Knocking on Your Door

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

One of the more vulnerable times we all face is when we answer the door of our own home. While a number of perfectly legitimate people might knock on it or ring the bell, from friends to kids selling cookies, there are others who might knock on our doors for more nefarious reasons. It’s not always easy to distinguish between one group and the other.

Perhaps one of the best indicators as to who that might be is the time of day. Service people are going to knock on the door during normal working hours. Children selling things for fundraisers will be knocking after school and neighbors are probably going to have a pretty good idea of your schedule, knocking either shortly before or after dinnertime. Few people are going to knock after dark, making that the most dangerous time of all.

Many people have a peep sight installed in their door or use the glass in the door to look outside. But this doesn’t work as well at night, as it does during the daytime. If it’s dark on the porch, you need a light to go with that peep sight to see anything. Even then, the light might just cause glare, making it hard to see. Besides that, it’s not all that hard to find a place to stand on most porches, where you can’t be seen though that sight. If someone is looking to break into your home, that’s exactly what they’d do. But then again, others might just stand out of your sight for no reason at all or turn their back because they heard something on the street.

So what do you do?

One answer is to avoid answering the door at all, once the sun goes down. But that would mean you’ll never see Ed McMahon standing there with a fake check for a million dollars. Worse, it might mean that you don’t open the door when a neighbor really needs your help.

The key here is how you answer your door. To start with, if you don’t have a porch light and peep sight in the door, then get them installed. Keep an eye on the light, as many people don’t notice when they burn out. A burnt out bulb may be more than it seems, as a criminal might shoot that bulb out with a BB gun to darken your porch or simply loosen the bulb. If either happens, beware.

The next thing to install is an intercom system. That allows you to ask who is at the door, without having to actually go to the door to ask. While a criminal will likely lie to you, if you don’t recognize the voice, that’s one more signal to be especially aware when opening the door. Put your hand on your gun or even draw it, so that you have it ready to use.

Install that intercom system someplace where you don’t have to go near the door to answer it. Most people have their intercom near the door, telling the intruder where they are. That gives the intruder the tactical advantage. Better to be in a hallway where you can see the door, but they can’t see you. The extra distance gives you more time to react and makes it possible to back away, keeping your distance while engaging any home intruders.

A solenoid operated lock can work great in conjunction with that intercom. It would allow you to open the door, without going near it. While that’s not a common addition to homes, it’s actually rather common in commercial buildings where security is a concern. We may as well steal that idea from them, allowing us to open our doors without putting ourselves at risk.

Never stand in front of the door to open it or talk through it. It’s easy to shoot through a door, hitting the person on the other side. Rather, stand to one side of the door, preferably on the hinge side. While they can still shoot through the wall to get you, they are much less likely to do so.

Standing to the side also gives you the tactical advantage of surprise, when you open the door. If someone comes through the door with malicious intent, they’re not likely to see you there; they’ll be looking straight forward. That gives you the opportunity to either get behind them or to shoot before they can turn towards you, if they have a weapon in their hand.

The other important thing to be able to do is to back away quickly from wherever you are, should they come in either swinging or shooting. Distance is to your advantage, allowing you space to shoot, while denying them the opportunity to reach you. Most home invaders don’t use guns, but other weapons; so if you can maintain a good distance between you, you have a distinct advantage.

Above all, maintain control of the situation. If something doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to open the door. If they say they are neighbors and you’re not sure, you can always go out another door and circle around, checking them out. Or you can always tell them to come back in the morning.

Keep your cool and think things through. Don’t allow them to pressure you into opening the door, unless you feel comfortable doing so. It’s your door; not theirs. And while you’re at it, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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