What to Do After a Break-In October 22nd, 2015
Walking into your home and realizing it’s been burglarized is a shocking moment.
It’s easy to feel emotionally overwhelmed by the violation you’ve just experienced. You will have a visceral reaction to seeing your home ransacked and your personal possessions missing.
Staying logical amidst the panic will be difficult. But the first few steps after you discover the crime are critical.
1) Call the police. Before seeking out what has been stolen, stay outside or go to a neighbor’s home to call the police, in case the intruder is still present.
Once police arrive, they’ll make sure the home is safe, and evaluate and photograph the scene exactly as it was left. You will not want to disturb the scene until authorities arrive, to preserve any evidence as-is.
The police will file a report, and at this time, you’ll want to check thoroughly to see what items are missing. Make sure this report is as complete as possible, since this report will be supplied to the insurance company. For unique items like jewelry, you should draw a sketch of the item to complement the description. In order for the insurance company to cover your losses, you should file the police report within 24 hours of discovering the crime.
2) Review and preserve your home security video footage. You’ll want to make any video available to police as soon as possible, and also make sure you have a digital file to provide to your insurance company. Hopefully, your home security cameras upload data to cloud storage, so that it will be easily accessible, no matter what video camera equipment was damaged or stolen.
3) Contact your insurance company. Call your homeowner or renter’s insurance company and file a claim for all items stolen, and do this as soon as possible, at least within 24 hours. A claims adjuster will visit your home and letting them assess any damage will allow your claim to be processed without challenge.
If you have saved any receipts for large ticket items or have photos that include that property in them, provide those to your company to try to recoup as much money as possible.
4) Repair & reinforce weak points in your home. Board up broken windows, replace broken doorknobs, and find a temporary new hiding place for additional valuables. You obviously want to get back to normal as soon as possible.
But sometimes burglars will hit the same home more than once in a short period time since their first entry gave them more time to survey the location of other valuables they didn’t have the capacity to grab the first time. Hiding your remaining valuables for a period of time is an extra precaution worth taking.
5) Install a home security system. Your personal comfort is one of the hardest things to regain after a break-in. Whether you had thousands of dollars of property stolen or just found evidence that someone tried to pry open your front door, you feel violated. Your home should be a safe space where you can sleep soundly at night.
A monitored alarm system offers an automated way to contact the authorities for help immediately, and deters burglars from choosing your house to target in the first place.
The Home Security Checklist
Once you have gotten your home back in order, in addition to having a home security system installed, there are many steps you can take to make an intrusion less likely and make your family feel safer. You can use our home security checklist to evaluate your home’s vulnerability level and determine if there are additional actions you can take to improve your safety.
Interested in a free home security system quote? We’ll give you a call and answer all of your questions.
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