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Should I answer the entry door? Advice from your CT Door Contractor

Advice from Door Contractors CT: When to Open your Entry Doors in CT

Halloween is a strange day.  Normally, when you hear a knock on your door and see someone who obviously wants something, as indicated by a clipboard or pamphlet, you shun him or her, or at least think about it.  When the doorbell rings, especially after dark, you usually look through the peephole to make sure that the person on the other side does not appear to be dangerous.   Halloween is different, though.  It is the only day that people are not only willing, but also eager to open their entry door to hoards of monsters, animals, and other unearthly creatures that want something: candy.

Whether the beggar looks pure as an angel, as dark as the devil, is holding a unicef box, sickle, or a convincing replica of freshly detached body part, we open the door without question. It is, indeed, an unusual holiday, but it is understood that on this day, children go from door to door demanding candy in this fashion, so we open our doors.  After Halloween, many Americans are still far too willing to open their doors to strangers.

Americans feel an obligation to open their entry door to strangers who knock.  Traditional American culture involves being neighborly and polite and we have all been conditioned to avoid seeming rude at all costs.   Even though it is commonplace to open the door to a stranger, it is not necessarily the best idea.  Do not be afraid to be afraid.  Keeping your door closed does not demonstrate rudeness, but rather appropriate cautiousness.

Next time you hear a knock on entry door, go through the following checklist:

Look out the window: Is there a vehicle that you recognize?

If it is FedEx, UPS, or USPS truck, go collect your goods!!

If there is a car outside and it seems out of place, take a quick picture and email it to a friend.

Look through the peephole:  If you can identify the person, go ahead and unlock, unless it is someone you don’t want to see.

If you cannot identify the person:

DO NOT answer immediately:

Try to determine the person’s purpose, and remember, a pamphlet is not an official document.  A clipboard does not signal that someone is safe, either.  A marked vehicle is a bit more legitimate, but you never know.

  • Ask yourself what you have to gain by opening the door.  Unless the stranger is a girlscout with cookies, probably nothing.  If you need a new landscaper, and someone with a work truck is outside the door, consider saying, ‘now is not a good time for us to talk, please leave a business card.”  Then you can look them up on google, or yelp.
  • If you are definitely not interested in any of the services that are being solicited, say, ‘we are not interested.’ Including the pronoun ‘we’ is particularly important for women and children.  Burglars target unoccupied homes, or homes that are occupied by women, elderly people, or unattended children.

DO NOT pretend that you are not home  A burglar is interested in acquiring money or valuable goods quickly, easily, and without getting caught.  Knowing that a home is occupied deters potential criminals, because it complicates things.  When there is an unexpected visitor at your door, you can indicate your presence by saying “we are not interested,” and/or going about your business.

Please discuss this with your family members.  We also recommend putting a sign on the inside door frame with rules for ‘when to open the door.’

Fiderio & Sons is a family company, and we are active, caring members of the Connecticut community.  We want to keep our towns safe, and help our neighbors feel safe.  If you need a new entry door, we will help you choose one that has the safety features you need.  We recommend Therma Tru Entry Doors for many reasons: they are durable, energy efficient and offer some of the best safety features (wrap-around strike plate, reinforced steel core, and “multi-point lock system.”)  The Smooth-Star’ entry doors received the highest level possible in the industry’s toughest forced entry test (Tested to ASTM F-476 Section 18 Grade 40 by independent lab, October 2005)

If you are remodeling your home, we will advise you on where to place your doors and windows so that you can privately surveil your property.  Have a Happy, safe Halloween, and please contact us with any saftey concerns you have about your home.  New doors can add both safety and value to your home.  The Therma Tru website has features that enable you to design your door, and our portfolio includes examples of replacement entry doors we have installed.

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