These 5 Things Are Signs Your Home Has Been Invaded

by Missy Nolan
Broken home doors after burglary. Home insurance concept

Nobody wants to come home to an uninvited guest, whether an intruder is vandalizing your home, stealing your belongings or hiding in your basement.

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Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners don't realize they're in danger until they enter their homes. Some signs of a burglary are obvious, such as a trail of muddy footprints leading to an open front door. Others, such as strange markings on your windows or garage door, can be harder to notice. Protect yourself and your loved ones by prioritizing security and watching for these five signs of invasion. 

Intruder Alert: Check for These 5 Signs of Burglary Before Entering Your Home

Sometimes, burglars get sloppy and leave clues that indicate an invasion happened — or is currently taking place. Stay safe and check for signs of a robbery before entering your home, especially if you suspect criminals have been casing your house. 

1. Strange Markings

Unless the forecast calls for severe weather, your home's exterior should look the same when you return home as it did when you left. Take notice of unfamiliar markings, such as scratches on your lock or doorknob, as these can be clues someone has entered your home without permission. Dents can indicate someone has kicked your front door or hit your garage door with a tool. You may also notice dirt or other debris, such as streaks of mud or grease smears, on your windows and doors. 

2. Chipped Paint

Examine the paint on your front door before you enter your home. Paint that's chipped or flaking can indicate someone has forced their way into your home. Chipped paint on windowsills or near sliding deck doors can also be a clue. 

3. Unexpected Stickers or Decor

Don't assume someone has left you a thoughtful surprise if you arrive at your home and notice unexpected decor. When burglars case a house, they may mark easy targets in the neighborhood with string, stickers or other types of decor. You may notice a string tied around your mailbox, a decal on your garage or a bow on your front door. Some burglars also leave flyers or newspapers in someone's yard to see if potential targets remove them quickly. A delay can indicate a homeowner is traveling or a home is abandoned.  

4. Vandalism

Grab your cleaning supplies immediately if you notice spray paint or weird chalk designs on your home, driveway or vehicle. Seemingly random designs can indicate that you're an easy target for intruders, and burglars may have already entered your residence to take a look. Notify the police right away if you notice suspicious drawings or strange markings around your home. 

Also, be careful if you hear someone throwing eggs or other items at your home while you're home. Sometimes, intruders create a distraction because they want you to come outside and investigate, giving criminals an easy entry point for your home. 

5. Electrical Problems

When you get home, keep an eye out for flickering lights or other electrical changes, such as a dark house, when you know you left on the interior lights. Some robbers may cut the power in hopes of disabling a home security system or making it difficult for security cameras to view what's happening. Intruders may also turn off breakers, mess with your water line or even ignite burners on your stove to start a fire. 

These five clues don't guarantee a burglary has occurred, but they're signs something could be wrong. Be mindful of your surroundings, and consider investing in motion-sensitive outdoor lights along with a security system for your home. 

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Things That Make Your Home a Potential Target for Burglars

Now that you know the potential signs of a burglary, it's time to focus on preventing one. Here are a few things that make your home an attractive target for robbers, plus simple solutions for these issues:

  • Overgrown hedges: Trim your bushes and tree branches so intruders don't have convenient hiding spots, and mow your lawn regularly. 
  • Lack of surveillance: Install a home security system with cameras and alarms, as many criminals are hesitant to enter homes with surveillance.
  • Dark yards: Brighten your home's exterior with outdoor lights on your porch and deck, and consider adding lights around your garage. 
  • Easy access: Consider adding a fence to deter unwanted guests from entering your home, and always keep doors and windows locked. 

Despite your best efforts, intruders may still try to enter your home at some point. However, you can help protect your family by installing a surveillance system, maintaining your yard and watching for common signs of a robbery.

Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. Systems, equipment, issues and circumstances vary. Follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of the Blog is subject to the

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The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of eLocal Editorial Content is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

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