It’s an unfortunate fact that burglaries and theft tend to increase throughout the winter months. Shorter, darker days combined with the increased possibility of folks having expensive holiday presents under their trees make thieves much more likely to try and break into various homes. Families also tend to travel more, meaning many houses are vacant for days on end, and far too often homeowners find themselves coming home to a house that has been torn apart.
So, what should you do if you experience an incident like this? Here are some guidelines.
Call The Police
First things first, get the police on the phone and start filing a report. This way you get everything recorded while the experience is still fresh in your memory, and evidence can be collected right away. It’s recommended that you call them from a safe spot, such as your car or the neighbors house, so that you don’t risk getting hurt on any broken glass or damaged property. Also, if you come home to a break-in, there’s always the chance that the burglar is still at the scene.
Don’t Clean Up
If burglars left your home a disaster, then one of your first instincts might be to start cleaning up the space. We get that getting things back in order as soon as possible is important for anyone going through this difficult time, but hold off a bit until the police have the opportunity to look things over. Touching things and moving any items around could end up destroying any evidence that could be used against the criminal.
On this same note, it’s always a good idea to take pictures, so that you know exactly how things were when you came home. This could be used to catch the person who broke into your home, and it will definitely come in handy when trying to get compensation from your insurance company.
Reach Out To Your Insurance Agency
Within the first day of getting broken into, you’ll want to contact your insurance company and let them know of the incident. You’ll need a list of everything that was taken, as well as the cost of all stolen items, and they should be informed of any damages you’ll need to take care of, as well. Your insurance company will let you know everything they need in order to move forward. They may want video footage or pictures, and some companies actually send a person to assess the situation.
Another thing they typically require is the case number from the police report. As long as you follow their instructions and try to stay as organized as possible, you should be on the right track to getting your things replaced and home fixed up quickly.
Were Your Credit Cards Stolen?
If your bank account information or credit cards were taken, then you’ll want to reach to your financial institution right away to have your cards canceled and to note any false charges that may have already occurred. Many organizations have procedures in place to ensure you stay as protected as possible and that you get back the money that was taken from you.
Start Picking Up The Pieces
Once you’ve been given the okay from the police, it’s time to start putting your home back together. This may seem overwhelming at first, but it will be worth it in the long run to get on the job sooner, rather than later. Board up doors and windows until you can get a handyman hired, and start picking up any scattered debris or broken items.
By leaving your home in disarray, it stays vulnerable to future break-ins, and it can make you an easy target for anyone looking for the opportunity to commit a crime. Along with this, open windows and the like can lead to even more damage if it rains or snows.
Talk It Out
A break-in can take a big toll on a person both financially and emotionally, and it is totally acceptable to talk with friends, family members, or even a professional if you find yourself struggling to move past this event. Take your time and work with people that care about helping you find normalcy again.
It’s also a good idea to inform your neighbors of the event, as well as ask them if they saw anything that may help the police. Any little bit of information helps!
Look For Ways To Better Protect Your Home
Once your space is back in order and you’ve started to heal and get your life back in order, be sure to invest in a security system for your home. You now know which areas are weaker, as well as which need to be better enforced, and you can work with a security company to get a system that is just right for your property.
Not sure where to start? Why not schedule a free assessment with the team here at Unlimited Security? We would be happy to look your household over and let you know of the best steps you could take for getting the safety and security you deserve. We are all about personalizing systems to your unique needs and preferences, and we never want you to feel pressured or coaxed into anything.
All in all, when you work with us, you can count on getting treated like you’re a part of our family! If you’re ready to get started, reach out now. We would love to set you up right!