Someone Broke In: Now What Do I Do?
Burglaries fall into the category of things you think only happen to other people. But what if one day you come home from running errands to find the window in your back room shattered and many of your expensive belongings missing? What should your first steps be? How do you handle this emergency and restore home security quickly? Here are the steps you should take if someone ever breaks into your house.
Call the Police
First things first; call the police and file a report. This puts the incident on record, which is necessary if you want to make an insurance claim. Having the police take a look at your property is also important for potentially tracking down and prosecuting the burglars. To increase the chance of successful prosecution, don’t touch anything that could destroy evidence before the police arrive.
Be prepared to provide the police with a written description of everything that was taken and each item’s approximate value. If you saw anyone suspicious on your property when you arrived home and discovered the break-in, provide the police with a description of the person and what direction you saw them leaving your property.
Call Your Insurance Company
Call your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider within 24 hours to begin the claims process as quickly as possible. To increase your potential claim amount, provide the insurance company with the same written description you gave to the police with as many details as possible. A claims provider may come to your home in person to assess the damage and make sure your claim is valid.
Watch Security Footage
If you have security cameras, watch the footage and provide it as additional evidence of the break-in to the police and your insurance company. Use the footage to help you determine where your home’s security weaknesses are. This can help you make changes to increase security and prevent a future burglary.
Once the police and insurance company have received proper documentation of the incident, it’s time to clean up the mess the burglar left behind. The most important step is to seek emergency board up services until you can have a replacement window installed. Boarding up broken windows prevents your home from being a repeat target during this vulnerable time.
This is also the time to clean up items that are strewn about and mop up muddy footprints from the floor. The sooner you can clean up signs of the break-in (following the necessary collection of evidence), the sooner you can move past the incident.
Improve Your Home’s Security
You’ll find that being the victim of a break-in is about more than just having a few belongings stolen; it can also leave you feeling violated and vulnerable. In addition to letting time heal you emotionally after this traumatic event, you should also take steps to ensure it will never happen again.
Purchase new door and window locks, put in motion-sensor lights at the front and back door, and install security cameras (or even dummy cameras to scare would-be burglars away). A home security system also provides excellent peace of mind. Even a sign declaring “Beware of Dog” in the yard – regardless of whether you really have a dog – can prevent thieves from risking an attempted break-in.
If your home was recently burglarized, we understand how vulnerable you feel right now. Begin to put the pieces of your life back together by counting on Glass Doctor® for emergency board up services. Please contact us today to learn more.