Home Hit With A Break In? Here’s How To Handle It
Have you ever had to deal with a home break-in? It can be quite frightening because it is essentially evidence that your home is not as secure as you had hoped. We often think of our home as a haven, a place where no one can touch us, but that belief becomes difficult to accept once someone has managed to break through your barriers of security and enter your home without your permission. This can be particularly traumatizing if you were in the house at the time or if your kids were.
It’s worth mentioning at this points that most break-ins, while scary, are not violent. It is very rare for someone to break into your home with the intention to hurt either you or your loved ones. The level of violent crime is actually down considerably and has been dropping for a number of years.
Most people, as one comedian put it, are just hoping to steal your new 4K TV. However, that probably isn’t particularly reassuring once you know that someone did enter your home while you were in or out. So, how should you handle this situation? What steps should you take?
Safety In Numbers
It is worth taking a look at the emotional impact that a break in can have. It can shake your trust in peaceful as well as how safe you feel when you are alone. That’s why for at least a couple of days or even weeks after the break in it might be worth getting a friend or a member of your family to stay with you. By doing this, you can feel a little more comfortable in your home, and it’s important to do this rather than stay at someone else’s house or a hotel for a few days. It’s a little like being in a car accident. You have to be ready to get back in the car or back in your home.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You do need to make sure that you are looking at the level of coverage that you have to pay for the damages or losses from the break-in. This is why it’s worth having an inventory of your home’s possessions. LifeHacker.com has tips and info on how to build your own inventory. By doing this, you can make sure that you know exactly what may have been stolen and how much it was worth. That way, you will be able to get the money back that you have lost without having to argue with your insurance provider. Be aware that a picture record is often needed to guarantee you get exactly what was taken back.
When you have contacted your insurance company, don’t forget that you should also be covered for any breakages or damage that occurred during the break-in. Most break-ins do occur by the criminal smashing a window in your home, and an insurance provider should cover you by paying the cost of the repairs for an issue like this.
Alert The Police
It is necessary to alert the police that there has been a break-in as soon as you are aware it has occurred. You might have little faith that the police will be able to catch the criminals responsible, and it is often difficult for them to do this. However, it is still worth going through the right procedures as at the very least this will strengthen your position when you do speak to your insurance company.
Be aware that rates of success with catching thieves are often tied to how early you report the incident and how much detail you can provide.
Check What’s Missing
When completing your inventory of missing items, it is important to check for things that may not seem that valuable, like keys. Believe it or not, it’s quite common for thieves to break-in take the keys of a home and then return at a later date. This is particularly likely if the keys are in a noticeable place such as hanging on a hook by the door.
This is why it is worth paying to get your locks changed after a break-in. You can view EastwayLock.com and other similar sites for info on how to change all the locks on your home. Don’t forget, you should also do this after you move into a new home as well. The previous owner could have made a copy of the key and failed to mention it to you. If that’s the case, they will still be able to access your home without your knowledge. It’s a dangerous game, but it has happened.
You might also find that the criminal has not bothered to steal large items and instead has targeted files such as bank statements. This is a smart move as at first glance it will look like nothing has been taken, and you will thank your lucky stars. This is why you should always investigate your home thoroughly, searching for anything that might be out of place.
If you do find anything out of place, then make sure that you respond immediately. Remember, you can and should alert your bank that you have been robbed. They can tell you the best way to protect yourself online from fraud if the thief did steal any valuable personal info.
Upgrade Your Security
Finally, you may want to think about adding extra security to your home, and this will be particularly important if the break-in has made you feel unsafe. By adding extra security, you can give yourself the peace of mind to know that you are still safe and protected.
What kind of features are we talking about? Well, there are a number of possibilities to choose from. We strongly suggest you consider adding CCTV to your home. This can act as a deterrent to stop criminals considering breaking in and catch evidence of a criminal in your house. You can even add hidden cameras around your home with basic spy equipment that you can buy online. It won’t stop a break in, but you’ll know exactly what was taken and perhaps even get a face shot of the criminal.