View Full Version : what would you do moment

March 4, 2011, 11:57 PM
So this might be silly but what would you guys do?
I live in an apartment building and on the first floor (the only entrance/exit) one of the apartments door was open all day long with nobady in sight. Like from 6am when I saw it to around 10 pm. Its not empty and the lights are on leaving me to believe someone lives there. So would you have knocked and looked to see if everything is alright or leave it alone? Im not trying to be rambo and have the BG waiting for me but I wouldnt want someone hurt and im to scared to check it out. Would having a ccw change your actions? Im just asking because I want to be a responsible citizen.

March 5, 2011, 12:08 AM
Call the apartment complex management, or call the police.

March 5, 2011, 12:23 AM
See that's what I was thinking but it's friday and we wouldn't be able to get ahold of anyone until monday.

March 5, 2011, 12:32 AM
Cops are off on the weekends were you live?:D

March 5, 2011, 12:59 AM
Haha no but id hate to cause a scene/problem for someone just leaving a door open. My friend came over with his girl ( who has seizures) for a dinner date and she had a bad one and started screaming bloody murder. I was little disturbed that no one even knocked if everything was ok. What if that was my girlfriend being murdered. Just somthing I think about. Sorry again if this is a stupid post.

Bailey Boat
March 5, 2011, 07:37 AM
The management of the property will have an emergency maintenance number available for the residents to use after office hours. Call the office number and you can get through to maintenance....

March 5, 2011, 07:45 AM
This isn't the big city, but around here I would not be concerned about a badguy being there waiting for me for 16 hours. A normal response here would be to beat on the open door and listen for a response, if none, then enter as far as comfortable and do it again. There could be a person with a stroke or who has fallen and can't respond.

March 5, 2011, 09:30 AM
Be polite but ready, yes call first, and why not be a good nieghbor?

March 5, 2011, 12:04 PM
Haha no but id hate to cause a scene/problem for someone just leaving a door open.

Sadly, fear of embarrassment can be deadly.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 6, 2011, 10:52 AM
Call the cops and cut the crap.

When I was a kid, I went for a swim in an Atlantic beach with a friend. We went out too far. Well, soon my buddy was sailing off to France. Buh, bye!

He was too embarassed to yell for help. So was I. Luckily a grown-up old fat guy (like me now), saw him and whistled to the life guards. Yes, they honked horns and launched a boat. Whee!

But my friend was saved.

Nothing more need be said.

Need I close this? I think we are done.

March 6, 2011, 10:38 PM
I'd probably give a knock on the door and a peek inside, just to make sure all is well. Maybe call the police afterward and see if they can spare a few moments to send someone by. I certainly wouldn't want to go too far in there and get familiar with the business end of the Castle Doctrine.

March 7, 2011, 12:43 AM
I've been an EMT for nigh on 6 years now and I can't tell you how many times I've been to calls where someone in an apartment building had a heart attack or stroke and died; when they could have lived, had the next door neighbor called 911 when they heard the yells and loud thud of the neighbor hitting the floor. We get a lot of people explaining that they didn't want to be nosy or cause any trouble for their neighbor. Most people aren't crazy recluses chopping up bodies on their kitchen table, so stuff that's out of the ordinary should warrant further investigation, if even just a knock and a "HEY IS ANYBODY HOME/ ALRIGHT?" I understand that it can wind up being awkward and embarrassing, or you could wind up in that long-shot hostage situation (hey, it could happen...) but like CLC said, I'm just being a responsible citizen.

March 7, 2011, 01:54 AM
Call 911. It's a "Check the Welfare" moment.

It might be worth getting the cell or pager number of your manager.

March 7, 2011, 04:37 AM


Oh, sorry to disturb you. I noticed your door has been open all day. I live in apartment [X] and was concerned for your well being.

Nice to meet you, have a good night.

March 7, 2011, 05:41 AM
Easy. If I thought something wasn't right I would call the police and let them handle it.

March 7, 2011, 06:04 AM
notify the apartment manager and if no response call the police. i'm disabled now and am not going to put myself in a position to be taken by surprise by possibly multiple BG.

March 7, 2011, 08:07 AM
Call the law; that's why we make the big bucks...

Glenn Bartley
March 8, 2011, 10:53 PM
I would definitely knock and inquire. If I got no answer, then I might call the building management or the police, but first I probably would take a look inside to see if anything was amiss.

