10 Things To Do When A Stranger Knocks On Your Door (2022)

Why would someone knock on my door late at night?

What to do if a stranger knocks on your door at night, or a stranger ringing your doorbell:

First I am going to talk about the “late at night” part of the question.

(jump to the 10 tips)

Late At Night: Should You Answer The Door?

DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!
Anyone who is ringing your doorbell or knocking on your door late at night or early morning hours is very likely up to no good. In fact their intentions may be very bad.

Although if it’s your trusted neighbor with an emergency, that’s okay!

Should you pretend not to be home?

NO! This might be just the thing they’re hoping for, and proceed to break in!


Who’s There?!

YELL THROUGH THE DOOR, “WHO’S THERE?!” or something like that. This indicates you’re home, and you’ve not opened the door (which sends the message that you’re not gullible).

There may be a ‘setup’ going on. One person at the door claiming to need some assistance while others are off to the side waiting for the door to open so they can burst in.

The Elderly are Vulnerable

NOTE: Elderly are particularly vulnerable. Sadly for some, dementia may be setting in, and potential poor judgement. Elderly may also be more vulnerable to opening the door. Perhaps gullible.

There’s nothing inside your home or assistance that you can provide a stranger who is knocking on your door at night claiming to need something. Nearly everyone today has a cell phone. If they truly need assistance, they could have called 911 for example. So don’t fall for “I need to use your phone!”. Or “I’m injured and need help!” What help could you possibly provide?

I’m Calling The Police!

Here’s what you do: YELL THROUGH THE DOOR, “I’M CALLING THE POLICE RIGHT NOW!”

If that person or persons actually need help, then they should be relieved at those words. However I suspect 99.9% will turn and take off.

(Video) What to do when a stranger knocks on your door


Okay, check out the rest of my original article and 10 tips:

It happens to some of you, sometimes regularly depending on the neighborhood. That is, you hear an unexpected knock on your front door.

The question is, what should you do when a stranger knocks on your door?

TIPS:

1. OPEN THE DOOR??

NOT the best idea (without doing other things first).

Some people blindly open the door to see who it is or what they want. Don’t ‘automatically’ open the door. Obviously if you know – trust the person on the other side, that’s a different situation (which is the next point, look first!).

I tuck this security bar under the doorknob every night:
I HIGHLY recommend it.

>> BRINKS Door Security Bar
(view on amzn)

10 Things To Do When A Stranger Knocks On Your Door (1)

(I reviewed it here)

2. LOOK OUT A WINDOW FIRST TO SEE WHO IS KNOCKING!

Don’t look out the door’s window (if it has one).

Instead look out from a different or adjacent window – away from the door (they won’t see you that way).

If you don’t recognize the person, you could ask through the door who they are and what they want.

(Video) What to Do When A Stranger Knocks At Door?

The main thing is, it’s best to look first, before blindly opening the door!

Preemptively install and use a push-to-talk intercom mounted at the outside of the front door.

2-way communication is an effective way to talk with the stranger at the door without actually opening the door!

>> Wireless easy-install Doorbell Intercom
(view on amzn)

10 Things To Do When A Stranger Knocks On Your Door (2)

4. VIDEO DOORBELL – SECURITY CAMERA

Preemptively install a Video Doorbell like this highly popular one:

>> Wi-Fi enabled “ring”
(view on amzn)

It lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from your phone, tablet and PC. It also works with Alexa (not required).

You can see who is at the door, and it will deter a potential burglar who will also see it there!

10 Things To Do When A Stranger Knocks On Your Door (3)

Tip: A ‘dummy’ (fake) security camera is excellent burglar deterrence, even for solicitors!

A cheap but effective deterrent:

10 Things To Do When A Stranger Knocks On Your Door (4)

5. IGNORE THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR?

You might simply ignore the knock and continue to go about your normal activities inside the home.

There’s no law saying that you have to answer the door!

(Video) What to Do When Strangers Knock at the Door | Kids Safety Tips Collection | BabyBus

However, be aware that if there actually is a burglar on the other side, this may be what they are hoping for (no one at home) and break in…

[ Read: 21 Things That Your Burglar Won’t Tell You… ]

6. ASK WHAT THEY WANT (THROUGH THE DOOR)

Ask who it is and what they want.

