One of the most devastating events that can happen to homeowners is coming home to see that your property has been burglarized. Whether coming home from a trip or returning from the grocery store, the emotional effects of theft can be difficult to process. Although many people are unable to determine what steps to take following a break-in, there are a few ways to report the incident and prevent common mistakes in the process. We spoke to home theft insurance experts from Anthony Clark Insurance and they gave us a few key tips for taking action after a home burglary:
It may be tempting to stick around the property and look at the damage done, but it’s important to immediately leave the home to prevent putting yourself in danger if the intruder is still in the house. Wait inside of a neighbor’s home until the police arrive.
Create a List of Stolen Property
Draft an itemized list of all of the items that were stolen during the burglary. Between handbags to electronics, it’s important to be as detailed as possible. You can also provide any photographs, serial numbers, or descriptions of each item. Avoid touching anything in the process and take photos of the damage. Make a copy of the list and give it to your homeowner’s insurance, as well as to the police. Your homeowner’s insurance will also need a copy of the police report in order to file a claim.
Having an itemized list will not only help with replacing the items, but can increase the chances of relocating the stolen property.
Identify the Vulnerable Areas of Your Home
Usually burglars follow similar patterns: they enter through the same way, they do the same things in the home, and carry out their crimes at the same time of day. Your home may be vulnerable to the regular habits of thieves.
Some basic things to watch out for:
- When you’re going out of town, don’t let too many people know.
- Shed light on the darker areas of your property, specifically areas with tall foliage.
- Keep your basement doors closed, locked, and watched.
- Secure all windows with reliable locks.
Improve Your Security
Between adding extra deadbolts to improving your window treatments, it’s important to improve your home security after a break-in has occurred. Installing a new alarm system or using automated lights can reduce the risk of theft in the future. You can also install security cameras to monitor the premises.
Inform the Neighbors
It may be difficult to share the bad news of the break-in with other people, but by informing the neighborhood of the event, it can help make the area a safer place to reside in. It will not only put other homeowners on alert, but can cause others to keep an eye out for one another and report any suspicious activity.
It’s normal to feel violated after a burglary has occurred, but with the right steps taken, it’s possible to have peace of mind. You’ll also be able to secure the premises and make the home less of a target to prevent theft from occurring on the property in the future.