You’ve Had a Break-In: Now What?
Posted February 6th, 2015 by Kelley
The unthinkable has happened: your house was broken into. After the event itself is over, you’re still left with a lot to clean up, both literally and metaphorically. Now that there’s no longer an intruder in your home, what do you do? Here are your first steps after a break-in, to make sure you and your family are safe and on the road to recovery.
1) Be Cautious and Stay Safe:
First of all, do not do anything rash. If you return home to evidence of a burglary, do not go inside your home. There’s a chance the burglar may still be inside. Stay in your car and lock the doors, or wait at a neighbor’s house. Enlisting the help of your neighbor is a great step to ensure your safety. There is safety in numbers. If you were home during the burglary, make sure to proceed to a safe location. On your way, don’t touch or move anything in your home. You don’t want to disrupt any crime scene evidence police might been in prosecuting the intruder.
2) Call 911:
As soon as you are in a safe location, call the police. It’s important to make sure that the police are notified for several reasons. The police will be able to help you assess the situation and make sure it is safe to return to your home. They will also be able to create a police report, that will be important when you create an insurance claim down the road. Though calling the police may seem like a given, only slightly more than half of all burglaries are reported to the police. This is an important step to keep you and your neighborhood safe. Don’t skip it!
3) Make a Detailed Record:
Next, write down anything you remember about the event. Did you see the burglar? What did he look like? Where was the damage you noticed? Was a lock on the door damaged? What door? Any detail you can remember will help! Then, compile a list of items that are missing and a list of things that have been damaged (including your property, such as windows). Make sure the list is as detailed as possible. Do you know the year and make of your electronics? What about the cut of the jewelry stole? If you know the serial numbers of your electronics that were stolen, make sure to include these as well. You can provide this description of the event and the list to the police: it will aid them in their investigation and help you recover your items!
4) File an Insurance Claim:
Your next step is to call your insurance company and file a claim. Make sure you have the police report handy, as the insurance will most likely need this information. The insurance company may need to send out an adjuster to investigate, and if that’s the case, you may need to stay in a hotel or a friend’s house so that you don’t accidentally tamper with any important evidence.
Once you’re back in your home, you can begin to feel at home again. Now, it’s time to make sure you feel back at home in your house, and clean up. When the windows, and locks are all repaired, there’s still some work to do. It’s completely normal to feel upset and helpless after an intrusion, but thankfully, there are certain measures you can take that can help you feel safe and secure in your home again.
5) Fortify Your Home with Additional Security:
Replacing and upgrading your locks and lights is a great way to feel safer, quickly. There are some fancy locks on the market these days, including smart locks with a code that you can program with settings such as turning on lights or changing the temperature of your home. When you’re lights on are on, you’ll be able to feel safe and protected, whether you’re walking around your house at night, or coming home from an evening out. You don’t need smart locks to be safe, though. A stronger deadbolt will do the trick as well.
Now is the best time to research getting a monitored home-alarm system. Many burglars do return to the scene of the crime, so the best time to get an alarm system is now. Beat them to the chase. Think a home security system is out of your budget? Think again! SimpliSafe offers a no annual contract home-alarm system with monitoring starting at $14.99 a month, so if you ever have a break in again, the police will be on the scene.
Emotionally, it’ll take time to get over a break in. Being proactive in making security changes to your home can help with the pain and stress of feeling safe again. Knowing that you’ve done all that you can to protect your home can help relieve the anxiety of having another unwanted guest.August 2021