‘Interview’ the stranger through the door while you keep it closed. That’s perfectly reasonable.

If you have an additional ‘storm door’ (the kind with screens and/or plexiglass for winter), you might (slightly) open your primary door (set the chain-guard and ‘foot’ the door) to speak with the stranger while still being mostly secure inside. Be sure you keep your ‘storm door’ locked!

Foot at the bottom of the door – ready to secure it just in case.

7. SET THE DOOR CHAIN LOCK

If you have a strong and well mounted door chain lock, you could simply crack open the door to speak with the stranger through the gap. Keep your foot on the door. NEVER DO THIS AT NIGHT! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!

Be sure that your door chain mounting bracket is attached well with LONG (~ 3 inch) screws into the door frame to help resist a ‘push in’. The standard screws that come with a door chain lock are often too short for a good secure grip.

Note that many ‘cheap’ door chain’s may break easily if the door is slammed with the body weight of an intruder. If you have one, you might consider an upgrade.

>> Extra-Thick Door Chain Lock
(view on amzn)

8. IF YOU’RE A WOMAN AT HOME ALONE…

Let’s face it. Most women are not as physically strong as men, and may be vulnerable in that regard.

Through the door, say that your husband (or father, brother, etc.) is fixing the bathroom faucet and can’t be bothered right now (or something similarly indicating that a man is at home). This will deter a potentially bad situation.

(Video) Safety For Kids | How To Do When A Stranger At Your Home | Education Game for Kids & Parents

9. X-LARGE DOG BOWL AT THE FRONT DOOR

An Extra Large dog bowl outside the front door sends a strong message! (even if you don’t have a dog)

A barking dog will also deter a stranger or solicitor who may have bad intentions. But not always.

If the solicitor is a potential burglar ‘casing the place’, they will not want to deal with a dog and will move on to easier targets.

10. DEFENSIVE POSTURE

If you do not recognize and trust the person on the other side of the door, and especially if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious about the circumstance – just in case, why not arm yourself?

Certainly if your gut is telling you something’s wrong, DO NOT answer the door. Arming yourself will enable protection should that person actually be a burglar or home invader. ‘Stuff’ happens. Just saying…

SUMMARY – A STRANGER KNOCKS ON YOUR DOOR

In today’s world, it’s always better to be on the safe side and NOT blindly open the door for just anyone. The few thoughts listed above are just a sampling of many options for you when a stranger knocks on your door.

The point is, think about your options BEFORE just opening the door, and be prepared with a plan of action.

Remember that people can be dressed to impress but they may have ulterior motives.

People may be wearing official looking uniforms while actually ‘casing the place’.

You are NOT obligated to let anyone into your home (except for police with a search warrant).

Use your head (think) and be cautious, suspicious. It may save your life or property.

[ Read: Buddy Bar Door Jammer (Review) ]

(Video) What to Do When You See a Suspicious Stranger

[ Read: THE Best Outdoor Motion Light for Home Security (Review) ]

FAQs

What to do if someone knocks in the middle of the night? ›

Call the police and this time tell them you now think an intruder or several, are trying to break into your home. Even if you are armed or have access to a weapon, get everyone who is in the house to a safe room, and behind a locked door.

What do you do if a stranger is in your house? ›

  1. Quickly verify their presence. Time is of the essence, so be quick about checking. ...
  2. Stay calm. ...
  3. Determine if you can escape. ...
  4. Stay put if you can't escape. ...
  5. Call the police. ...
  6. Keep quiet and follow instructions. ...
  7. Take notes immediately afterward.
13 Jul 2022

Do you answer the door for strangers? ›

As for strangers showing up at your door unannounced, you are absolutely under no obligation to answer. The only exception is if you live in a remote location and they need help. Even then, you might want to call a neighbour or 911 rather than fling open the door to potential thieves or post-apocalyptic zombies.

Is it illegal to knock on someone's door? ›

Right? However, what many people probably don't know is knocking on someone's door and running away is actually illegal.

Why do police knock so hard? ›

There are two primary reasons officers rely on knock and talk. First, obtaining a warrant is time-consuming and requires the officers to demonstrate “probable cause” to believe they will find evidence of illegal activity. The knock and talk technique allow officers to quickly and independently pursue their suspicions.

