How to Tell if Someone Is in Your House (with Pictures)

How to Tell if Someone Is in Your House (with Pictures)

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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. 

A missing dog

A barking dog is the last thing a burglar wants when trying to break into your home. If a thief has been scoping your home and is intent on getting in, he or she will let the dog out well before attempting the break-in. “Then they go back in a week or the next day and know the dog isn’t going to alert the neighbors or homeowners,” says Logan. A runaway dog isn’t always the fault of a criminal, but people with bad intentions will use the strategy from time to time.

How do potential thieves get this information about your home?

The technique most used by most thieves to learn the information necessary to break into a house is observation.

The process that a thief follows before robbing your home is very long and thorough. Thieves want to know your lifestyle, know where you work, how long it takes you to arrive if you go on vacation … In short, they will atone for you outside your home and they will chase you going unnoticed for as long as is necessary for them.

Light bulb problems

“Lights are burglars’ enemy,” says Logan. “In lights, they can be seen.” A thief who’s planning to break in might unscrew the bulbs around your house so they don’t turn on and reveal the burglar. Check the bulbs if your lights stop working suddenly. If they’re unscrewed but aren’t burnt out, a crook might be scoping your home, says Logan.

4. Make Your House Look Occupied

Does your mail pile up when you go on vacation? This is a key sign that burglars look for. Don’t let this happen to you. You can ask someone to look after your mail for you– a relative, neighbor, or friend. You can also ask the post office to hold your mail. Unlooked after a mail is a giveaway that no one is taking care of the house.

How can you tell if someone is watching your house?

HOW TO TELL IF A BURGLAR IS WATCHING YOUR HOUSE Unknown vehicles on the street. Strangers walking around the neighbourhood. Knocking on doors pretending to offer services. Faking emergencies to gain access. Taking a picture of your house and nearby areas. Leaving flyers at the door.

Step 6: Check for Signs of Forced Entry

Then, inspect the perimeter for signs of a forced break-in. Is the gate, fence, or railing bent, dented, or otherwise tampered with? Check that all barriers to entry are intact, including the ground-floor window casings and all other entrances to the house.

Step 10: Look for Footprints on the Floors or Carpets

This one is rather obvious but still worth mentioning. The intruders may not have left footprints outdoors, but if there was any mud, sand, or snow on their soles, they might have left stains on your carpet or tiles.

Strange Markings

Any strange spray paint, chalk, or graffiti on your home or around your home is cause for alarm. This can be marking your house to burglars and their cohorts. You may not be able to decipher the meaning of the markings, but those in the know would be able to. Take a picture of the markings and inform law enforcement. If you notice random signs around your house or your neighbor’s house, it may not be harmless.

What You Will Need

  1. Camera
  2. Pen and Paper
  3. List of Numbers for Local Law Enforcement

STEP 5: Call 911. Do not leave the safe room until the police arrive

Once everyone is secured in the safe room, call 911 for help. Follow the instructions of the dispatcher and remain on the line. Remain in the safe room until the police arrive. It is important to note that silence on the other side of the door does not mean the intruders have left, so wait until the dispatcher on the line confirms that the scene is clear and an officer has reached the door. Then you can safely exit.

STEP 1: Protect your home by making it less appealing to potential burglars

First, make sure your home isn’t the easiest target on the block. Wondering how to prevent a home invasion? This is a case where the best defense is a good offense. A study at the University of North Carolina that examined the actions and motivations of burglars showed that 83 percent of burglars check for a security system before breaking into a home, and that 60 percent will find another target if they see one. While not everyone wants to invest in a home security system, steps like adding exterior lighting, upgrading exterior doors, windows, and locks, and installing window coverings that block valuables from view will make potential burglars more likely to move on.

Does leaving a light on at night deter burglars?

Do security lights deter burglars? Yes, they can. Light makes it hard for them to conceal their identity, so they are more likely to find a darker home.


  • If the criminal is armed, get out of the house immediately. If you can, take a phone with you so you are able to call the police.

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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.


  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.

How to Prevent Homes Being Targeted & Burglarized

Thanks to a survey on how burglars broken into home conducted by KGW’s investigative team on 86 inmates currently serving time for burglary in the Oregon Department of Corrections, we get a better idea how and when burglars break into your house, what they are looking for and what homeowners can do to avoid houses being cased or burglarized.

Here are the breakdowns:

  • Buy security cameras for entries and make them visible
  • Make the house, front and backyard visible with good lighting
  • Trim your bushes and trees regularly
  • Put bars on your windows and door
  • Have TV or radio on when leaving home
  • Know neighbors and alerts police if anything suspicious

You might be surprised by the revelation of convicted criminals about how they approach the house and strike while it also serves a great reminder of how homeowners can do to avoid being targeted.

What to do if You Think Your House is a Target

If you find any significant signs that your home is a potential burglary target, follow our steps below.


  • Take note of any details involving the suspicious person or people around your home; what they look like, vehicle information, etc.
  • Talk to your neighbors to see if they have noticed any suspicious activity and let them know of your concerns.
  • Alert local law enforcement of your concerns and provide them with the information that you have gathered so that they are aware and can keep a closer watch on your area.
  • If you haven’t already, this would be a good time to invest in a home security system. You can even grab some inexpensive security cameras online that will do the trick without putting much of a dent in your wallet.
  • Reinforce entrances and windows with additional locks and security measures.

If you think that burglars are stalking your house, another thing you should do is exercise extreme caution and let them see that you are making it difficult for them. Installing surveillance and alarm cameras is essential in this type of situation.

Facts That Will Make You Take Burglary Seriously

  • According to the FBI, a burglary happens every 13 seconds in the United States.
  • One-third of all robberies occur through the front door entrance.
  • Burglars already have key items they’re interested in when they enter your home


If your home had been burgled, the trauma and unease in its aftermath, however, is a bell that can’t be un-rung, and many burglary victims find it hard to feel safe in their own homes.

For those who have been on an incredible lucky streak and have never been burglarized over the years, it’s essential to keep your eyes peeled and keep your ears on the ground in case any unfortunate might occur. Tags


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