Do You Answer Your Front Door After Dark?

Do You Answer the Front Door After Dark?A few nights ago, my sons and I were home while my husband was on a trip. I was just getting ready to put my kids in bed when the front doorbell rang. To put this story in context, you should know that we live in the country and there are no sidewalks, no streetlights, (bears!), and our home is at the end of a very long driveway. In fact, our home is not visible from the road.

So, when the doorbell rang, I flipped on our front porch light and could see two teenage boys through our frosted glass in the front door. They were taller than me and were not wearing any type of uniforms, so I asked (through the door) if I could help them with anything. I just did not feel comfortable opening the front door. However, I wanted to help them if they were lost or had car trouble, but only while keeping my kids safe.

They answered that they were raising money for the high school’s baseball team. Since they weren’t wearing uniforms, I felt a little uneasy and at this point wondered if it was a scam. I told them I wasn’t interested, and they went on their way.

I found the whole exchange a bit odd and called my neighbors, who share the same long driveway with us. It turned out that the boys had not visited any of my neighbors, only my house. At this point, I was very suspicious, and quite honestly, feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing. Why had they visited only my home, even though they had to drive past three others on the same driveway to get to mine?

Thankfully, I found the baseball coach’s email address and relayed the scenario to him. I told him that I would be happy to donate, but I found it suspicious and wanted to make sure the boys were actually from the team and not part of a scam. After asking around, he found the players that visited my home and talked with them about being certain to keep door-to-door sales well before dark. I just can’t tell you how relieved I was to know that everything was fine, and that the boys were legitimately visiting my home (and not planning to rob me later!) :)

So…… part of me felt a little like a crazy lady, but with two small children at home, I have to be so careful. I would love to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but in the age we live in, we have to be so careful (even sometimes paranoid!). It was a good opportunity to talk with my son about being cautious and never opening the front door to strangers, even if they turn out to be safe. For me, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.

What about you? Would you have opened the door? Am I a crazy woman or would you have done the same? What are your rules for opening the front door after dark?


photo by Clearly Ambiguous

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  • Laura Rath

    Melanie, I think you did the right thing. I would not have opened the door. Unfortunately, it’s just too dangerous to be more trusting than cautious, and I think authorities (at least where I am) would agree.
    God bless,

  • Tracy Pierce

    Melanie I dont answer the door period if I don’t know them so I guess that makes me even more paranoid than you. You just never know now a days and you have to be a bit “paranoid ” to a point. Most of these people think of ways to scam or harm people that I would never ever think of and women are the number 1 targets. You did the right thing by protecting yourself and your kids. ;)

  • Sally

    You absolutely did the right thing – and how smart of you to e-mail the coach!

    We live on a dead-end street, and things tend to be pretty quiet around here — so I’m pretty cautious. I definitely wouldn’t have opened the door after dark. I don’t think you can be too careful these days.

  • shelly foster

    NO NO NO!!! You did the right thing!!! I am a single mom living with a 4 year old we don’t open the door for ANYONE!!!! My sister has even had to announce herself because I refuse to open door!!!!! those peepholes arent enough!

  • nylse

    i have a screen door over the front door. because of who i am, i would’ve open the front door and kept the screen door locked. if i didnt feel afraid, i would’ve open the screen door and donated to the cause. but that’s just me – i know everyone’s not like me.

  • Lisa

    I live in an area very similar to yours. I think you handled the situation wisely. I enjoyed visiting your blog!

  • Whitney

    Melanie, you would have been a crazy lady to have even OPENED the door! :) It is terribly sad that we have to take so many precautions these days in order to keep our families (and ourselves) safe. Even during the daytime, I won’t open the door for anyone unless I know that the mailman will be delivering something or we’ve called for some type of maintenance on our home. I’ve heard too many stories to not take precautions like that.

    Loving your blog posts!

    Have a wonderful Monday!

  • Casey

    I would not have answered the door. I think you did the right thing! My husband thinks I am a chicken, but I would like to believe I am extra cautious! Have a great day!

  • Sue

    I believe you did the right thing! I/everyone needs to be so careful like you said. There are just too many horror stories of people being robbed or so much worse. We always keep our front door locked and we have two distinctly different door bells. My 6 year old (social butterfly) granddaughter is always running to answer the door and we don’t let the kids without an adult with them…just too scarey! It is our job to protect our children/grandchildren in this life.

  • Jennifer

    You did awesome! I probably would have kept the lights off and hid. ;)

  • Cara Riggles

    Good for you for being cautious! I don’t blame you at all. In fact, I am with Jennifer – I probably would have hid and not spoken to them at all. However, I find that kids make the MOST noise just when you want them to be quiet. “Mom, who is at the door? Mom, why are we hiding? Mom, why aren’t you getting the door? Mom? Mom? Mom?” Ugh!

    I have a similar situation. We live in the country at the END of a private drive. People have to drive past other houses to get to us. We do have some large lights outside. And we have an outdoor dog. So, it’s hard for people to sneak up. But, still, caution is always warranted!

  • Kat

    I probably would not have opened the door either. We live way out in the country too and they would not have made it to the front or back door without first being greeted by our four dogs!!! :) They wouldn’t have bitten anyone but they would have woke the neighbors with their barking…always better to be safe under those circumstances.

  • Barbie

    I would not have opened the door either. I do not think people should come soliciting door to door after dark anyways.

  • Wendy T

    I would not have opened the door.

    Nor do I open the door during the daylight if I’m not expecting anyone.

    Those are the instances when:

    a.) My PTSD has me.

    b.) I acknowledge crime happens at all hours of they day, not just after dark.

  • Karen Lange

    I probably would not have opened the door either. I think you did the right thing. :)

  • Lynn Mosher

    “What about you? Would you have opened the door?” Not on your life! No way! We live in a typical subdivision neighborhood at the end of a cul-de-sac. We get doorbell ringers occasionally. My kiddos have flown the coop and it’s just hubs and me. When he’s not home, I won’t even answer the door in the daytime! A woman at the end of our street was raped during the day and made the news. So, no thanks! And you did the right thing!

  • Erika @Musings From a Stay At Home Mom

    That’s scary! I would not have opened the door. I’m like you – I’m cautious and at times, it may seem too cautious. But when it comes to our lives and the lives of our children, it’s worth it.
    You did the right thing. And I think it was great of you to follow up with the coach so he can teach his team about better recruiting habits! Thank goodness that’s all it was!

  • Sharon O

    There is NO way I open the doors if I don’t know who they are. I actually won’t even try to look like I am home. Had a bad incident years ago and won’t ever have that happen again.
    It is better to be safe and cautious. Especially if you are alone.

  • the Zoo Keeper

    I have a very large great dane, who is more bark than bite unless she is threatened, so I don’t worry too much about answering the door. However, I ALWAYS go with my gut. If there is a doubt, lock em out! LOL. A new slogan! You did the right thing, no worries! As for the being crazy thing, I’m probably insane so I couldn’t help ya there! LOL

  • nikki

    I’m certain if those teenage boys’ mothers would have heard these details, they would have agreed with you, too! It’s better to be smart and safe on both accounts. Those boys shouldn’t have needed to be out doing that that late…

    I live near a highway, so our doorbell gets rung a few times a year well passed dark. I’ve opened the door once in all 8 years. Because I happened to know them (saw them through my sidelight). Othertimes, I offer to call for help through the door. and they wait on my front porch. I’ll give them hotchocolate when the tow truck arrives… (once I had to call 911 because I didn’t feel safe, and my husband was proud of me for following my instincts and being the silly scared mom!) ;)