Poll: Do you lock your doors?

Brynda and I have recently seen Bowling for Columbine in which Michael Moore comments on the fact that a lot of Canadians do not lock their front doors. Brynda works with several Canadians who have seen the film and they all say that they do not lock their doors when they are in the house. They all say they think of it as being locked in, rather than locking others out.

I am from the UK and my parents and their neighbours do not lock their front door while they are in the house (after work for example) but they do look them when they leave the house or go to bed. These same people all have burgular alarms installed, however, and Brynda thinks this is a little odd.

I asked her why she locks her door and she said that it is because of a concern that someone will break in and try to hurt her. My parents’ main concern seems to be that someone will break in and steal their stuff.

The poll is mainly in two parts:
a) Do you lock your door when you are in the house? Why or why not?

b) Are you more afraid of someone breaking in to steal your stuff or someone breaking in to do you harm?

Also, if you could state which country you could from (or what area of the US) because I would be interested to know how location affects this opinion.

  1. I lock my front door but keep my back door open almost all the time for the air. It’s got a ten foot wall and a fence barring entry to anyone who might want in though, so I don’t have to worry about theft or harm so much.

  2. Theft.

I live in the US.

Houston, Texas here.

Yes, I lock my doors when I’m home. We did not when I was a kid growing up here (I’m 51).

I, of course, do not want people stealing my stuff, but more importantly, Houston has played host to several home invasion gangs over the years. These are groups who look for homes where they think the residents are inside, so they can be forced to reveal goodies, be raped, etc. My brother got to participate in a home invvasion here several years ago (playing on the Victims’ team). Bad experience.

And I had a stranger forcibly enter my home several years ago, as well. It was also a bad experience.

Didn’t notice you asked for specific locations in the US.

I currently live in a small town outside Salem, Oregon with a population of about 12,000.

I grew up in larger town outside Chattanooga, TN with a population of 40,000 and didn’t bother to lock the doors there at all unless I was sleeping or leaving the house.

I’m in bloomington. I lock my doors because Bloomington has a high poverty rate (over 1/3 live under the poverty line) and it is filled with poor college students. So thieves are everywhere. In the 18 months i’ve lived here i’ve had things stolen from me 3 times. I now lock my gym locker, my car and my apartment. But that is the only reason, I don’t fear violent criminals at all. I fear college students stealing my backpack and selling the books on half.com

Where my parents are from they never locked their doors to the house, garage or shed. It is a farming town and I don’t think they’ve ever had any thefts.

I always lock my doors, house doors and car doors. Mostly it’s because I don’t want someone harming me. Hey, I grew up in Atlanta which has a very high violent crime rate. But, of course I also lock them when I’m gone to prevent theft. Though, in truth, it’s also to prevent someone from getting in a waiting to hurt me.

From my experience, the fear-of harm vs. fear-of-stealing seems to correlate with big town vs small town.

(a) No, I don’t lock my doors when I’m at home. I’ve never considered doing so. I do lock them at night and when I leave the house during the day. Even then though, if I’ll be gone for only a few minutes (for say a quick nip to the local shops), then I’ll leave the doors unlocked.

(b) Theft

Oddly enough, we lock our doors when we are home and leave them unlocked when we are out. Of course, we live in a security building, so you theoretically need a key to get into our building.

We don’t really worry about someone breaking in and stealing our stuff. That is why we have insurance. As well, we don’t really give much thought at all about someone breaking in and killing us in our sleep or anything.

I think the reason we lock the doors when we are home is more of a “we don’t want Michael Moore walking in on us when we are lounging around naked” thing.

We currently live in Atlantic Canada, but had pretty much the same attitude when we lived in the ‘bad’ section of Winnipeg as well.

Usually lock the front door and leave the back unlocked.

People coming in. I actually had that happen, about ten years ago. There was no real danger involved, although it was startling. The fellow was disoriented and half incoherent. He really believed that he was supposed to be there and that Tom would be there soon to vouch for him. I said I’d go call Tom and went across the street and called the police. Turns out they knew him. He goes off his meds from time to time.

The embarrassing thing was explaining to the police that he hadn’t ransacked the place. It had looked like that before. Hey, it was finals week.

Also, locking the front door keeps the dog in. She’s figured out how to open it if it isn’t locked.

Florida, USA

Everything locked, at all times: windows, doors, & car doors (and I do mean while driving, too).
Theft and Harm.

