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Published On: Wed, Sep 16th, 2020

What to Do in the Event of a Home Break-in

A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. If you’re a victim of a home break-in, follow some steps to protect yourself, recover damages, and bring the perpetrator to justice. These steps will empower you and make you feel in control after being victimized. 

Get to Safety

You could walk in on a burglar in the act. If you notice that someone has broken into your home, don’t go room to room to look for the culprit. Instead, gather your family and pets and leave the property immediately, taking special care to avoid touching anything inside the house. If you know your neighbors, go to their home. If you don’t know your neighbors, get in your vehicle, lock the doors, and drive off the premises.  

Call the Police

You need to file a police report to make a record of the crime. This will allow you to file an insurance claim. Also, if the police recover your belongings, you will get them back if you file a report. The police will come to the scene and gather evidence for your report. If you have video surveillance, hand it over to the police, so they can review it. Some home alarm systems have the benefit of calling the police for you if you aren’t home during the time of a break-in. 

You’ll need to provide the officer with information about the items that the thief took during the home break-in. Be as descriptive as possible. For example, if the thief took a TV, including the make, model, and year if possible.

When the police finish the investigation on your property, find out where you can get a copy of the report. Also, ask the police if you are free to clean up the damage. While it’s unlikely an officer will need to come back and continue the investigation, it’s wise to ask just in case. 

Contact Your Landlord, If Applicable

If you’re a renter, you should contact your landlord and apprise him or her of the situation. The landlord will likely also need a copy of the police report. You can tell the landlord where to pick up the copy or provide it yourself. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

Both homeowners and renter’s insurance policies allow you to recover some damages when you’re the victim of a break-in. The insurance company will need the police report before moving forward. Once you file the claim, the company will investigate. You might need to meet with a claims adjuster as part of the process. If so, have a hard copy of the police report on hand, so you can go over it with the adjuster.

Clean Up 

You’ll need to clean up after the break-in and replace anything the burglar damaged. You might need to hire a professional to fix broken items such as doors and windows. Don’t stay inside the home until any broken doors or windows are replaced. 

Secure Your Home

Finally, secure your home to prevent future break-ins. Consider how the burglar entered your home and then address the vulnerability. For example, if the burglar entered by kicking down the door, you can replace it with a solid door with a deadbolt. You can also get a security system if needed. 

Security Provides Peace of Mind

Being the victim of a home break-in is emotional. You feel violated and afraid that it will happen again. The fear can keep you up at night, and every little noise can cause you to panic. While it takes time to get back to normal, securing your home is an essential first step. Home security provides peace of mind after a burglary, so take the steps necessary to ensure you and your loved ones are safe.

Author: Pankaj Deb

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