We've all done it: answered the door to find a complete stranger standing there. Thankfully, for most of us, it's just someone soliciting for a local charity or trying to sell us a candy to fund a school trip.
But what if they're not? What if the person at the door isn't just an annoyance, but an actual danger to you and your bae? What would you do then? Are you prepared to man up and save the day?
The new thriller No Good Deed asks these very same sinister questions. The movie stars Golden Globe Award Winner© Idris Elba as a charming but cunning escaped con who invades the home of an unsuspecting mother, played by Academy Award Nominee© Taraji P. Henson.
We put together a few helpful hints to avoid being caught on the wrong side of a home invasion, and to not become the victim of strangers at your door.
Know Thy Neighbor
The reason behind this is three-fold. Firstly, if you know the people who live around you, then you can tell much more easily if someone there is out of place. Also, in the event of an emergency, it's a good idea to have at least one of your neighbor's phone numbers (if not more) to reach out for help. They can also just help keep an eye out for your girl when you’re out of town...just be sure they only use one of those eyes!
There are many levels of prevention. There are the simpler measures (get a dog, which make for great deterrents; make sure doors have peep holes; make sure all locks are functional and that any outside fences are in good condition) to the larger ones (get an alarm that actually alerts a security service; install security cameras--even ones that are visible to any possible perps) to the really big guns (panic room, anyone?). Which of these you should employ ultimately depends on your personal circumstances, but all (or nearly all) of them are worth investigating.
When Precautions Fail
There are further measures you can take in the event someone does breach your home. These include:
Have a pre-meditated escape plan: Know how you will quickly and safely evacuate you and your family from the house. You’re the man of the house, so you know the layout much better than an intruder. Use that to your advantage.
Learn self-defense: As the old wisdom goes, you learn how to fight with the hope that you'll never have to. But if your back's against the wall and you have no choice, you’ll find those schoolyard rough-ups were actually worth it.
Let them take your stuff: They're only there for your girl’s jewelry and expensive electronics…let them have at it! All of that stuff—ALL of it—is replaceable. You and your loved ones are not.
Don't let them take you: As bleak as it sounds, whatever may happen to you wherever they take you will be far worse than what happens in the house. Be it by negotiation or by force, do not let home invaders take you or your loved ones.
These are just a few tips to help prepare for what will hopefully never happen. For more useful info on defending yourself during home invasions, contact your local authorities…or go see No Good Deed in theaters on September 12. It will have you thinking of what you would and wouldn’t do if you were in Taraji’s shoes!