How to Deal with a Home BurglaryBy Home Security Source Jun 22 , 2009 | 5:10:00 pmPosted in: Affordable Security, Burglary & Loss Prevention, DIY Safety, Family, Home Security Tips
How to Deal with a Home Burglary
When it comes to protecting your family and valuables from a home burglary, prevention is the key. Simple, proactive steps like routinely locking doors and windows, securing the garage, and lighting the outside of the house and can help prevent a break-in. Still, returning home to find you’ve been the victim of a burglary can be a frightening experience. Too often, panicked homeowners make mistakes that put their lives in jeopardy and diminish the likelihood of recovering stolen items. Here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes and deal with the immediate aftermath of a home burglary.
Leave the house immediately and call 911
To avoid a potentially deadly altercation between you and a burglar that might still be in the house, go outside immediately and dial 911 from your locked car or from a neighbor’s home. If your pet greets you as you approach the house, take it with you, but avoid searching through the house to retrieve the pet.
Keep away from the house until police arrive
Your home is now considered a crime scene, so it’s extremely important to resist the temptation to sift through any mess left behind by burglars. Keeping the crime scene intact helps investigators gather valuable prints and other types of forensic evidence that can be used to find and prosecute the burglar(s).
Make a list of stolen items and damaged property
Once the police tell you it’s ok to reenter the house, begin taking inventory of stolen items and property damage made as a result of the break-in. Be sure to attach dollar values to the items on your list, specifically replacement values. Providing photographs, serial numbers or even detailed descriptions of the stolen goods can improve the chance of recovering these items. Pass this list to the police department and to the homeowner's insurance company as soon as you feel it’s accurate and complete.
Reflect on the events of the past few weeks
Think of all the people you encountered in the few weeks leading up to the burglary, and recall any suspicious events that happened in the area. It’s possible that a person of trust played a part in the burglary in one way or another. Also, recent visitors to the home should be considered, especially if the visitor was unannounced. Relay any and all information regarding possible suspects to the proper authorities.
Consider installing a home burglar alarm
While there is no sure-fire way to prevent a home burglary, there are things you can do to deter a burglar from entering your home. Installing a home burglar alarm system with an alarm monitoring service can aid in theft prevention. Outdoor security can be addressed by mounting video surveillance cameras in strategically-placed locations around the perimeter of the home. Most companies that provide home security systems are affordable, and most monitored security systems can usually be installed in a matter of days. Remember - the better you prepare for a potential home burglary, the less likely one is going to occur.
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