in my office.

  8. An Ethernet camera would probably be better for cross-internet monitoring.

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