FIVE Things You Should Do Immediately After Your Home is Burglarized
What Should You Do if Your Home is Burglarized?
Of course, nobody really expects their home to be burglarized, just like we don’t really expect our houses to burn down. But most of us take out fire insurance just to be on the safe side, and when it comes to burglaries, many people take extra precautions to protect their families and belongings, including installing residential alarm systems and cameras and subscribing to a security monitoring service.
According to data from the FBI, one in every 36 homes in the United States is burglarized. That may be a surprisingly high figure for many of us, and the fact is that there are cities and neighborhoods where burglaries are even more common, though thankfully Kansas City isn’t in the top 10. Regardless of where you live, though, home burglaries do happen, and when you return home to find that your house has been broken into and your belongings taken from you, it can be a harrowing experience.
There is, of course, an immediate inclination to take stock of the damage, to go through your things and find out what may have been taken. Unfortunately, our natural instincts in a situation like this can sometimes do more harm than good, so here are five things to keep in mind immediately after discovering a burglary in your home:
When You Discover a Residential Burglary, Don’t Touch Anything.
As difficult as it can be to believe, your home is now a crime scene. Thanks to all of those procedural dramas on TV, we all know that everything is evidence, so don’t touch anything. That includes going through your drawers, closets, safe, etc. to find out what’s missing. If you can take photos of the loss or damage from a distance, that’s a much better idea than tromping all over the evidence. In fact, from the moment you realize there’s been a break-in, try to stay out of your home entirely if you can do so safely. If you feel more comfortable phoning the police and waiting for them to arrive at a neighbor’s house, do so. The most important thing is to make sure that you’re in a safe place without disturbing the crime scene. Speaking of the police…
Call the Police, Even if You Have Residential Alarm Systems with 24/7 Monitoring.
Reporting the crime as quickly as possible will not only help to increase your chances of retrieving your stolen property, but it may also help prevent the same thieves from targeting one of your neighbor’s homes. Groups of burglars may case an entire neighborhood and plan to hit more than one home at a time, and your quick thinking could save others. Even if you have a residential security system with round-the-clock monitoring, it’s important to make the call as soon as you know that your home has been broken into. By the same token…
Don’t Wait Around to File a Claim with Your Homeowners Insurance.
Once again, the faster you act, the faster your claim will get settled. However, the insurance company will need some information from the police in order to file your claim, so that’s another good reason to call the police and file the report immediately. In the event of a burglary, your insurance company may want to send out a claims adjuster right away to investigate the claim and verify any loss or damage, which is another very good reason not to touch anything if you can help it. Once all the authorities have been alerted…
Cancel Any Accounts Tied to Merchandise that Was Taken in the Burglary.
From paperwork to electronic devices, there are a lot of things that would-be thieves can make off with that give them more than just the value of that object. If you find that you’re missing a checkbook—even one that you don’t use—be sure to call your bank. If any of your credit cards are missing, you should phone those lending companies and get those cards canceled and new cards sent out. These days especially, most electronic devices are full of data and stored passwords, so if the burglars took any of your electronics—or even if they didn’t—it’s probably a good time to change all of your passwords, just to be safe.
Audit Your Home Security and Residential Alarm Systems.
Finally, after the investigators have completed their work, all the reports have been filed, and the cleanup has been performed, it’s time to take a hard look at your home security. If you already have a home security system, check into how the burglars bypassed it or if there is some loophole that they were able to exploit. If you don’t already invest in residential alarm systems and security monitoring, then it’s high time you did.
Here are some facts: The majority of home burglaries take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when most people are at work or school. 30% of burglars enter the home through an unlocked door or window. And unbelievably, 35% of burglars enter through the front door itself. But the most important figure to remember is that 60% of convicted burglars have stated that home security systems deterred them from ever trying to break into a home in the first place. So if you don’t already have a home security system, there’s no time like the present.
Modern Residential Alarm Systems Help Deter Thieves.
Not only do the best residential alarm systems comprehensively alert homeowners and authorities about break-ins almost anywhere in the home, they have also been proven to act as an effective deterrent. It’s more than just a yard sign or a decal pasted up on your window. Many burglars case houses before they rob them, and they know what sorts of home security measures you have in place. Residential alarm systems tell them that breaking into your house is going to increase their likelihood of being caught and may be more trouble than it’s worth.
In the event of a break-in, many modern residential security systems can record events both inside and outside the house and even send immediate video notifications to your phone or other device and to remote monitoring services. When your residential alarm system alerts you that something is amiss, you can take immediate and appropriate action based on the information that you get from your security cameras and other systems, whether that’s checking in with the monitoring service, alerting the authorities, or dismissing what turns out to be an innocuous event.
With Residential Alarm Systems, You’re in Control.
These are all very practical things to keep in mind in the wake of a burglary, but the fact is that being robbed can be a very emotional experience. One of the most important things that you can do in the aftermath is to take good care of yourself and your family. Be prepared for unexpected emotions, keep in touch with your support network, and be ready for surprises, like noticing things that are missing days or even weeks after the break-in. While it can be tempting to engage in a little amateur sleuthing, remember to leave the investigation to the professionals. If you have suspicions about who might have taken your property, go to the police rather than trying to run down those leads yourself.
One thing that many people who have been the victims of burglary report is a feeling of loss of control. A break-in is a reminder that the world can be a chaotic and unfair place. Fortunately, residential alarm systems can help you to regain some of that sense of security and stability. Considering that the average estimated property dollar loss per burglary in the United States comes to around $2,500 or so, a good residential security system probably seems like a small price to pay for so much added peace of mind—even with the additional cost of a 24/7 monitoring service.
Whether you’ve been a victim of a break-in or simply want to avoid becoming one, the average homeowner has a lot of questions when it comes to choosing residential alarm systems, security cameras, and home security, including what measures are appropriate for your particular home. If you want to learn more about how residential alarm systems can help protect your home from burglaries, A-TEC Residential Security in Kansas City is happy to answer your questions or help you find the residential security solution that’s right for you.