What would you do: Kids home alone and police outside the door

This actually happened to my family years ago. Let me tell you, that phone call from the kids was terrifying until they explained it all…

Your young teenage kids (13-15 years old) are home alone as you’re out running errands. They call you because there was a loud explosion/crashing noise a few minutes ago and now there’s a guy claiming to be a police officer pounding on the door. You’re 15 minutes from home.

What would you do?

I’ll post what really happened in a couple of days to give you all time to consider a variety of situations.


This one is a scary what if. But I will give the answer, that I gave my daughter.

If someone knocks or attempts to enter our house under any pretenses, if we were not home. Was to check our external cameras (including our doorbell camera). Even if they appeared to be Law Enforcement. She was to

  1. Call us immediately.

  2. Call 911 and ask for assistance, but to also ask if there were any units dispatched to our home.

  3. Say that she was getting us, and to set the alarm off to draw neighbors attention, if whoever was pounding on the door continued after she announced she was getting us.

  4. To go to her room on the top floor, and barricade herself into her room with our 2 K-9 trained dogs, and one of our “Bear Mace cans” (she has been trained on how to use the Mace steel and her room has a steel cored door) and to stay on the phone with 911. If whoever attempted to force their way (in all of our upper story rooms, we have chain ladders) to egress our home and to go to 1 of the 4 neighbors who are either local or Federal Law Enforcement to shelter there and to continue to update 911.

But, most importantly, to NOT open the door. Until we got there or 911 was able to confirm that there was an actual Law Enforcement presence, and to tell 911 to inform the Law Enforcement Officer, that we were on our way and to please wait for our arrival.

My daughter has access to my gun safe, and has had the basics taught to her, but she is not comfortable with firearms, so we told her not to get a firearm, because a firearm in the hands of someone not willing to use it. Is a firearm that will most likely wind up in someone else’s hands. So we never Incorporated, that into these types of scenario’s.

TLDR version: To never open the door, but call us, then 911, stay on the phone with 911 and to never say she was home alone. If they continued, to set off our home alarm, go to her room, and if necessary to Escape and Evade.


I would personally call the real police and ask them to send a unit or a sergeant to my address because your kids are calling you and your 15 minutes away from your house and you believe that there’s fake cops working your street and possibly either trying to burglarize your house or abduct your children and please hurry your kids are home alone.


Instruct him to barricade in the room the guns are stored. Tell him to call 911, and ask if a unit had been dispatched to our address. Under no circumstances, OPEN THE DOOR. If the dispatcher says there is no unit in the area, I’ll give him the code to the gun safe. This would all be taking place while I was violating various traffic laws to get to my house.


It’s hard to answer what would I do in real situation… It’s easy to write it here and I’m not sure if I would do this in exactly the same way… however:

  1. hang up and call home or kid’s cell to confirm explosion/crashing noise
  2. if there is still something not right, send kid to farthest closet, then call 911 asking for assistance
  3. drive back home asap

I’ve been trying to picture this situation, and found that would be a good idea to tell the caller, before I hang up, “Thank you sir for the information, I’m 1 minute away from home. I’ll call 911 to get more help”… and then hang up.


We have a similar story around 2005. In-laws had bought a condo and my wife and I were putting up rods and drapes for them on a Saturday night. Oldest son had his own house and young son was a teenager (~16). Young son had a buddy over playing video games. House was locked up and both indoor and outdoor lighting was on. Young son and his buddy were upstairs so surveillance from outside must of made it look like no one was home.

I had been spearfishing the day before, so dive gear was out back drying. A burglar used my dive gear to bend the aluminum jamb and open the sliding door into the master bedroom. Our son heard the alarm chirp indicating a door or window had been opened. Since he was expecting his brother to stop by, he figured it was no big deal, even when the dog started growling. Tanner was an 80 pound yellow Lab that the older boy frequently messed around with so Tanner growling did not send up an alarm. Young son got up, looked out his door down the catwalk to the stairs and saw it was not his brother! The burglar was dressed in black, with a black bandana and hat that only revealed his eyes. In his hand was my dive gear he used to break in. Young son instructed his buddy to call 911 while he scanned the room for anything defensive. He grabbed a crescent wrench and he and Tanner chased the guy down the stairs. The burglar retreated to the master bedroom slamming the door behind him to cut off the attack from my son and dog. The Police Chief lived a couple doors down, so response was almost immediate. However the burglar escaped.

Once in the street our son called us – his first words were “My buddy and I are safe”. Then as Paul Harvey would say “We heard the rest of the story”.

I am obviously happy it worked out the way it did, but we discussed and thought about a couple of things that could have been done better.

• In my Dad’s tradition I had kept control of all guns and ammo. My son had a very good understanding of guns at that point in his life. From that night on he kept a 20 gauge pump in his room. It was loaded, but the chamber was kept empty.
• We discussed it would be safer for him to follow the example of the burglar, barricade in place, and do not pursue the perpetrator.
• Calling 911 before us was the absolute right order for phone calls

edit: Forgot one other take-away, we installed sliding glass door “wedge” (I can’t think of what to call them) kits. In other words, a bar on a swivel that swings down preventing the door from opening. I mounted it about 3 feet above floor level so we could easily see if it was in place as well as I think it would work better than having it at floor level, especially on an 8’ tall door.


My children are grown and on their own but if it happened when they were that age (they are only a year apart) here is how it would have gone down. I should point out if the kids were home alone at this age my wife and I would have been together and not both out doing different things separately…

Have one of the kids call one of the neighbors (they are both armed) while the other one calls 911 as well as stay on the line with me/wife (both kids have cells and I still have a landline at the house with multiple cordless handset just for reasons like this).

I would be driving so my wife would be on the phone with kids, She would also be calling 911 with the other cell phone.

How things go after that will depend on the communications. (Both my children at that age could handle a weapon but I would try to avoid that situation unless there was absolutely no other option.)

It is also worth stating, the police station is less than a mile from my house.

I told you I’d share what really happened…

About six years ago we had moved into a more country area outside of Milwaukee. The kids (14, 14, and 15) were home alone after school and my then-husband and I were out running errands.

The house was a ways back from the road. The kids heard a big crashing noise and then there were a lot of cop cars by the road. They called before the officer came to the door and let us know that they were OK, but there were at least 4 police cars and an ambulance at the end of our driveway. They reiterated that they were fine and in the home. They really wanted to go see what was going on, but I told them not to leave the house.

A few minutes later, the officer knocked at the door and showed his ID before the kids opened the door. He explained that there had been a car accident at the end of our driveway. He wouldn’t go into detail with them about what happened (thank God he didn’t), but wanted to talk to their parents. The kids gave him my cell number.

Some upperclassmen where my kids went to school were driving home and texting. The speed limit on the road in front of our house was 55. They had been doing about 65/70 when they went off the road, hit the ditch and literally launched up out of the ditch on the other side landing 100 feet away from where they took off. The driver was lucky and only got a concussion. The passenger was sent to the hospital with severe head injuries.

Turns out the kids knew of the driver and passenger, but weren’t close with them. I won’t say they never text and drive, but they all remember that accident to this day.

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