No one wants to consider the terrible situation of having a home burglary, but what do you do after a home burglary occurs?
Burglary is an extremely painful situation and, unfortunately, not an entirely uncommon one.
There is a burglary approximately every 14 seconds in the United States, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). But beyond the initial shock, anger and fear, what steps are you going to have to go through to get your life back on track after a home burglary?
The process of tangible restitution after a home burglary can seem long and potentially arduous; and this is beyond the emotional and mental trauma that comes with a break-in.
Here’s what you need to know to do after a home burglary happens.
Call the Police
If you come home from work one day and you notice from the outside that your home has been burglarized, you should always call the police first. Never go into a house that you think may have been robbed because there’s a chance the burglar(s) are still in there. Wait in your car or in another safe location until the police arrive at your house. If you do go inside your house before the police arrive, take care to not touch anything inside your home because the police may want to take photographs and fingerprints for evidence.
Call Your Insurance Agency
Once you’ve made sure that you and your family is safe after a burglary, the next step is to call the insurance agency. Getting your house burglarized can be an emotional and scary experience but it’s important to remember to take the necessary steps to secure the status of your valuables. Most insurance companies require you to file a police report within 24 hours of the time you discovered the break-in. You’ll need to go through your house and make a list of everything that was stolen and how much these items were worth. Depending on the contents of your home, this can take hours if not days to complete accurately and succinctly. Did you have plans tonight? Or the next several weekends? You may end up having to cancel them just to get your life back in order after a burglary.
Now that you’ve taken care of the safety and time-sensitive matters of calling the police and dealing with the insurance agency, it’s always a good idea to document everything in your house. Take photos of any broken windows, busted locks, or other damage to your house. Then go through all your belongings to ensure all your valuables, and even things that may not seem like an obvious item to rob or take, are in their place. Write down a list of everything that was stolen and their value. Then, you can begin the job of fixing and repairing your home. Going through and inspecting the damage can also help you come to terms emotionally with what has happened. Something to consider doing for the purpose of staying organized, is to create a spreadsheet listing all pertinent details of items and outline your next steps. This process requires detailed notation and is going to take up a lot more of your time than you had first anticipated. If you stay organized from the start, you’ll feel much better. Otherwise, the weeks and possibly months it will take to feel normal again may feel like they’re really dragging on.
Consider a Better Home Security Solution than What You Had Previously
Now is the time to consider upgrading to a home security system or upgrading your old one. Burglars tend to strike the same home more than once, especially if they weren’t caught. This is because they already know the layout of your house well and know that you will replace all the valuables they stole with insurance money. Even if you don’t think a burglar will be coming back anytime soon, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A high-tech home security system will allow you to sleep soundly at night, watch over your home from your mobile phone when you’re not there, and can even lower your insurance rates.