Seeing the aftermath from your home being broken into can be a traumatic experience. It can be difficult to think clearly and make decisions after experiencing such an event, however, the steps that you take following a house break-in are crucial.
1. Call the police
Before you do anything else, call the police. This is vital as you do not know if the intruder/intruders are still nearby and pose a potential safety risk to you. Do not attempt to enter your home or investigate until the police arrive either, as doing so could put your safety in serious jeopardy. If you believe your home has been broken into, the best thing to do is get to safety at a friend’s, neighbour’s, or relative’s place, and then call the police.
Calling the police is vital towards the recovery process as you need to file a report before you can make any insurance claims. Once you have called them, you should remain safely away until they arrive before attempting to return to your home. You should also wait until the police thoroughly secure the property before you go near it.
2. Don’t touch anything
One of your first instincts may be to investigate your home to try to identify what was taken or damaged, but doing so could disrupt the police investigation and contaminate any evidence left behind. It is therefore important that you do not touch or move anything until the police have completed their investigation.
Additionally, it may be helpful if you assist the police with their investigation by pointing out things that do not belong in your home or may belong to the burglars.
3. Take inventory
After the police have completed their investigation and have given you the green light to evaluate your home, you should begin to perform your own investigation to identify exactly what was stolen and damaged.
This is important as you can recover most, if not all that was stolen or damaged by claiming from insurance once you have completed all the necessary steps.
4. Call your insurance company
After you have completed the police report and have identified exactly what was stolen and damaged, you should then call your insurance company as soon as possible – preferably within 24 hours of the incident.
You should then put in a request to claim the value of what was stolen and damaged. The insurance company will likely then send a claims adjuster to perform their own investigation to ensure your claims are accurate.
5. Clean up
Once you have completed all the formalities and made a claim from your insurance company, the next step is to get your life back in order.
Dealing with the aftermath of a break-in can be difficult, and in order to move forward, you need to clean up your home or make arrangements for your home to be cleaned up for you. It may be a good idea to have someone you trust help you if you feel that it may be too stressful on your own.
While cleaning up, asses what needs to be replaced or repaired as a result of the break-in. Your first priority should be to replace or repair any broken items such as windows, locks, doors and other security/safety systems or barriers that may leave your home vulnerable. Once completed you can then begin to replace any damaged or stolen goods and appliances.
6. Review and improve your home security
Having your home broken into can be a terrible thing but it also provides you with the opportunity to review and improve on your home security to ensure that it is never broken into again.
The first thing to do in this process is to review any video footage taken by your security cameras or baby monitors if you already had some installed before the break-in. Additionally, you should follow up with the police and evaluate their reports to understand how the intruders gained access to your home.
The next thing to do is to try to establish where the weak points are in your home security, and evaluate how the intruders exploited this to gain access to your property. After this has been carefully considered you should think about how you can improve your home security and begin by strengthening any identified weak points to help prevent any future break-ins from occurring.
Many victims of house break-ins do not know or are in too much shock to understand the correct steps to take after a house break-in has occurred. By following the steps provided you can help mitigate the negative impacts that a house break-in can have, and give yourself more time to adequately recover and move on from this negative experience.