Should you open the door for a stranger? ›

Ignore the knock on the door . You may want to go about your normal business and NOT pretend that you are not home, but instead continue to do what you were doing, or even make some noise or turn on a light so that the person knows that someone IS home (possibly avoiding a burglary).

What do you say when someone knocks on the bathroom door? ›

You can say almost anything you like, but obvious choices are things like "Occupied!" (to describe the state of the bathroom stall, which is occupied by you) or "Don't come in!" (the basic imperative). Or you can simply make some obvious noise to signal your presence, like grunting.

What time should you knock on someone's door? ›

The best time to knock is during the late afternoon, between 4:30 P.M and 6:30 P.M. Too early, and people won't be home from work yet or they'll just be getting home, and won't necessarily be in the mood to talk. Too late, and you're catching people at dinnertime or before bed.

What to do if you are being robbed at home? ›

Hide and Try to Call the Police

Once you are somewhere safe, try to call the police. The best place to hide would be somewhere that you could either lock the door from the inside or barricade yourself in. Once you call 999, you need to explain that someone has broken into your home.

What do you do if you hear someone outside your house? ›

If you hear a noise that sounds like someone breaking in or moving around, quietly call the police and wait calmly until they arrive. If you can leave safely, do so. Otherwise, lock yourself in a room, or, if the intruder enters the room you are in, pretend to be asleep.

How can you tell if someone is in your house? ›

You can also check near the windows and doors for unfamiliar footprints in the mud or snow. If you're indoors, listen for footsteps, doors opening or closing, and doorknobs rattling. If you notice any evidence that someone is in your house, make sure to exit immediately and call the police.

Why am I scared to open the door? ›

What causes agoraphobia? Agoraphobia usually develops as a complication of panic disorder, an anxiety disorder involving panic attacks and moments of intense fear. It can arise by associating panic attacks with the places or situations where they occurred and then avoiding them.

Should I open door home alone? ›

Read these nine tips on things you should never do when answering your front door. And remember to teach your children these same lessons, for when they are home with an adult, or home alone. When there's a knock or ring of the doorbell, you should NEVER: NEVER: Open the door without asking who is there.

How do you open the door answer? ›

Gentlemanly answer: Open the door and hold it open for everyone else to go through.
...
Steps involved to open the door...
  1. Search for the key.
  2. Find the keyhole.
  3. Put the key inside the keyhole.
  4. Turn clockwise.
  5. Find the door knob.
  6. Twist it and at the same time push in the direction of opening of the door.

Why is it called Knock Out Ginger? ›

It involves knocking on the front door (or ringing the doorbell) of a victim, then running away before the door can be answered. The name knock down ginger or knocky door ginger, used in Britain, comes from a British poem: Ginger, Ginger broke a winder. Hit the winda – crack!

Is it illegal to door to door sell? ›

Cold calling is the act of making uninvited visits to your home with the intention of selling goods or services. It is not illegal and does not require a licence.

Can people sell door to door? ›

Many legitimate businesses sell products door-to-door; gas, electricity and water companies need to visit to read your meters; and charities will often call seeking donations. But fraudsters may also knock on your door to part you from your money, or get into your home to steal from you.

Why do police touch your tail light? ›

A tap or touch on your tail light during a stop isn't a superstitious practice for the cop, rather it's an action that is thought to help protect the cop's well-being. Tapping or touching the tail light is mainly done to leave a thumbprint on the glass.

Can police open your house door if locked out? ›

Although police can help if locked out of house, they should ONLY be called in an emergency, for example if there is immediate danger, a small child is locked inside or there is risk of fire.

What happens if the police knock and you don't answer? ›

If the police knock on your door and you didn't call them or need their assistance, you can simply decline to answer the door. Unless they have a warrant, they will eventually leave. You can talk with the officers through a cracked door protected by a chain lock. Calmly and respectfully ask, “How can I help you?”.

What do you do when someone is at your door? ›

Talk to them THROUGH the door!

If you ignore the knock and try to pretend no one is home, this is what they are looking for and might try to break in. If they claim to need help or assistance, tell them that you are calling Hoover Police and do so (non-emergency 822-5300).

What to do if a stranger comes up to you in a street? ›

Just get away. Run the opposite way that the car is heading. Get to an adult you know, a police officer, a security guard, or one of your safe spots as fast as you can if the stranger comes toward you.

