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Your house has been burglarized. What do you do now?

Burglary

It is a trauma that you hope never happens to either or nor anyone you care for. If it has happened to you, you know that having your home burglarized can create bouts of everything from anxiety, to mistrust, and depression. Such feelings are certainly understandable, but it’s important to know that if you’ve been burglarized, taking the proper measures to get back on board towards a normal life is essential.

1. Observe the situation and rationalize

Having your home violated will undoubtedly be a terrible feeling for everyone in your family, and it’s completely normal to react this way. While panic and fear might run rampant, it’s important to take the time to rationalize and truly understand what just happened.

Most burglars have no desire to return to a place where they’ve already been, since they know there’s a high level of attention being given towards a home that they have targeted. No one is coming back to do anymore harm to you or your property.

If you have come to home to discover that your house has been broken into, it is best to immediately leave the premises and go to the home of a trusted neighbor or family member. You can handle what needs to be done from there.

2. Don’t touch anything in your home

It’s not a fun thing to think about, but after a burglary, your entire home is lawfully a crime scene. It might be tempting to search through your home and see what has been stolen or broken in detail, but at this very moment, interfering with a crime scene isn’t something that you’ll want to do.

All objects in your home can potentially serve as pieces of evidence for when the police arrive,and they need to see your home the way that the burglar(s) left it.

3. Contact the proper authorities

If you do not have a monitored home security system, no one but you will be aware that your home was just burglarized. As a result, you’ll need to make the call, and you’ll need to do it as soon as possible. Every second is another second that the person or persons who broke into your home get further away from the justice that they deserve.

Wait for the police to arrive, and they’ll let you know when you can enter your home for a full assessment of damages. They will likely ask you to list out all items that you believe have been stolen, along with any descriptors that make the items unique. Try your best to ensure that all items in your home have been accounted for, as there is a chance that all of it can be recovered.

While police are investigating, take photos of the scene for insurance purposes. We will cover this in the next step.

Side Tip: Document the serial numbers of expensive items such as electronics, and keep them on file for use in the event your home has been burglarized. Serial numbers help police better track down items that belong to you. 

4. Contact your insurance company

This is important to do right after you have filed a police report, since your insurance company will need a wealth of information from the police in order to work with you for your claim. There is a chance that a claims adjuster will have to come to your home to get an accurate assessment of the damages.

The insurance claim process can potentially serve as a source of headache, but how fast it moves actually has a lot to do with you. Whenever the insurance company sends you paperwork or calls you, make it a point to give them whatever they need as soon as you can.

Having an inventory of household items can also help give the police and insurance company a clearer view of what has been stolen and/or damaged. In fact, there are several apps available that can help you organize all items within your home.

Liberty Mutual Insurance has the Home Gallery App, and Binary Formations, LLC has a highly-regarded app called Home Inventory that allows you to keep detailed information about all home items. Home Inventory will run you $25, but if you’re serious about your inventory, you might find it to be a worthy investment.

5. Inform your neighbors about the burglary

Whether you live in an apartment complex or in a standalone house, a burglary has the potential to affect the entire neighborhood.

Make it a point to let your neighbors know about what has happened so that they can take the initiative to increase their own security. It may help build stronger bonds with those who live around you as well.

6. Rebuild your home and life

It might take some time before you and your family will really feel safe again after a burglary, but it’s essential that you don’t live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Go about your day as if it were any other, and don’t feel like you can never leave your home again. Just be sure to be more mindful about keeping your doors locked, and start thinking about other ways you can secure your home.

Home security monitoring can serve as a massive source of relief and ease when trying to protect your home. In the event of a burglary, ADT Home Security will immediately contact your local authorities and will keep you in the know. Burglars who know that a home is armed with a home security system is also much less likely to even try to make an attempt.

The effects of being a burglary victim can be overwhelming at first, but it’s not a tragedy that has to take hold of you for an extended period of time. When you learn to grow from such an unfortunate event, you’ll feel better about the extra security and care that you’re able to provide for those around you and the ones that you love.

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