I live in a bad, bad place. :frowning:

They had to install some metal plate thingy over the latch? part of the door frame because it looked like someone had tried to force entry.

a) I do lock the door to my apartment, whether I’m in or out.

b) It’s a combination of both. I had a burglary in my first apartment, so whenever I leave, I make sure it’s locked. But I also live in an apartment building where the outer doors are always unlocked - anyone can walk in, so it’s a just in case kind of thing. This could change at my next place, but I doubt it .

Currently in Knoxville, TN. Moving to Youngstown, OH.

I don’t lock my doors during the day. I live in a rural area so I think the odds of someone showing up to hurt me are fairly low. I do lock doors at night or when I’m gone during the day. The answer to the second part is that I guess I’m more concerned about people stealing my stuff. Sounds shallow and materialistic when I say it like that, doesn’t it?
Even the odds for someone stealing my stuff are really low. Thieves would be very disappointed to break in here!
**RickQ ** already knows this, but I live in rural Tennessee.

a) I lock-up at night and when away. Always have, even in small town US.
b) Not sure why. I often forget to lock-up. I got burgled in daytime a while back. The dooe was locked. Goes to show you, eh.

Dallas, Texas checking in…

Yes, we lock our front door, back doors, windows and gates. As soon as I get into my car, the car doors are also locked. If I go into a store, the car is locked.

I trust people for the most part, but it is that one person that isn’t quite right that can turn a great life into a nightmare. I am not willing to take that risk by leaving my doors or windows opened. I would rather be safe, than turn into a casuality.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky. Currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee.

I always lock the doors when I’m out, and usually when I’m in as well although sometimes I forget. Mainly it’s for safety. I live in a fairly low-crime neighborhood, but why take chances?

a) Do you lock your door when you are in the house? Why or why not?
When I remember, but I don’t always. The back doors are open during the day (unlocked, and if it’s cool enough, wide open with screens). As are the windows.

b) Are you more afraid of someone breaking in to steal your stuff or someone breaking in to do you harm?
I wouldn’t really expect anything worse than somebody opening the door to see what they could grab within arm’s reach (nothing). However, I have two small children, and small children are notorious for opening doors and zipping through them while you’re not looking. DangerGirl knows better now, but just the other day a kid tried to stage a jailbreak before his mom was ready to take him outside. I had to hang onto his arm like grim death to keep him from bolting into the street!

As for my car, I don’t lock it while driving around, I do lock it when I leave it in a parking lot. Except for that one time I left the driver’s-side door wide open and came back to find it untouched. :o

I live in a medium-sized town in Northern California.

Waaaaaaaaait a minute… :dubious:

: place tinfoil hat firmly upon head :

RickQ, you about to go on a international crime spree? :dubious:
Feeling out the suckers? The rubes? What’s your game, son? :wink:

I tend to lock the front door (dead bolt) when I get in, but that came about after Charlie was born and he could escape. I almost always lock the front door when I go out. I always lock it if it’s going to be more than a hour or so. If we’re going to the library or the park around the corner, I don’t always lock it.

When the weather is nice we sleep with the slider in our bedroom open all night. The front door and windows are always shut and locked at night. Sometimes we forget to shut and lock the back door when we leave in the morning. I have come home from a day at work and found the back door open. That’s not good.

I’m not really afraid either way. I don’t worry about people taking our stuff while were gone, nor am I afraid of anyone hurting me or my family while we are home. This may come from having two horribly nasty sounding dogs and then sense of security the bring.

It’s hit or miss whether I lock my car at home. I like to leave the windows down when it’s ot so it’s not an oven in there, but if I have stuff in the car, I lock it. I’m one of those people who almost never leave anything in their car so I leave the windows down, but lock the car itself which sets the alarm. When I’m out, I always lock it.

I live in a middle class suburban neighborhood in Sacramento.

  1. The front door’s locked all the time, unless someone is actually walking through it, but most of the time when someone’s home, we’ll have either the back door or one of the side doors open, primarily for convenience.

  2. I’m more concerned about robbery than assault & battery, since I believe Joe Random Criminal would rather just steal something he can pawn than attack me for no good reason.

a) My door is locked, whether I’m in or out, unless I’m just getting mail or some other short term exit. Windows may be locked or open - depends more on weather than security concerns.

b) Mostly because I want to be left alone. Privacy, if you will. I think door locks are a deterrent, but not a preventative measure.