Home invasion safety checklist
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Someone broke into my home. Now what?
Your home is an extension of yourself. It’s the place you spend a majority of your time. A place you can truly be yourself. When someone enters your home without your permission, it can be a jarring, emotional event, especially if your possessions are taken or damaged in the process.
In 2016, there were an estimated 1,515,096 burglaries in the U.S. alone.
Do you know what to do when burglars strike? Read on to find out how you can take control.
1. Call the police
The first thing you should do when you discover that your home has been burglarized is leave immediately and call the police. Lock yourself in your car, or go to a trusted neighbor’s home to wait.
Leaving the home does two things. First, it ensures you’ll be safe if the burglar decided to stay in your home. Second, it keeps all the evidence in place, so police can inspect. Don’t enter your home until the police say it’s okay to.
If you have an ADT-monitored security system, the police will be called for you when your alarm is set off. Sit tight and wait for them to arrive.
2. Take inventory
When the police say it’s okay, enter your home and start inspecting the damage. Walk through every room and take photos of any property that may have been broken, like doors or windows. If big items like TVs are missing, take photos of where they used to be.
As you’re going through, try to not touch anything. You don’t want to disturb evidence before the police are able to collect it. If your home is equipped with monitoring cameras, take a look at the footage to see if the burglars were caught on tape.
Make a list of everything that was taken during the burglary. Make a few copies of your list so you can give one to the police, one to your insurance company, and keep one in your files.
3. File an insurance claim
As soon as the police have done their report, take a copy of it to your insurance company. Make sure you have your list of items that were taken, as well as a list of everything that was damaged and any camera recordings or photos you have. A claims adjuster will then be sent to your home to investigate.
During the investigation, be ready to explain what happened and to answer any questions. Until the adjuster comes, try not to touch anything so that as much evidence as possible stays in place.
4. Talk to your neighbors
Let your neighbors know what happened. Chances of break ins increase in neighborhoods that already have one victim. Letting your neighbors know can help them preemptively secure their homes and be on the lookout for any odd behavior in case the burglars come back.
5. Clean up
After police have collected evidence, the claims adjuster has visited, and your reports have been filed, it’s time to start the healing process and put your home back together. Clean up all scattered items, start to repair any damage, and try to get your home back to as normal as possible.
As you clean up your home, start the internal healing process too. You probably feel shaken up and more than a little uneasy knowing that someone entered your home without your permission. Let yourself feel the pain, but do not give in to fear. Finding support in friends, family or a therapist can help. Try to get yourself back into your normal routine, and take care of yourself. Soon, life will feel normal again.
6. Secure your home
Items that were stolen can be replaced, but it’s harder to replace your sense of security after being robbed. Installing a security monitoring system can help you get your peace of mind back. Not only will it help you feel secure, but it can even deter crime. In fact, a study showed that 60 percent of burglars would seek a different target if they saw that there was an alarm on-site.
SafeStreets USA, an ADT Authorized Dealer, can help keep your home safe. Get 24/7 monitoring, cameras, a high-decibel alarm, and even smart home integration with ADT monitoring.