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The Fear Factor

Shamrock
April 6th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Do you open your door to strangers?
I used to, once upon a time.. (a nostalgia all its own... a safer time)

Our house is locked up like Fort Knox. I never answer the door unless I recognize the person. My car is locked as soon as I get into it, and at all other times.
If someone approaches me when I am out walking...alone.. I am very wary and on guard. I keep my distance. Sometimes I dont even stop, keep moving.

I just have to smile thinking back to how I would not only answer my door.. I would let total strangers inside. Now even service people need ID to get entry.

It's not just me either.
When I lost my cat two years ago, I did a door- to- door canvas all over my neighbourhood. Most people were extremely cautious, I noticed, before opening up.. and some never did.
I didnt think I looked too intimidating, middle-aged woman with a toy poodle and a bunch of flyers in hand.
But they dont know me.


Its a shame that people have to be so wary... but that is how its evolved in our society. Cant take risks with our safety, its as simple as that.

Do you find it the same in your area? :ca: :usa:

TWilson9498
April 6th, 2005, 09:40 PM
I am like that too, although I work in a door to door business I do not open my door for people I do not know either. The minute I get in the house I lock the door, the same goes for the car. I think everyone down here started doing it when they found out we had a serial rapist running around who has now been caught after 13 women and 11 months of scaring the crap out of our town. He always came in unlocked windows and doors. If I see someone walking close to me when I am alone, especially at night, I never stop, but do make myself extra aware of every single little thing around me at all times. It's sad and scary but better be safe than sorry!!

Writing4Fun
April 6th, 2005, 09:46 PM
We live in a pretty quiet "semi-rural" area now, but I grew up in Montreal, so I'm naturally more cautious than the locals. ;) My house isn't Fort Knox material, but the doors are locked when hubby's not here and at night. I don't lock my car doors when I'm in it, unless I'm driving in a bad neighborhood, but it is locked at night. I don't open my door to strangers, but that's not so much because of fear, but rather because I know they're probably going to ask me for money. :D

My neighbors are from Northern Ontario, and their attitude is much more relaxed. Their house is rarely ever locked up - as a matter of fact, they frequently have the garage door wide open all day long, sometimes into the night. They used to have an older truck, and the husband would actually leave his key in the truck, tucked into one of the air vents, with the doors unlocked! They now have two new vehicles, so I think they might be taking their keys with them, but I'm pretty sure they still don't lock the car doors at night.

Prin
April 6th, 2005, 10:09 PM
I have it easy- I live on the second floor so we just lean out the window and see who it is.

When we were looking at houses, one had a peephole that projected on a tiny screen that stuck out about 2 inches from the door. It was like a 2x2 inch movie of the happenings of outside. I loved it. When we get our house, I'll look into it...

Eleni
April 7th, 2005, 05:25 AM
If im home alone with the kids, I look thru the peephole, if its not someone im expecting then I usually dont.


my apartment building is supposed to be secure and your supposed to ahve keyed entry only however the teens in this building let everyone and their brother thru teh security door.

im home alone alot so im pretty cautious

Eleni

BMDLuver
April 7th, 2005, 06:06 AM
I think I must have lived in a farming community for too long. I leave everything unlocked. The only time we lock up is if we are going away on a trip for the whole day or vacation. I usually look out my big windows before opening the door to see who it is but it's not locked so I guess that doesn't do much good anyways. Hmmm, maybe should be more cautious. :o

Sneaky2006
April 7th, 2005, 06:59 AM
I'm very cautious when it comes to this. With having kids here, especially not my own, I can't risk having the door open and I don't answer it unless I know for sure it's someone I know. My family knows this so when they come over and I don't unlock it for them, they stick their hand in the mail slot and wave.

The car is another story... I am torn on what to do about that.
With our last car (not being worth much) we started leaving it open because it would get broken into pretty often and in the end it was better to leave it unlocked than to have to pay for ANOTHER friggen window. We think this may have stopped in our neighborhood now, although it's getting nice out.
We put in motion lights hoping this would scare them away, who knows, it may have worked already because the jeep hasn't been touched!

Rita
April 7th, 2005, 07:40 AM
We keep our doors locked at all times (car & house).
When we first moved into our house there was a solid front door with just a little peephole that you could hardly see through so we had a decorative window installed in the door. We also have motion sensor lights above the garage and at the front door ... I think they're a great deterrent. In the summertime when we have the front door open, we always make sure the screen door is locked ... if someone comes to the door I talk to them through the screen without unlocking/opening the door :thumbs up
When Family comes to visit they usually knock on the door first instead of ringing the doorbell or they ring the doorbell twice.

