'I lock my front door even when we’re all home - my family thinks it's weird'

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She has sparked a debate online (Image: Getty Images/Cultura RF)
She has sparked a debate online (Image: Getty Images/Cultura RF)

A mum has been accused of being ‘over the top’ by her family after they realised she often locks the door while they’re in the house, even if it’s during the day. The safety-focused parent was left confused by their reaction given there had been incidences of strangers walking into houses and stealing things in their neighbourhood.

However, after hearing her family’s opinion she wondered if she was being over-cautious and “obsessive”, deciding to post the incident on Mumsnet to ask others for their stance on locking front doors.

Sharing to the site’s popular thread, Am I Being Unreasonable, she asked: “To lock the front door even when we are in?” and was quickly inundated with responses from other parents who had very different opinions.

Explaining the context of the situation, she went on to explain: “We live in a pleasant suburb in a peaceful neighbourhood where there is a very low crime rate. However occasionally over the years, people have had someone walk in through their unlocked front door in broad daylight - even when they were in - pinch stuff and scarper.”

She went on: “It was quite a scary experience, especially for one old person who was living alone. As I say this has happened maybe twice in the 12 years we've lived here. My thinking is ‘better safe than sorry’. So I lock the front door (it's one of those ones where you have to use the key on the inside rather than a "snick lock" but I leave the key in the door for emergencies) if ever we are in the back garden or upstairs or I'm leaving the (now adult) kids at home and they are upstairs.”

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The anonymous mum went on to say that her partner and their children sometimes raise their eyes when she takes the extra precaution and accuses her of being over the top, something she felt could be valid considering the crime rates in the area. She also worried about giving the wrong impression to her children, adding she didn’t want them to think there is danger lurking around every corner but she can’t get out of the habit.

Her post triggered a flurry of comments and sparked a debate between parents over what was acceptable, with the majority of people siding with the mum. One person wrote: Yep, similar setup here, and we always lock it - not least because we both work from home upstairs, and wouldn’t hear someone come in. I don’t know why you wouldn’t, to be honest - it takes seconds to unlock when you want to leave.”

Another parent added: “Yes I always do but then my area, while not rough, has a lot of low-level crime. A friend had her car stolen while her family were home, they walked in and took the keys off the side table. I think men can be so much more lax with security because they don't have the same sense of fear women get hammered into us. My partner thinks I'm nuts because I put my phone away in certain situations to avoid it being snatched, or won't sit in traffic with the car window wound down.”

"Why would you have a door that just opens? I've lived in well over twenty places and all had doors that could only be opened from outside with a key,” added someone else. With a fourth person writing: “I always lock mine too! Can't see any reason not to. Why make it easy for passing chancers to get in?"

But some were in disagreement, with one person replying: “I don’t lock ours in the day unless I’m leaving the (teen) children home alone.” And another user revealed the conversation had changed their mind, writing: “This is interesting to read, as I actually don't know anyone who locks their door when at home. I live in a busy village/semi-rural.

If I call to see a friend/my parents/my in-laws, I always knock then walk in, calling 'hello', as same when they come to mine. I actually sometimes feel like a weirdo when I do lock my door! This thread has given me some food for thought though, I might start locking it more often.”

Eve Wagstaff

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