How would you react if you see a stranger in your room? ›

Explanation: So if somebody I don't know walks into my room uninvited there is reason to worry. In any case, I would try to stay calm, alert and judicious since supposing that I move first to raise what is going on past where it as of now can prompt destroying, unexpected outcomes.

Why do burglars knock on the door? ›

Burglars will frequently walk up and knock on the front door to see if someone is home, giving an excuse – asking for directions, have you seen my dog?, oops wrong house – whenever someone answers it. Mild vandalism like a rock through a side window.

How many doors should I knock a day? ›

How Many Doors Should You Knock Per Day? - YouTube

What does knocking on the door mean? ›

1. To present (itself) as a possibility or (usually desirable) opportunity in the near future, especially temporarily. It was hard leaving my parents and all my friends from high school, but when an opportunity to attend school in Europe knocked on the door, I knew I had to seize the chance.

What do you say when someone knocks on the bathroom door? ›

You can say almost anything you like, but obvious choices are things like "Occupied!" (to describe the state of the bathroom stall, which is occupied by you) or "Don't come in!" (the basic imperative). Or you can simply make some obvious noise to signal your presence, like grunting.

When people knock at the door you dash? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

Someone is knocking at the door. Prepositions are small common words that are used to establish a link between different parts of the sentence.

What time should you knock on someone's door? ›

The best time to knock is during the late afternoon, between 4:30 P.M and 6:30 P.M. Too early, and people won't be home from work yet or they'll just be getting home, and won't necessarily be in the mood to talk. Too late, and you're catching people at dinnertime or before bed.

How would you react if you see a stranger in your room? ›

Explanation: So if somebody I don't know walks into my room uninvited there is reason to worry. In any case, I would try to stay calm, alert and judicious since supposing that I move first to raise what is going on past where it as of now can prompt destroying, unexpected outcomes.

How do you respond to a knock? ›

Start the joke by saying "Knock knock" as you normally do, then wait for the other person to say "Who's there?" At this point, you can reply: "To." When the other person says "To who?," correct them and say "Actually, it's to WHOM!" as this is correct English.

Who knocks at the door for 10 minutes? ›

we knocked at the door for ten minutes..

Who is knocking my door? ›

We can use the preposition 'at' when referring to a place, time or for some activities. As knocking the door is an activity, hence 'at' will be used.

Why do burglars knock on the door? ›

Burglars will frequently walk up and knock on the front door to see if someone is home, giving an excuse – asking for directions, have you seen my dog?, oops wrong house – whenever someone answers it. Mild vandalism like a rock through a side window.

How many doors should I knock a day? ›

How Many Doors Should You Knock Per Day? - YouTube

What does knocking on the door mean? ›

1. To present (itself) as a possibility or (usually desirable) opportunity in the near future, especially temporarily. It was hard leaving my parents and all my friends from high school, but when an opportunity to attend school in Europe knocked on the door, I knew I had to seize the chance.

How do you stop stranger danger? ›

10 rules for stranger safety
  1. Never accept gifts or sweets from a stranger.
  2. Never go anywhere with a stranger, even if it's to help him find a lost pet.
  3. Never accept a lift from a stranger in a car.
  4. Never get into a stranger's car, even if it's to give directions.
24 Aug 2015

What do you call a stranger? ›

alien, foreigner, guest, immigrant, intruder, newcomer, outsider, visitor, drifter, interloper, migrant, outlander, squatter, transient, unknown, wanderer, foreign body, incomer, out-of-stater.

What should a child do if approached by a stranger? ›

But if your child is alone and approached by a stranger, that's a different story. Tell your kids that if a stranger ever approaches and offers a ride or treats (like candy or toys) or asks for help with a task (like helping find a lost dog), they should step away, yell "No!" and leave the area immediately.

Videos

1. What to do when a stranger knocks at your door
(Brandon Hardaway)
2. What to Do When Someone is Following You on the Street
(BRIGHT SIDE)
3. Safety Tips For Kids - Child Safety Stranger Danger Prevention - Fun Educational Game For Kids
(QueeniePlays)
4. WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE KNOCKS ON YOUR DOOR
(Michael Brown)
5. What to Do When Someone's Following You in a Car
(BRIGHT SIDE)
6. What would your kids do if a stranger knocked on the door? We put these kids to the test
(12NewsNow)

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