Many people who grew up in the town that I live in don’t lock their doors. We probably don’t have to, but we do. My husband grew up in a city and I hail from a New York City suburb. We just lock the doors, mostly out of habit. But, when we go on vacation each summer on an island where the only means to get on and off the island is by ferry, like the native islanders, we don’t lock the house when we leave for the day or in the evenings when we’re sleeping.
Having grown up in close proximity to NYC, we watched the NYC news. So, the notion of city dwellers with triple locks, alarms and bars on apartment windows is etched in my mind. With high crime rates in NYC to the tune of 19,263 burglaries in 2009, it surprised me to read that there are many people in NYC who don’t lock their doors. Especially since, of those recent burglaries, 5,041 did not involve forced entry.
It seemed ludicrous to me that some of those burglaries could have been averted if the homeowners just locked their doors. Apparently, just like there are cat and dog people, there’s a whole contingency of No Lock people too. This New York Times article elaborates:
“The No Lock People: You may doubt their existence, particularly in big cities like New York, but people who do not lock the doors to their houses and apartments do exist — and in surprising numbers. A 2008 survey by State Farm Insurance of 1,000 homes across the country reported that fewer than half of those surveyed always locked their front doors. And while people who habitually lock their doors are incredulous that others do not, those who don’t lock are surprised that anyone would be shocked by it.”
Maybe it stems from how you value risk. While I choose to lock my door in a low crime area, I see no problem with skiing down a steep mountain at a speed I wouldn’t even dare to run. Very risky, indeed. One wrong move and…well, let’s not go there.
The No Lock People are willing to roll the dice and hope for the best. What is protected behind locked doors? Stuff…valuables? Maybe locking the door just provides an illusion of security that’s not really there? Why not just risk it and leave the doors unlocked?
As I continue to formulate ideas on whether or not to lock the doors, I would love to hear from you. Does a locked door make you feel more physically and/or emotionally secure? Would you leave your home unlocked if you lived in a big city? What are your thoughts on home security?