Have you ever wandered through your home and felt like something wasn’t quite right? There are telltale signs that someone has broken into your homes, such as a broken door jam or window, but it’s not always going to be that obvious.
To tell if someone has been in your apartment is difficult unless there are obvious signs, such as disarray, broken locks, double entry, and broken items. Until you do a full walk-through, it may not be noticeable. To secure your home, turn a light on or get a home security system you can count on.
There is nothing worse than feeling like your privacy and home have been invaded and is no longer safe, so you want to know for sure if someone has been there. In this article, I will cover the various signs that can indicate that someone has been in your apartment. You will also learn about ways to increase your peace of mind and what to do when someone invades your house.
If you leave your home tidy, you may be surprised to see that some things aren’t as neat as before you left home. If you live alone, this is a sure sign, but if you live with others, you could attribute it to their untidiness. It is important to recognize the difference in your roommate’s untidiness and that of an intruder.
To be sure that it was an intruder and not your roommate, check your personal belongings. If you find that your jewelry box is in disarray and items are missing, you have had a burglar. It could have been anyone who was in your home. If very little is disturbed, but you’re missing expensive jewelry or personal items, consider it might be someone you know who has been in your home before.
People who break into your home are going to siffle through drawers or pull things off shelves. It won’t be your common disarray.
Not all thieves are going to break down a door or smash a window. They may have jimmied the lock and broke it. If you put your key in the lock and you can’t, then the lock has been damaged.
Keep an eye out for nicks or scratches on the lock. A new kind of lock picking includes bumping, which does not require a thief to be exceptionally skilled. Bumping uses a tiny saw that can leave scratches by the keyhole that a trained eye will notice, but the average person will not.
If you have windows or doors that lead outside, check those locks for any sign showing if they have been tampered with. It can be as small as a scratch or as big as a broken lock.
If someone comes to your door for any number of reasons and you let them in, you could be giving them double entry. What that means is, once you let someone in your home, if you take your eye off of them, they may unlock a window or another door to gain entry at a later time.
This person could be a workman, the cable guy, or a canvasser asking for a glass of water. Once any unfamiliar visitors leave your home, it is good to go around and check your windows and doors. If your apartment is in a basement or on the main floor, this is especially important for you.
Sometimes there is no telltale sign that someone has entered your apartment from the outside. When you are away and you come back home, look at the floor. You may see mud or a footprint that wasn’t there before you left. Furthermore, if you newly vacuumed your floor, you might be surprised to see footprints through the vacuum marks.
Another thing to check for is scuff marks on tiles or laminate flooring. People who don’t carefully lift their feet can easily leave scuff marks on hardwood, tiles, or other hard flooring types. Pay close attention to the floors.
How to Prevent an Intrusion
Prevention is one of the best ways to ensure you keep your peace of mind while in your apartment. There are steps you can take to help prevent an intrusion into your apartment or at the very least, deter someone from targeting you.
- Put expensive items away. You should always put things like expensive jewelry away so that if someone comes to your home announced, those things aren’t laid out for everyone to see. You can do nothing about your television or expensive sound equipment, but what you can hide away from a random person, you should.
- Keep the lights on. When you are away through the evening, it is good to have lights on a timer. This tried and true trick continues to be effective at dissuading a burglar from coming to your home. No one likes the spotlight.
- Don’t leave a hidden spare key. You do not want to leave a spare key hidden near your door for easy entry. Especially when you live in an apartment, having a spare key left under a mat or on top of a door frame makes it too easy for someone to gain entry.
- Lock up all windows and doors. If you live in a ground floor apartment or a basement apartment, you don’t just have a front door to worry about. You also have all your windows. If you have patio doors, you want to make sure those stays locked too. An added security feature is to fit a piece of wood behind a sliding patio door to prevent opening from the outside.
What to Do When Someone Comes in Your Home Uninvited
If you suspect that someone has been in your home, but you can’t entirely be sure, get the authorities involved. When in doubt, always have a trained eye double-check. Not only will having a police officer or security expert look at your home point out if someone has been there, but they will also be able to offer you advice on how to secure your apartment more effectively.
The Verdict: Check for Entry
If you suspect someone has been in your apartment, you can protect yourself by knowing what to look for in the event of an intrusion. There are usually going to be subtle signs that someone has come into your apartment that you can identify when you know what to look for.
Check your valuables, floors, and even your locks for signs that someone may have entered your apartment without your permission. Even if nothing is missing, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility of unlawful entry. Be thorough in your check so that you don’t miss even subtle signs.
Never let the feeling that someone may have been in your apartment go unchecked. Be aware and look for signs that there has been an intruder in your home. If you worry that this is a possibility, then there are preventative measures you can take to help you establish peace of mind.
When in doubt, always go to an authority who can help you secure your home. There are all kinds of new technology and old techniques that can help you prevent someone from coming into your apartment without your knowledge.
Do not lose your sense of privacy and peace at home. Once it is gone, it is a violation that will be hard to get past.