Break-ins are a terribly traumatic event. If you come home and find evidence of a break-in, you are likely in a heightened emotional state. This can make it difficult to process what has happened and take the necessary steps to report the incident. A break-in is something that nobody should have to experience, but an event that we should all prepare for. Here’s a step-by-step list of what you should do if you come home and find that your house was burglarized.
Contact Your Local Police Department
The first thing that you should do is call the police and file a report. This puts the break-in incident on record, which is crucial for both insurance claims and recovering stolen belongings. Do not touch anything in your home until the police arrive. When the authorities do arrive to your house, make a list of every item that was stolen and be sure to include a description and the price of each item. You will also want to make a copy of this list so that you can provide it to your insurance company. If you have not entered the home but you can tell that your home has been burglarized, do not enter the home. Keep your kids and yourself out of harm's way by staying out of the house and making the call to the police from a safe place.
Call Your Insurance Company
Make a call to your insurance company within 24 hours of the break-in, whether you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance. It is likely that your insurance company will send a claims adjuster to your home to assess the claim in person. If your insurance company plans to do this, you will want to make arrangements for your family to stay somewhere else, like with a family member, close friend or hotel close to work and your children's school, so that you do not disturb or accidentally clean up any valuable evidence.
Clean Up All Signs of the Incident
Once the authorities and your insurance company have all of the necessary information, you can start to pick up the pieces and clean up all signs of the break-in. The quicker you can get your back to normal, the sooner you will be able to move on from this traumatic event. Depending on the severity of the break-in and the amount of damage that occurred you may want to consider contacting a professional service to help clean up. And, for broken windows, doors, locks or other damage, a handyman may be required.
Safeguard Your Home
Most burglars break-in through the front or back doors. You can immediately increase the safety of your home by changing and upgrading your locks. Motion-sensor lights can also be installed as a criminal deterrent. However, the most effective way to safeguard your home is by installing a security camera system. Lorex, a DIY leader in home security, offers easy-to-install home security monitoring systems with unrivaled video performance. These home security systems offer high-definition picture and remote viewing so you can see what’s happening in or around your home, wherever you are.
Nobody should have to experience a break-in, but we should all take the steps to safeguard our homes and families.