General Question

Jude's avatar

For those who live in the States, do you keep your doors locked when you're home?

Asked by Jude (32198points) July 14th, 2010

Here where I live, you rarely see it.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

76 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Never. Never lock my car either..even in town (pop.3000 – most of whom I know). I have not turned on my alarm system in 20 years. I guess it still works.

JLeslie's avatar

Always. Unless I am working in the yard or spending time on my patio. If I am inside, or leave the property, it is always locked.

Population is only around 12,000, but my town is near Memphis, lots of crime there, and we get some crime here too.

trailsillustrated's avatar

not right now my doors open right now. but sometimes. and when I leave and my daughters home alone I do.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thank you.

My doors are locked 24/7. I double check them at night. When I was a child, someone walked into the unlocked door in my house and approached my mom in the kitchen. My dad came in from the backroom and the guy ran off. That will never happen to me.

Jude's avatar

Sitting here with my comp; both the front and back door are unlocked. Population here: 72,125.

sleepdoc's avatar

Yes we do. Anytime you hear about homes having things taken near where you live in broad daylight, it makes you think hard about not locking them. addendum population 1 million

Fly's avatar

Well I do because I’m a worrier. But my dad seems unconcerned and generally leaves the front door unlocked, even sometimes when he leaves, which really bothers me. If I pass by the door and see that it’s unlocked, I will lock it. We always keep the back door locked unless we’re going out back, though.

We also have an alarm system that we turn on when we leave the house and at night.

rangerr's avatar

If we are asleep, the doors are locked.
If we aren’t home, the doors are locked.
If I’m home alone, the doors are locked.
The alarm is set when we leave and at night, too.

I grew up in a neighborhood where at least 4 people were murdered within one year. Then we moved. So it’s mostly habit plus it just makes me feel better.
My car is always locked. It’s old, broken and very easy to start without the key.

Guns are mentioned in the topics. We have guns in the house (in the basement, dining room, under my bed… etc.) that nobody would be afraid to pull if needed.

Edit: If we are at the ranch, nothing but the barn doors get locked.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Doorman building. I lock the apartment door, because you never know what sort of people might be visiting the neighbors and might want to wander around trying doors. One of my roommates OTOH, thinks that that’s silly and never locks the apartment door. He trusts the doormen to keep the criminal element out.

Brian1946's avatar

I do.

I ensure that my front and back doors are locked when I’m in my house.

When I’m in the back yard I ensure that my front door is locked and vice versa for when I’m in the front yard.

loser's avatar

Heck yeah!

SuperMouse's avatar

If I am at home and on the main floor I do not make a point to keep the doors locked. I usually come in through the garage though so unless I purposely unlock and open the front door it stays locked by default. Since the lock on the back door is broken I have a stick in the tracks and to make things more convenient during the day while the dog is going in and out, the stick is usually not there. If I am going to be spending an extended time in the basement and when I go to bed I lock the doors. As I mentioned in the thread that inspired this one, it isn’t a paranoia thing, it just seems like common sense.

Seek's avatar

Nah. I have dogs and crazy redneck neighbors with guns (and dogs).

One positive thing about this swamp is that if you don’t live here or know someone who does, you don’t belong here. And they have no problem letting you know that. Think Deliverance – “Where you goin’, city boy?”

Aster's avatar

Never. I can’t imagine living somewhere that you’d lock the doors when you’re home! what has the world come to?
I do lock the car when I go inside a store.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.I sure do.
I had a man walk into my house,up the stairs and into the bathroom where I was taking a shower.This was the middle of the day.I had 2 German Shepherd Dogs and an arsenal of guns too.All of which were unavailable to me at the time.
If this should ever happen again,I will be more than ready to put some hurt on that person.

tinyfaery's avatar

Is anyone so confident that they do not have locks on their doors? I bet not.

Seek's avatar

@tinyfaery * raises hand *

Well, I have locks, but they don’t work. Does that count?

plethora's avatar

Yep…just out of lifelong habit. Has nothing to do with the area. In our society today, some wanderer from the other side of the country could walk in.

Facade's avatar

Although my SO is more adamant about it than I am, I do. It’s more of a habit than keeping the boogyman out.

gailcalled's avatar

This house was built in 1986 with locks on the doors, I guess.

netgrrl's avatar

Always. No matter how safe you think your city or neighborhood is, any crazy can come through town.

