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12 things you need to do if your house has been broken Into

Someone programs in code for their security alarm

April 22, 2019. A break-in is stressful and overwhelming, but what you do when you discover that your house has been broken into is important for helping you move forward as quickly as possible.

1. Call 911 from somewhere other than your home

It is possible that someone is still in the house and a confrontation would be dangerous. Do not enter the house and call 911. You do not need to know whether damage or theft has occurred when you call.

2. Wait in a safe place

Go to a neighbor’s house or lock yourself inside your car and wait for the police. Take note of anything unusual, like people or cars.

3. Do not change anything

Do not touch anything until the police get there so you do not destroy fingerprints or other evidence. If the burglar left anything behind, point it out to the police but do not touch it.

4. Find your pets

If doors were left open pets might have gotten out. In any case, locate them and make sure they are unharmed.

5. File a police report

You need to file a police report to make an insurance claim and try to catch the burglar. When the police arrive, tell them anything that might be relevant and give them a list of missing and damaged items. If you have security cameras look at the footage and show it to the police.

6. Take photos and videos

Document any damage and what the house looked like after the break-in.

7. Hang on to broken property

Do not throw out broken items so they can be documented for your claim.

8. Inventory missing or damaged items

Make a list of missing items and damaged property with as much detail as possible, including serial numbers of electronics. You will need to give the list to the police to file a report, and when that has been done you can file an insurance claim. Always keep documents and receipts when making big purchases.

9. Call your insurer

Call within 24 hours to make sure you are doing everything necessary to file your claim and find out what will be covered. They will probably send a claims adjuster and you may need to hold off on cleaning up and stay somewhere else until they are done.

10. Call your bank

The intruder may have your banking information so call your bank and ask for advice. You might need to change accounts and credit cards.

11. Assess how secure your home is

Ask yourself if you are doing everything you can to protect your house from break-ins. Nothing is 100% effective but there are steps you can take to protect your home. When the police are there, ask their advice about how best to protect your home. They might have insight on crime in your neighborhood and security weaknesses around your home.

Homes without alarm systems are three times more likely to be broken into so consider getting one if you do not already have one.

34% of burglars enter through the front door and 22% through the back door. You can put motion activated lights by both doors and always make sure they are locked.

You can also put lights on timers when you are not home.

12. Let the neighbors know

Burglars often break into multiple houses in the same area, so be a good neighbor and make others in your area aware of the situation.

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