March 9, 2011, 04:44 AM
Well in our defense my girlfriend did check it out and I had a long shift at work and didn't know the door was still open. She knocked and looked in but chouldnt see anybody. I was just worried and told her id take a look when I got off and didn't want her going in alone. Needless to say the door was closed when i got home. I guess i was just :confused:wondering if we handled it right.

March 9, 2011, 05:16 AM
Your just trying to be a good neighbor. I would want my neighbors checking on me.

March 9, 2011, 10:41 AM
I know this sort of thing is usually Just Not Done in the big city, but life is safer and more pleasant if you maintain at least a passing acquaintance with your near neighbors. Doesn't hurt to introduce yourself when possible, so that you don't feel quite so awkward looking out for each other.


March 9, 2011, 10:49 AM
As others have said the best thing you can do is call the apartment managing office, and or then the police.

March 9, 2011, 11:00 AM
Call the police and monitor the door FROM A DISTANCE, concealed, until they arrive. Call 911 if you notice suspicious activity before the police arrive. Easy peasy, you are not in any risk, and you can sleep good that night.

Brian Pfleuger
March 9, 2011, 11:29 AM
What Pax said.

And call the police. It's their job to investigate odd circumstances. The guy going into the bank with a ski mask might only be cold. The apartment door left open might be accidental. Not for me to determine. Call the Po-Lease.

March 9, 2011, 04:58 PM
but life is safer and more pleasant if you maintain at least a passing acquaintance with your near neighbors

I agree, when we moved in years ago, folks were neighbors came with small gifts like fresh baked bread, each introduced themselves to us and had a cup of coffee. We all watch each others places when we go away. Having a summer party and inviting them also helps us maintain the relationship.

Door is open? did you see a huge flat panel tv? :) just kidding....

March 9, 2011, 05:57 PM
I would NOT go in. If it is a crime scene you just put yourself at the scene and a lot of times the cops are suspicious of the guy that calls in. That said, I would still call the police but it is not a 911 situation and you don't want to tie up that 911 line for those that need it. Use the situation for an opportunity- like asking the local police if they would do a free safety seminar for your complex.
I call the cops- a lot. I use the regular line. I have never had a complaint from them. In fact I think they like the idea there's a neighborhood resident that calls if something doesn't look right.
Most cops are good guys-call.

March 10, 2011, 03:59 PM
If the door has been open, and you have not seen anyone, report it. Go with your instinct. Let the guys with the guns check it out. Someone may need your help, but if they don't, then you at least made sure your neighbors were OK.

March 13, 2011, 10:27 PM
Similar situation at my house a couple months ago where my next-door neighbor's garage door was up for 48hrs or more and as far as anyone in my family could tell, his little blue Saturn had not moved in or out of the garage. It just wasn't normal, Ted did not usually leave the door up for any length of time. Talked to my family to make sure none of us had seen him recently, then went over and rang the doorbell. No answer. Feeling pretty anxious at this point, I get back home and call Ted's cell number thinking if he doesn't answer, I'm calling the police switchboard (not 911) and ask about a welfare check. Fortunately, he answers the cell, I think I've woke him up, and he says he's had the flu for two days. He has no idea his garage door is up and he tells me he is pretty sure the door from the house to the garage is unlocked... I'm completely embarassed and sure Ted thinks I stalking him or something, and I've apologized a few times since this happend. Ted tells me not to worry and he is glad my family watches his place.

I guess I over-reacted, but Pax is right, know your neighbors and communicate with each other...

March 14, 2011, 05:12 AM
Call the apartment manager. If that doesn't work call the police and tell them that you may have a burglary. How are you going to feel if it turns out that someone was sick in there.

March 14, 2011, 12:16 PM
Around here a simple helpful or concerned call to the cops gets you put straight to the top of the suspect list, been there, done that - never agian. Getting involved when it's none of your business can result in attorney fees, lost work and possible jail time. Heaven forbid if your foot print, hair, dna, etc. were to show up at the scene.

Possible issues with castle doctrine too as stated in another post.

Good time to let someone else be the hero.

March 14, 2011, 02:28 PM
So??? What happened? Whats the "Rest of the story" ? How did it all end up?