SuperMouse's avatar

Those who do not lock their doors, does this include when you are sleeping? No matter how great the neighborhood, leaving the doors unlocked at night when you are in bed asleep just seems to be flirting with disaster. I guess my disbelief about this might come from the fact that I came of age in Southern California in the time of the Walk-in Killer (also called the Night Stalker).

Randy's avatar

My front door is always locked because it never gets used except when the UPS or pizza guy show up. There’s no parking in the front so it seems like it shouldn’t even be there so it just stays locked. The side door is locked at night or when nobody’s home. My garage stays locked at ALL times because I have thousands of dollars worth of music equipment in it. Someone could get in there without me knowing because it’s separate from the house.

Jude's avatar

I only lock the doors when I go to bed at night. Sometimes, I forget. Not everyone here locks their cars doors at night.

I have no problem going to bed at night and being the only person in the house.

SuperMouse's avatar

@jjmah for the record I have no problem being alone in my house day or night, with or without the dog (fierce guard dog that Jack the Pug is). I might be slightly more uncomfortable with the doors unlocked!

Jude's avatar

@SuperMouse I’m terrible. I’ve gone to bed many times without the front or the back door being locked (when by myself).

melonkingsdaddy's avatar

Absolutely. If I lived in a more rural area, maybe not. But living in an urban area, it is foolish not to.

kevbo's avatar

I do because I need for it to be a habit. Otherwise, I will inevitably leave the house with the door unlocked.

CMaz's avatar

I try to, but forget often. I have left my garage door open on occasion.

The only crimes in my town are people going 5 mph over the speed limit. And family members hanging onto deceased family members in order to keep collecting their checks.

cookieman's avatar

Much like @tinyfaery, my doors (car and house) are locked 24/7.

I unlock the door, walk in and immediately lock it behind me. It’s second nature – I don’t even think about it. Same with the car (the one time my wife forgot to lock her car, her purse was stolen that night from the floor of the back seat).

We grew up about three miles outside of the city (Boston). Not locking your doors was foolish as there were regular thefts and cars stolen. Now I live about twenty miles north of the city, but still…

I think it’s funny when people are aghast by this – it’s just part of life as far as I’m concerned.

Oh, and the population of where I live now is about thirty-thousand. Where I grew up was about sixty-thousand.

tedibear's avatar

We live in a small town, although on a semi-rural road. We do keep the front door locked even when we’re at home. This is for two reasons. One is that we don’t want to forget to lock it when we’re not home. We rarely leave or enter through that door and could easily forget to lock it when we leave. The other reason is because we were both raised that way. The door is locked if you’re not accessing it. Paranoid parents I guess since we both grew up in small towns.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I live in Memphis. The city is always ranked in the Top 5 of Most Crime-ridden Cities in the US. There are two new TV shows on that showcase Memphis crime. I don’t watch the shows and keep the doors locked at all times.

Coloma's avatar

Never. Don’t even know where my housekeys are. Havn’t seen them in oooh, about 4 years I think. lol

I live like @gailcalled , on 5 acres, only 3 homes on my deadend road, a vacant 20 acres right across the road. Zero crime…only raccoon bandits that break and enter through the kitty door hoping to score some cat food or cake. lol

Seaofclouds's avatar

I make sure my doors are locked before we go to bed at night. Once we open the doors for any reason, they stay unlocked until we either leave or go to bed that night.

CMaz's avatar

I have gone to bed, forgetting to close the garage door.

What my dog wont stop my 9mm will.


Absolutely, I lock my doors. If my husband goes out for a while he locks it when he leaves. I live in a beach community and there are all sorts of folks coming and going. It is a good habit to get into. I know if someone really wants in they will get in, but they will have to make a fair amount of noise to do so. That will give me time to get my gun and I will be ready for them.

Sarcasm's avatar

At night, when living with my parents, I would make sure the doors were all locked. I have always had nightmares about people breaking in.
When I was ~6, there was a window in my room that I couldn’t see from my bed. The fact that I couldn’t see it (and thus, could not tell what was happening) was probably where it all started. Because that was where the point of entry always was in my nightmares there.
When we lived in a suburban area of CA, I would walk around every night and make sure every door was locked. We had an alarm system, but because my sister was a rebellious teen who went out almost every night, we couldn’t use it.
We moved to a rural area (<400 people per square mile). I went around every night double-checking every door and window, and the alarm system. If I didn’t, I would lie awake in bed for hours.

