Despite the increase in home security monitoring by homeowners today, the number of burglaries and attempted thefts in the U.S. has remained exceptionally high in recent years. The FBI suggests that 2012 saw over 2.1 million burglaries occur in that year alone.
Although strong residential security systems will cut down on the potential for crimes of opportunity, all homeowners should know what to do in case of a burglary, however unlikely. Homeowners tend to put a lot of emphasis on keeping burglars out, but they don’t always have a plan for what needs to happen after a break-in.
Grab the Phone First
A full-scale burglary may look like a tornado whipped through the home and tossed everything on the floor. It’s difficult not to become emotional in such circumstances, but it’s important to keep a level head and grab a phone to call the police.
Sometimes, evidence of a burglary might be apparent before a homeowner even steps over the threshold of his home. In such cases, it’s best to call the police immediately before entering the home. The burglar could still be at work inside the residence, and entering the home could impact the integrity of evidence.
Find a Camera and Call the Insurance Company
Whether a person has renter’s insurance and lives in an apartment or owns a home and has standard homeowner’s insurance, calling to make a claim should be a top priority. Remember, insurance companies often request a police report, so talking to the police first is recommended.
Take pictures of the damage after the burglary, so you will have a permanent record of the crime. Remember to take close pictures of any actual damage as well as pictures that feature the entire room or areas where items were stolen or broken.
Tip: Take pictures of the home and all valuables before a burglary occurs. A visual record of items stolen may be the best tool law enforcement has to recover stolen property.
Repair and Update the Security System
Thieves commonly disable security systems on their way into a home. Broken surveillance cameras might be a sign that an upgraded wireless system might be needed. Older cameras with wires are easily disabled while new cameras are tiny, efficient and wireless.
Sometimes, a burglar will find a way into the home that the homeowner never considered. No window or door is safe from possible intrusion. Make sure every potential entrance is protected. Consulting with a security professional should help eliminate vulnerabilities in the home’s security.
Making Sure it Doesn’t Happen Again
Home security monitoring from a remote company helps reduce the likelihood that a thief will be able to loiter in the home and look for valuables at his leisure. A security company will be able to let the homeowner know that a break-in is in progress and will also be able to notify law enforcement of the potential crime.