Beaglemom
April 7th, 2005, 07:53 AM
We keep all of the doors to the house locked at all times. All the windows on the main floor are also locked when we are not home or at night. I'm very paranoid about these things. I won't answer the door if I'm not expecting anyone or if I don't know the person. Especially if I'm home alone. I've heard way too many horror stories! Friends and family will ring multiple times if I'm not expecting them. This way I know it is someone I know.

As for the car, that depends. Sometimes I lock the doors, especially at night. But, if I'm in the car alone, the passenger side doors are always locked.

I guess this comes from living in a large city where anything can happen. Even after we moved into the suburbs, I still make sure that everything is locked. I will even double check before going to bed!

honeybee4
April 7th, 2005, 08:10 AM
We keep our doors unlocked at all times, even when we aren't home. I don't even think I know where our house key is. We live just on the city limit line. but there are quite a few house by us, so we aren't in country land. Harley always lets me know when someone is at the door or in the yard, but I don't worry about it that much. Not many people come to our door, no sales people or anything, just the kids next door. I even leave my keys in my car, mostly so I know where they are. If I take them in the house I always forget where I put them. But I have never worried about anyone stealing it.

happycats
April 7th, 2005, 08:32 AM
I keep the house locked, but always answer the door (even to strangers) :o
And we are forever forgetting to lock the car doors, and hubby always leaves his wallet in the car, and have never had a problem. I guess we have been lucky!!

chico2
April 7th, 2005, 08:45 AM
I have gotten used to locking everything,deadbolts in front and side-door.
Cars locked up at all times.We've had incidents here in Oakville where people are in the backyard and someone goes into the house and steal PC's,cameras etc...
We seldom have strangers coming to the door,but I do not give money either over the phone or at the door,unless they are selling Choclate :D
Unfortunately my cats are not much of a deterrent,but they do alert me if there is someone at the door..

SarahLynn123
April 7th, 2005, 09:54 AM
I always lock everything, I am very paranoid. When I lived at my parents we would only lock up at night and Id lock my car if I remembered. Well My sister went into my car one night and left it unlocked and the garage door opener was in it and we got robbed while we slept. Luckily they were too drunk to notice the door that leads right into the house so they tried to steal motor bikes and such instead. Were caught by my neighbours and taken in. Also as a child I was inches away from being kidnapped, he was never caught. Ive been looking over my shoulder ever since.

I like my dogs to bark when someone is near the house (this is all new to Shadow, but Im sure she will in time), and I feel much safer walking the dogs now that I have her.

So yep, I lock everything and if Im in a parking lot late and there is a vehicle beside mine, especially a van and the parking lot is pretty much empty I wont go to my car. I will go back in, call my bf, get someone to walk me to my vehicle,anything but I wont risk it.

Maybe Im a worry wart, but I dont care! I am not taking any chances!!!

heidiho
April 7th, 2005, 10:39 AM
I do not open my door for no one,no way no how,way to many home invasions here.If it is not a friend i see through the peephole,that door is not getting opened.

Bearsmom
April 7th, 2005, 02:35 PM
When I lived in Toronto, I used to be much more safety conscious than I am now. I lived in the Beaches area, and spent most of my time with the doors and windows locked (single female in Toronto, boy, was I wary of people).

Being from Northern Ontario, you do get used to not locking up, now where we live we HAVE to lock the car and truck (the model of the car is pretty frequently stolen) and the pickup truck is always a target. We lock the doors to the house (and chain them) simply because our 2 year old Houdini is frequently unlocking them, and heading down the street if we don't.

I am, however, much more relaxed with Bear and Kaos in residence, as the sight of Bear usually scares the crap outta anyone coming to our door. If we do get anyone to the door, they usually ask, "has he bitten anyone?" "Not today," I usually reply-especially if I want to get rid of the person.

raingirl
April 7th, 2005, 02:59 PM
when I was a kid, my mother left me to babysit a lot. I would be so paranoid I would lock up the entire house, lock all doors, windows. I would even close all doors to all rooms, and put bells on all them to hear the wringing if the moved.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep much when my mom wasn't home.

I always lock everything now, except windows. I'm on the 10th floor though, so i don't think I would have to worry about someone breaking in there.

Luvmypit
April 7th, 2005, 03:13 PM
I live in an apartment in Scarborough, Malvern to be exact. I do not lock my doors. Nor will i when I move to a "safer" neighbourhood (ajax).

