For Teachers

5 – 30 minutes Callers at the door and doorstep safety

Ask the children 'When the door bell rings or you hear knocking at the door, who goes to answer it?'

Get the children to give you their answers.

Write these down on a board.

Ask the children one question at a time:

'Who comes to your door?'

Write the answers on the board

"What do they look like? What are they wearing?"

"Do you ever get people coming to the door that you don't know?"

"What do they want?"

Write the answers on the board

"How do you know that they are telling the truth about who they are?"

"How do you think you or your family can check that these people are telling the truth?"

Write the answers on the board.

Unfortunately, some people may come to your door and may try to trick their way into your home, distract you or even mislead you about having some work done on your house, garden or driveway.

They will make up a story about why they need to come into your home or why work needs doing.

What tricks or excuses do you think they could use to get into your home or persuade you to let them do work?

Write the answers on the board.

The children may come out with answers such as:

  • Asking to come in and check your water
  • Asking to come in and use your telephone
  • Claiming to be visiting the person next door. Asking to come in and wait until the neighbour comes home
  • Asking for help, such as using the toilet or telephone
  • Claiming to have lost a ball in the garden
  • Offering to do work on the house, such as gardening or building work
  • Claiming to be from a charity
  • Claiming to be from the council
  • Claiming to be from the police
  • If you don't have the work done it will get worse, for example your roof will leak if you don't get it fixed
  • I have loads of materials left over from another job so they can do it cheap
  • They are only in the area for a short time

(You could prompt some of these answers as they are some of the most common tricks used)

These types of people we have talked about so far have a name, I have already mentioned it earlier on, does anyone know what it is?

Write answers on the board

The people we have been talking about are often called bogus callers or rogue traders. (If the children come up with distraction burglars or doorstep criminals would also be correct, but don't confuse them with these words otherwise)

Anyone can be tricked, but they usually look out for houses where older people are likely to live. Bogus callers can be men, women or even children.

They use many varied tricks to get into people's homes to steal money or valuables: we have already talked about some of these.

Ask……."Can anybody think about how they might guess where older people live?"

Write answers on board

If someone did that to you, how do you think that you'd feel?

(Angry – upset?) Don't write answers on the board; just let them give some answers.

People who are tricked are often very upset by the experience so it's important that we try to make sure everyone knows how to keep their homes safe from bogus callers.

What do you think people can do to stop these people coming into their homes?

Write the answers on the board

May give answers such as:

  • Lock doors (front and back)
  • Ask for ID, check the ID and ring the company to ensure they are who they say they are,
  • Ask them to make an appointment to come back when somebody else can be there as well
  • Use a door chain,
  • Use a door viewer,
  • Look through the window to see if they recognise them,
  • Look for a vehicle parked near the road, has it got the company name on it?
  • Ask themselves 'are they expected', if not don't answer the door,
  • Password schemes
  • Ring the police

I am going to tell you about 3 important things we should remember when someone knocks at our door or rings the doorbell.

"Locked" – ( write "Locked" on board) We are normally good at making sure our front and back doors are locked when we leave home, we should always make sure we lock our doors and windows when we leave the house, but even when we are at home we should still think about locking our front and back doors.

Get the children to repeat 'Locked'

"Look" – (Write "Look" on board)

When there is a knock at the door, it is important not to rush to answer it without checking who is there by looking through a window or a door viewer if you have one fitted. (If children respond that they can't see the doorstep from inside, advise that they should only answer the door with an adult). Don't open the door to a stranger.

Get the children to repeat "Look"

"Get an adult" - Even if the caller looks friendly, you should leave the door closed and ask an adult to deal with them if you don't know them.

If you don't know the person, ask an adult to answer the door.

Get the children to repeat 'Get an Adult'

Repeat together – LOCKED - LOOK - GET AN ADULT

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