Woman Shows Her 6-step Process To Keep Safe When Maintenance Workers Come To Her House, Sparking Debate

A woman showcased her six-step process to prepare for having strangers in her home when she’s home alone in a viral TikTok.

The TikTok, which was posted by Nichole Pagano (@nicholepagano) on March 22, takes viewers through the things she does to either minimize danger or defend herself against it when strangers—in this case, maintenance men—are in her home: She wears an outfit that isn’t “revealing,” hides her valuables and electronics “out of sight,” puts a pair of men’s boots in plain sight to “establish” that a man lives in her home, opens a window to an “easy escape option,” prepares “some sort of protectant (in the video she shows Raid Hornet Spray), and has a dog “whose bark sounds like a killer.”

In addition, Pagano wrote in the overlay text of her video that she shares her location with her fiancĂ© and family using her phone, and keeps her phone on her person “at all times.”

Pagano’s video was viewed over 700,000 times, and she captioned it “Just girly things.”

Some commenters on Pagano’s video identified with the fear she implied that she feels when alone in her home with men she doesn’t know.

“A shame that we have to prepare like this,” @fatebeauty commented.

“Not featured: hovering anxiety,” @danielle_1763 wrote. “’What do I do when they’re here so I don’t look rude or lazy.’”

“Once a [maintenance] man started threatening me, because he was afraid of my family dog,” @short.human.being commented. Pagano replied saying that she was afraid to be with maintenance men without her dog.

Others shared tips and tricks that they utilized to feel safe when strangers were in their home.

“I usually pretend I have a zoom meeting (usually just my mom or my friend as my ‘boss’),” @chrissalysz commented. “Good distraction, and it makes me feel safe.”

“I usually have my front office lady come over with the maintenance man but not everyone has that option,” @lolgottago wrote.

“Why not just have a few friends over while maintenance works,” @carrotzknight commented. “There’s strength in numbers.”

And some thought she was overreacting: @user450599324495 commented “holy paranoia,” and @lloydduncan1976 said Pagano was “assuming a lot.”

In a TikTok direct message to the Daily Dot, Pagano said that she’s been using the steps shown in her TikTok to ensure her safety when home alone with a stranger since she graduated college. She also said that she hasn’t had any adverse experiences with men working in her home while she was home alone because she is “hyper-vigilant” and usually tries to have someone else in the house with her.

In response to comments that she was overreacting, Pagano told the Daily Dot that “as a women [she] feel as if [she’s] constantly having to protect myself and expect the worst.”

Case in point, she referenced many of the comments under her video about scary experiences women have had with strangers working in their homes.

“One time I didn’t get warning and I woke up with a strange man in my house and I freaked out,” @sweng23 commented on Pagano’s video.

“My complex never let me know when he was coming so I would just be showering/ and or sleeping nakey and I hear him open the door,” @ttokyfeeee wrote.

In a comment on her own video, Pagano wrote that she posted the TikTok to help other women come up with ideas to keep themselves safe.

“Always better to be safe,” Pagano commented. “All it takes is one bad situation and trust me you’ll never forget to do this.”

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