It can be one of the worst sights to come home to. A broken front door, a shattered window, or a compromised lock. As soon as you walk in, you see disarray, or immediately spot items missing. A home break in can be a terrible experience for anyone, and chances are you won’t be up for making a lot of decisions or thinking as clearly as you’d hope. There are some crucial steps to take, as soon as possible, to make sure you can bounce back as best as possible.
Call the Police - The very first thing to do is to call the authorities. No matter what you initially see when you come home, you need to call the police. Do not enter the home or search the area until they have had a chance to check and give you the all clear. You’ll also want to wait before touching anything. Depending on the exact circumstances, they may or may not need to take evidence, but they will likely need to at least document the space. Don’t automatically expect them to take fingerprints or other evidence, as this may not be standard for your case. Make sure you take note of instructions they will provide on how to get a copy of their report since this will likely be required for things like your insurance claim.
Do an inventory - Once the police have given you the all clear to enter your home, you’ll want to go around and take an inventory of what is missing. You’ll also want to document and photograph any damage that’s been done. You will of course want to pay close attention any high ticket items, such as a TV, other entertainment equipment, or jewelry. You’ll want to accurately tally the value of any items you identify as missing. Once this inventory is completed, you’ll contact your insurance. They’ll need the inventory you’ve taken as well as the police report information you’ve been provided.
Tell the neighbors - After the fact, you’ll want to make sure you notify your neighbors as well. Let them know what you learned after taking a look around your home so that they can work to make their homes safe. Raising awareness of a real risk in the neighborhood helps to not only ensure your neighbors have a chance to be safe, but also increases the chance that those responsible are caught. If your neighborhood has a homeowners association or neighborhood watch, you’ll want to make sure that organization is made aware.
Talk about it with someone - Having someone break into your home can be an incredibly stressful experience. It’s normal to feel violated and it may take some time for you to feel comfortable in your own home again. Feelings like fear or anger, as well as losing patience over seemingly small things are totally normal responses. It can be a great idea to find someone to talk to. This may mean a trusted friend, a faith leader, or a professional.
Reassess the security of your home - Finally, you’ll want to take some time to re-evaluate the security of your home. Identify what opportunity was taken advantage of by the burglar when they invaded your privacy and seek a way to close that. Call our office to have a professional advise you on what tools are available to provide you with the necessary protection. It’s always worth remembering that there is no certainty when it comes to home security, but taking the time to look at ways you can do what is possible will not only help your home be safer, it will help give you back some of your lost peace of mind.