I see that "Life alert" comercial and sure can see a need for that in some lives.

liberty -r- death
March 14, 2011, 07:35 PM
Call 911. Let the pro's handle it.

Taking the liability on your self is not worth it. Could go wrong in so many ways.

Mutatio Nomenis
March 22, 2011, 05:53 PM
"Excuse me, is anyone home?"

Old Wanderer
March 22, 2011, 11:58 PM
I had just the opposite 12 years ago. My elderly mother (87), had move to Arizona to be closer to the grand kids and great grand kids. Naturally they just ignored the old lady. I generally called her every night from SoCal.

I had to take a trip to Seattle, and talked to her on Wed night, told her I could not call until Friday night when I got home. Called at 5PM Fri, no answer, tried again at 8pm, no answer, called my niece and sister that live in the area (1 mile and 14 miles away) they had not talked to her for weeks.

Called the police to check the welfare, and they said only one light on, could hear nothing when the knocked. however one mentioned he could see a walker.

Well no walker, no mother, so I asked to to break the door down. Had to pay for a locksmith to come out at midnight to open the door.

Well there she was on the floor. Had fallen Wed after talking to me on the phone trying to hang the phone up from bed. Dehydrated, and knees/elbows bloody from trying to claw her way back to the bed.

Well a week in the hospital, and I pulled the plug on her "dream" moved her back to my home where we could look after her. She died at 95 still asking why nobody ever came to visit her.

Sometimes you just have to take the personal initiative.

Had another buddy that lived in a little cabin in the mountains. He disappeared for a week. I went to see him, had to break in (I already knew what had happened by the smell), His 4 cats had been dining on him for a few days. Heart attack.

April 6, 2011, 09:58 AM

Neighbors said the family wasn't often seen coming or going and their children rarely played with neighborhood kids.

Joann Barber-Smith said she'd noticed the family pulled their blinds shut about two weeks ago and neither of their vehicles had been driven.

"It was kind of odd and strange that I hadn't seen them," she said. "I wanted to go over there, but I didn't want to seem nosy."

It makes me sad for the little boy's sake that the neighbor didn't want to be nosy. Maybe if she had, he'd still be alive.


April 6, 2011, 10:16 AM
... who recommended meeting the neighbors, when feasible.

I've lived at both extremes. Grew up in a small town, where all the neighbors were also friends, or at least acquaintances. I can remember a couple of occasions where my sister and I, latch-key kids (Mom taught high school, Dad worked for the state), got sick or injured at home. Yes, we called our parents, but by the time either could respond we had one or two neighbors already there taking care of things.

On the other hand, after lots of years in the Navy, and lots of moves, I've lived in apartment complexes that had very high turnover rates, where I really didn't know anybody.

I greatly preferred the first sort of neighborhood. But it was my own fault for not making much effort to meet the neighbors. In large part, I never bothered because I had friends from my squadrons, or the dojos where I'd train. Still, I should have made more of an effort to meet the people in my building.

Knowing the neighbors makes one much more comfortable about doing health and welfare checks.

But.... even if I don't know the neighbors, if something looked odd, I'd either knock and inquire, or else call the police.

Then again, I'm the type who calls *FHP, 911, etc when I see a stranded motorist on the highway, or a road obstruction, etc - assuming it's not a scenario where I feel I can correct the problem myself. I figure that's what the police and EMS are there for - investigation and, where possible, prevention.

April 6, 2011, 11:05 AM
I had posted this:

when we moved in years ago, folks were neighbors came with small gifts like fresh baked bread, each introduced themselves to us and had a cup of coffee. We all watch each others places when we go away. Having a summer party and inviting them also helps us maintain the relationship

We do the same whenever a neighbor moves into the area.

Have one place is rented out, 13 acres and a barn etc, the guy there now had a large motor home. He is a mechanic on these, well he sets up a burn barrell fills it with trash sets it on fire then rides off on his motorcycle. Well we called the fire dept and told them his motor home was on fire. It burned to the ground. We have called them 2 times now cause he does silly stuff like this sso I keep a sharp eye out on that place.

We have had 2 funerals in 12 years of neighbors passed on. Hate to lose them.

Eagle Eye
April 6, 2011, 01:27 PM
So simple. Call the police. They will be happy to help. Do not go in alone and you will never be a suspect. The place was open how many hours? What difference can 15 minutes make? Is common sense dead?