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Signs of Forced Entry—And Why it Matters

Protection From Home Invasions

Signs of Forced Entry Are Required For Insurance Claims

You’d surely be able to tell if someone broke into your home, right?

You exited, closed the door, locked the door, and ensured all other points of entry were secure. You’ve also brushed up on how to tell if a burglar is watching your house, and you’re confidently thinking there isn’t any reason your home has been tampered with.

Unfortunately, things just tend to happen sometimes.

While you’d eventually figure out your residence has been broken into, being able to spot signs of forced entry is something you’ll want – and perhaps be forced – to do.


Well, while insurance is available to give peace of mind in the event of something terrible like a burglary taking place, it’s rarely a straightforward “get paid back” case. In fact, your claims can even be denied if in fact there isn’t any sign of forced entry.

Given all of that, we wanted to take a look at how to tell if your locks or entry points have been tampered with, provide warnings around how exactly you can be a victim of theft without a criminal forcing their way into your house, and offer a few steps you can take to ensure you’re claims are accepted in the unfortunate event of a burglary.

Signs of Forced Entry

Being able to spot the signs of forced entry are a safety matter, above all else. The only thing worse than having your home broken into is you stumbling upon the crime as it is taking place, leading to a potentially dangerous situation of you coming face to face with your intruder.

Here are some subtle signs of which to take notice:

  • New difficulty getting your key into the lock
  • Paint circles showing that a doorknob has been loosened and thus shifted
  • Evidence of “bumping” or picking with light scratches around locks
  • Latches bent out of their original positions
  • New scratches or marks that look like they could be from screwdrivers, etc.

Insurance Claims and No Signs of Forced Entry

In addition to your safety, it becomes increasingly important to be able to identify signs of forced entry in the event of submitting an insurance claim. Sure, an adjuster should take an in-person look to determine whether or not someone forced their way in, but the more you know, the better you’ll be able to guide such inspection.

What should you do in the absence of these signs? Unfortunately, only about 40% of burglaries involve forced entry, which means more than half of the criminals are finding an easy way into your home.

While you might be out of luck when it comes to receiving an insurance payout for your stolen items, it’s important to think about your current situation, and whether or not you’re making home burglary easier than it ever should be.

How Burglars Can Get In Without Force

Extra “Hidden” Keys

Think about it—there are only so many places you can hide a key, right? If a burglar has enough time around your property, you can be sure that no stone will be left unturned, literally. If they do find a key, they enter the home just as you would, which is about the least forceful way possible.

Unlocked Doors

OK, perhaps this is the least forceful way someone can enter your home. While it’s unsettling to think, many criminals are easily able to walk into your home because they are casing your home, and have a good idea of when you might be gone for prolonged periods of time. In their viewing, they can also see whether or not you left without locking the door, or, might just get lucky by checking a back door and finding it unlocked.

Inside Jobs

Even more unsettling than a stranger gaining entry to our home is the thought that the person stealing your stuff is a trusted friend or family member. This is a tough one to get deep into because only you know the company you keep, but take inventory of those who have regular access to your home. This can include other like house cleaners, friends of friends who come over every Sunday to watch football, and more.

Closed Garage Door

Yes, you read that correctly. All someone needs to break in through a garage door that isn’t protected by any sort of garage door theft prevention is a coat hanger, which is small and thin enough to be stuck through a small, wedge-created opening on its way to reaching and releasing the emergency cord. After doing so, a criminal can easily roll up the garage door, make their way into your garage, and potentially further. (A zip tie solution for the garage door is not a solution at all)

In the end, nobody wants to be a victim of a home burglary, but it does happen. While you can never fully prevent someone from entering your home and taking your belongings, it’s valuable to take all available steps to ensure to make doing so extremely difficult.

As you just read, you want to keep intruders out, yes, but you also want them to have to make it painfully obvious they entered your home uninvited, both for your safety and the odds of receiving an insurance settlement for your troubles.

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