During the daytime when I was a kid, I didn’t worry about the doors being locked. We had 5 people in the house, and we had close neighborhood where everybody knew everybody. A robber would get recognized pretty quickly.
When I was a teen and living in the rural area, it was just 3 of us, with neighbors far away. If my parents were gone, I would immediately lock the doors. If they were home, I would lock the doors ~50% of the time. I mostly did this because I would have loud music on and have tunnel-vision on a computer screen. I didn’t want any surprises.

Now, I’m living with 3 other guys. 2 of the guys have their computers downstairs, they’re always aware of anybody coming/leaving. We have 2 doors, just the front and garage. When I leave the house, I make sure the front is locked and the garage is closed. But if we’re all home, I don’t pay attention to it.

I have never left my car doors unlocked, nor the windows down. I drive a ‘97 minivan with nothing in it to steal. But I’m still worried about it being stolen.
I’m incredibly distrusting and afraid of people in general, though.

ubersiren's avatar

I don’t, but my husband does. It’s like two people fighting over the radio.

DominicX's avatar

Our house is surrounded by fence and gates and redwood trees, so no, it’s not really necessary during the day if people are home. They’re still all kept locked at night and if the house is empty. (And if I or one of my siblings were home alone, then we were obliged to keep everything locked).

I live in a ritzy area with low crime, but still, keeping things unlocked at night is just dangerous.

TexasDude's avatar

Nearly always.

No, it’s not because I’ve been subjugated by a culture of fear or whatever the neo-Freudians will soon be along to say.

It’s just a smart precaution.

cookieman's avatar

The sounds of @ubersiren‘s house…

albohn3's avatar

We live in downtown Houston, Texas. So absolutely, the doors are always locked.

When people move in and out of apartment complexes faster than you can catch a glimpse of them it’s just safer to lock doors and windows..and carry pepper spray.

tinyfaery's avatar

@SuperMouse I know what you mean about the Night Stalker. I think that summer scarred me for life.

Brian1946's avatar



I know what you mean.

He was the first serial killer in this area that I felt posed a danger to me, as opposed to the Hillside Strangler(s), e.g.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course I do.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I live with 200+ lbs of mean looking dog. I don’t need to lock the doors when I am home. I do lock the screen doors when the main door is open so the dogs don’t open them and take off.

augustlan's avatar

It depends on the time of day, and if I’m alone or my husband is here, too. Mostly, the front door is locked, and the back is open.

wilma's avatar

My doors are unlocked most of the time. We only lock them at night in the winter. In summer they are left open with only the screen door closed. Sometimes I will lock the doors if I am home alone and going to take a bath. Not because I’m afraid a stranger will come in, but because I’m afraid an extended family member or neighbor will come in wanting to visit me.
I don’t want to be caught in the tub by anyone. I live in a small town (1300) in a rural area.
@lucillelucillelucille YIKES!

casheroo's avatar

I always lock the doors, night or day. My mother was a complete freak about locking the doors and’s sort of rubbed off on me.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@wilma -I live in a small town also but it doesn’t mean much because freaks can live anywhere.Aside from that,it takes minimal effort to lock a door.Why make it easy for someone?? ;)

Aster's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille “Yes.I sure do.
I had a man walk into my house,up the stairs and into the bathroom where I was taking a shower.”
So what happened next?? You left us hanging! Meanie.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I don’t. My doors and windows, including the garage door, are open all day and half the night, until I go to bed, except during 90 – 100 degree days. When we leave the house, we close the garage door. Our yard is surrounded by a locked fence, and there is another locked gate on each side of the house to keep people away from my dog.

I live in a maze of streets and we don’t get much traffic beyond those who live here.

filmfann's avatar

I lock my doors and my car when I am home. I lock the bathroom door when I am the only one in the house.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

In our current neighborhood, we rarely have. I do it out of habit and not to take chances on the safety so far whereas my doesn’t do it because she’s content in the safety.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m sorry. I guess someone didn’t understand what I was saying when I suggested the OP might be a cat burglar. I’ll try to say it in other words that do not require anyone to look beneath the surface of my comment.

