A story from the Today show the other day highlighted, even though they didn’t actually say it, the importance of always making sure that you let whoever is knocking at your door, know that someone is home.
Here’s a link to the story about a 13 year old girl in Ohio who helped foil a burglary in her home when she texted her mother to say that two people had broken into the house and she was hiding in her bedroom. (In this particular case, the crooks came in through an unlocked door… but the lesson is still the same)
In my experience, the vast majority of burglars will always check to make sure that noone is home before breaking in… unfortunately, a lot of parents still tell their kids (and babysitters) to ignore anyone at the door and never answer it. That’s bad advice.
You should always answer the door… without opening it. We’ve always suggested that people tell their kids to tell whomever is at the door that their Dad cannot come to the door right now, and ask them to come by later. As I detailed in a post about the typical residential burglary, most crooks are looking for an empty house… by letting them know that someone, anyone, is home, they are much more likely to move on to another target.
The vast majority of burglars are looking for the simplest, easiest way to break-in with a minimum of hassle… knowing that someone is home creates a very large ‘hassle’ and most crooks will move on if they know that the house is not empty.