I have been known to answer the door with a knife behind my back. Sounds silly but ive done it many times when questionable people knock on the door.
I don't have anything against locking or not locking the door. I have never had a problem in my current neighbour hood despite its bad rep. Its really not that bad. In my eyes it can happen to anyone anywhere and anyhow. In the country, in the ghetto, in the burbs... anywhere. Doors locked, doors unlocked. Doesnt matter. It takes 3 minutes to unlock most locks on doors. Doesn't give me much comfort. I just say relax, don't worry just be aware of your surroundings. But i do lock my doors in my car in the basement as soon as I get in. The lights down their are very dim and there is easy access to the garage if you are determined to do so. In my apartment I have capone and I have always had dogs. They do bring a level of comfort. Yes I probably would be more safe if i locked my doors. I cant really explain it. Its a matter of freedom if that makes sense. Not allowing all the media to influence the way I live. Crime to person ratio if anything has dropped in most major cities but you read the news and technology and internet are so advanced that you about these stories more and more often. Just a thought.

melanie
April 7th, 2005, 05:21 PM
:eek: :eek: thats shocking, im so sorry the world has turned into such a place, to not be able to have your doors unlocked, thats unfair and sucks, it must be hard living in such places. do you live in canada or america?

well in australia things have become sort of like that, you definatly have to lock the doors when you go out now, and in the cities they have lots of locks and security on homes, even farmers lock their doors when they leave these days. but no the doors are never locked when i am home, at night i lock the front door.

but i have a 35kg GSx for a door bell so that is a big deterrent, i always thought if someone had the guts to break in when she is here with me they deserve a prize, but they certainly would not be leaving in tact. shes a nice girl with manners but she likes her territory ALOT and does not have much of an appreciaton of strangers. 9 years ago before i got charlie i was broken into several times, in 9 yrs i have not had a single problem :D

but yes i always open the door without looking for anyone, but never let in a service person without seeing ID, i drive with the drivers door unlocked never the others (we do have those sort of crimes) and in the past when i hear about sexual predators i have locked the door till they were caught.
ah society is a strange place these days :rolleyes:

Luvmypit
April 8th, 2005, 10:41 AM
It is pretty crazy that people feel the need to constantly look over their shoulders. I just try to relax.

Seriously major crime in Canada has gone down depite the images we are bombarded with through the media.

Just like the Pit bull ban. You see enough of something in the news you believe that is what is happening every day in your neighbourhood down the street. when in fact its not that common. It hasn't changed as much as people think since "back in the day". There is more people so therefore there is more crime. So the crime to people ratio is even less then 10 - 15 years ago.

I mean yes be aware of your surroundings and take percautions if that means locking your door ok then. For me if i lock it I do if I dont I dont. I guess its a matter of comfort level for most people. Its not a reflection of our society because the stats do not show that violent crime has risen. It has decreased in the last 10-15 years.

Luvmypit
April 8th, 2005, 10:55 AM
After peaking in 1991, the overall crime rate fell steadily throughout the 1990s and remained relatively stable from 2000 to 2002. The 2003 crime rate was 15% lower than a decade ago, but 14% higher than 25 years ago.

I know alot of people say that they used to not lock there doors ten years ago. You should have then more so then now. See what the media does to us?

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 02:19 PM
I live in a pretty bad neighborhood (we had a hostage taking across the street last summer..) and sometimes we forget one or two car doors unlocked and no one has ever taken anything. We both have good radios in our cars and no one has even tried. I think we're too afraid of everything.

It's funny though on Bowling For Columbine, what's his name came to Canada (near TO) and walked into everyone's homes because the doors were unlocked. I loved the reactions, very stereotypically Canadian... "Can I help you?" never "Get the **** out of my house!!!"

raingirl
April 8th, 2005, 02:33 PM
Luvmypit, I grew up at Orton Park and Ellesmere. My parents just sold the house there. I love the valley there behind the hospital. Wonderful place to ride your bike, rollerblade, walk a dog.

Luvmypit
April 8th, 2005, 02:58 PM
Oh yes I have been there. i believe I tobagonned there before. or it was somewhere in that area. A bunch of Scarborough girls we are. when I tell people that Im from scarborough they say wow really oh my. As if I have to wear a bullet proof vest or something. lol

Shamrock
April 8th, 2005, 03:05 PM
Prin..lol! yeah. we are SO polite! I like Michael Moore's films..though I know many find them to be pretty blatant propaganda. ;)

I must say that aside from having my purse stolen from the trunk of my car where I "thought" I'd safety locked it.. we've never been victimized by crime -car, home, or person.

I just have to smile about leaving keys in the car...and going out without locking up.. how nice a feeling!
I try not to be paranoid, but I feel compelled to be very cautious. I am generally alone here, and though I feel safe in my own neighbourhood, this area has crime.
Part of it is the media, I'm sure- makes you afraid.

It wasnt that long ago, our doors were wide open in summer.. the house was unlocked till we went to bed at night.. and strangers in need were asked inside.
I wish I could feel that at ease once more....Unless I move to a rural area, cant see it.