Mrs Ahab related a story to me from a friend of hers at her office that serves as a pretty solid object lesson in home security. Said friend and husband have recently purchased a new home, and one afternoon while relaxing in their house were startled by the doorbell. Friend’s husband answered the door, and was greeted by a man claiming to be selling Febreeze door to door. Quite rightfully, this made his his “WTF” alarm go off, which increased when the “salesman” kept trying to peer around him and see what was in the house. On top of that, the “salesman” had two
accomplices friends down on the sidewalk as well.
The husband refused any samples or to let the sales guy in, and upon their departure, immediately called the police. Being good civic minded folk, they also went and spoke with their neighbors to let them know what had happened. I think that my wife’s friend and her husband handled the situation admirably, especially in the aftermath.
As far as self defense goes, the key thing in this situation is that they were both aware of what was going on. The suspicious actions, the “friends” in the street were all triggers that our friends observed and acted appropriately as a result.
There are some pretty good takeaways from this as well:
1) Don’t talk to strangers. Even in your home, you’re under no obligation to talk to people that you don’t want to talk to.
2) Construct barriers. A lot of houses have screen doors on the front door; which are not really a barrier. On the flip side, many homes including my mine have a thick glass storm door, which can be kept locked and will serve as an impediment to anyone trying to gain access to your home. A screen door won’t do that.
3) Be aware! My wife’s friend and her husband did a great job on this. If someone’s at your door, look around. See if there’s anything they don’t want you to see.
4) Don’t answer the door at weird hours. Seriously, doorbell rings after 8pm, if I’m not expecting anyone, I don’t even open the interior door. If the doorbell rings again, I’ll tell them to go away, and say I’m calling the cops.
5) Get good sight lines. Do you have a peephole in your door? Get one. Get lights on your porch. Hell, get a CCTV camera if you want to go big.
There’s no substitute for being aware – from awareness springs readiness, and from readiness comes a proper defensive posture.