Although the number of burglaries in the U.S. has been dropping steadily over the past decade, there are still around 2.5 million break-ins happening each year. These invasions not only lead to property loss and damage, but they also leave the victim feeling traumatized and vulnerable.
Although we hope it never happens to you, it’s best you know what to do after a burglary. Maintaining a cool head and taking the following steps immediately after a break-in can help restore your safety, peace of mind, and even your valuables.
Call the Police
Even before you call your spouse or your best friend or start looking for emergency door repair Toronto services online, contact the police. There is always a chance that the intruder is still lurking in the neighborhood. A call will help law enforcement officers respond sooner and even intercept the suspect. If you’ve lost your phone, go to a trusted neighbor and ask them to call the police for you.
If you weren’t home when the burglary happened, follow the same protocol and contact the police. And remember, only make the call when you are sure the intruder has completely left your property. To avoid inadvertently destroying evidence, don’t touch anything before the officers get there. When they arrive, then you can work out what you lost, describe the intruder in detail, and describe what direction they went, if you saw anything.
Call the Insurance Company
Once you record a statement and the police take control of the situation, contact your insurance company within 24 hours. They could help you recoup some of your losses. At this point, you should have compiled a complete list of all the items you lost or were damaged during the break-in. Assemble the receipts, warranties, and other documents that prove ownership.
It’s easy to miss some valuables and realize later they were stolen. Don’t worry, as you’ll be given an opportunity to update your claim. Since the insurance company may send someone to investigate the claim, you shouldn’t clean up your home right away, in order to avoid tampering with critical evidence.
Repair the Damage Caused by the Break-In
When the insurance adjuster is done investigating your claim and you’ve documented everything, start planning how to get things in order. It may be a bit difficult to start over, but the sooner you start, the faster you’ll heal and feel safe again. Start by cleaning up all signs of the break-in, removing broken items, and arranging things back in place. Don’t forget to change your passwords if the burglar stole any of your tech devices.
Next, look for professional experts to repair any broken doors, windows or walls. Remember that more than 30% of burglars prefer to enter through the front door. Another 22% opt for the back door. So you’ll need to invest in secure locks and doors.
Beef Up Your Security Solutions
After experiencing a break-in, you’ll likely want to upgrade your security measures. Even if you are on a tight budget due to the losses suffered, there are many affordable methods you can deploy to discourage would-be intruders from targeting your home again. Lock your doors and windows, keep your valuables out of sight, use a privacy window film, and start a neighborhood watch system.
According to the police, a good majority of burglars stay clear of homes that have visible home security systems. So, consider installing an alarm, use motion-sensing lights, and put up a “beware of dog” or “neighborhood watch” sign. For ultimate protection, you may want to invest in a CCTV surveillance system. In the meantime, a dummy camera is not a bad idea until you can get a real one.
Start Securing Your Home Today
A home break-in is always a stressful and scary experience, but the steps above may all help you pick up and rebuild your life more quickly. Often, you can prevent an intrusion before it even happens with the right steps. Start investing in visible and invisible security measures today, and burglars will be more likely to give your home a pass.