There is a danger in giving out the kind of information this question asks for.

Do I have to spell it out in more direct words, instead of making my point with a subtle reference (that happens to be humorous)? Or is it off-topic to opine that truthfully answering questions like this potentially has serious consequences?

It is not that hard, I believe, for someone who really wants to, to figure out who each of us is in reality. I’m sure they wouldn’t do it, but the management of this place could sell such information, privacy statements notwithstanding. Or perhaps, some day, they will hire someone who is not of decent enough character to refrain from something like that.

I certainly hope I’m not right about the dangers I see in answering this question. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone pulled off a scam that netted a lot of useful information. I guess subtly expressing an opinion that it could be dangerous is off topic.

Pah! It makes me ill.

tinyfaery's avatar

Okay, dad.

DominicX's avatar

If someone robs my house because of this question, I will commend them on being able to do that because that is quite a feat. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

wundayatta's avatar

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with me or not, nor what risks you are willing to take. The question is whether the comment is on or off topic. And should what likelihood a moderator assigns to the event the commenter writes about be the determinant of relevance? Under those circumstances, by rights, an atheist moderator should find all comments about God off-topic because the atheist believes there is no chance that a God exists.

Can the moderators be certain that the OP is not a cat burglar? I’m not saying that I think she is one. I’m saying it is possible (though unlikely) that a burglar could use the information on this question for ends that answerers might not enjoy. OP was just an example. You’ll notice that I haven’t described my security habits.

However I have learned something about the surprising number of people who don’t lock their houses and live in rural areas. I think such information would be of great interest to a burglar seeking to identify targets.

I would say that we have an alarm system. It is always on, whether we are home or not. Several houses in our neighborhood have been burgled over the years. So far, ours has not. I’ll leave it to you to guess what our door-locking habits are.

DominicX's avatar

I was not commenting on your comment or any act of moderation. I was commenting on the fact that it’s unlikely that a person can track me down through Fluther.

Jude's avatar

@wundayatta Trust me, I’m not a cat burglar.

Coloma's avatar

Beware the geese.

I have a veritable Bremen town musician scene going on over here…injuries could happen that have never been seen before. lol

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Lock them if I’m home alone. During the day, while more than one person is here, they’re generally unlocked.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Locked always, out of habit. Nearest village is about 500 souls.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I don’t, but my parents do. I don’t get why. We live out in the boonies and most everyone has a shotgun or two.

Seek's avatar


Ah, boo. If someone breaks into my house looking for valuables, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. First because we don’t keep anything in the house that has much more than sentimental value, and secondly because our dogs have a really bad habit of biting the faces off of wandering intruders.

If @jjmah is a cat burglar, I hope cats are exactly what she wants to burgle. I’ve got four of them I need to get rid of.

wundayatta's avatar

Jeez, people. You’re taking this so seriously. Be that way!

I have personal knowledge that @jjmah is a cat burglar. I have actually seen her picking up cats…. and entering houses from upstairs windows. Why, once I saw her extract a grand piano from a house and carry it down a vine covered trellis single-handedly! I’m telling you. That girl has more talent than you think! ;-)

Jude's avatar

I’m verwy, verwy sneaky (Tweetybird voice)

consuelo's avatar

ALWAYS. ...but then again I’m from Miami…

YellowsubmarineOnfluther's avatar

It is good to keep locks locked at night no matter where you live or how uncommon. Better safe then sorry. Especially because zombies can open unlocked doors! ha you never know ; ) The locks are there to be used if not there pointless so take them out of your doors and see how you feel. Locks are an assurance, a peace at mind.

Aster's avatar

I agree. I try to remember to lock both doors at night. (-:

AshlynM's avatar

You should always keep your doors and windows locked, even if you’re home. Always keep your valuables locked away. Try putting your car in the your garage if you have one and always keep it locked when it’s outside.

mpippin's avatar

Sure do! Hate to say it but you cant trust anyone. I dont feel safe knowing that just anyone can barge in..

CocoSmith's avatar

Yes, always. Especially when I go to bed, I have to repeatedly confirm that the door has been locked .

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