A home break-in is a traumatic experience that can leave victims feeling lost or vulnerable. Most victims in this situation are left unprepared and unsure of what they need to do. Some would buy a discounted firearm to protect against intruders. If you find yourself in this scenario, it is crucial to remain calm and respond to the event as quickly as possible. Here are some of the crucial actions to take immediately following a burglary.
Reach Out to Safety
Once you become aware that there is an intruder in your home, the first thing you should do is remain calm. Do not make any noise or let the intruder know that you are aware of their presence. This is important for many reasons: you don’t know how many people are on your property right now, what their intentions are, and how they will react to you personally. As long as the intruders do not know you are in the house and are not alarmed, this is to your advantage. You could use this advantage to gather your family members, find a safe area in your home, lock your doors and create a physical barrier between you and whoever has just entered your property.
Call the Police
If you and your loved ones are in a safe place, call law enforcement. If you have a home security program and an alarm monitoring system, law enforcement should arrive on its own. But calling 911 will help dispatchers better understand the situation so they can respond appropriately. Make sure you tell the 911 operator the important information such as your home address, your name, and everything you know about the intruder (how many intruders there are; where they are inside your house; their appearance, and whether they’re armed). While on the phone, be as calm as possible if you are still on your property. Don’t leave the room or make any noise. Stay with the police and wait for officers to arrive and handle the situation.
Take an Inventory
After the police arrive, you can begin to look around and assess the damage. Consider creating a folder and putting everything related to the theft. The first thing that should be in this folder: a list of missing items. A home inventory list can be an aid in this scenario and help you remember everything you have. When listing stolen or damaged items, include a detailed description along with the approximate value of each item. Cash, jewelry, firearms, and electronics are among the most common items stolen in a robbery, so pay special attention when you inventory these items. Also, make another backup copy of this list, as you will with your insurer. Regardless of the stressful circumstances, you should record descriptions while your memory is fresh.
Participate in the Police Investigation
Police will also ask questions, for example, about previous occupants of the home – such as previous roommates – or information about who had access to an apartment. Be prepared to answer these questions. Perhaps you have security camera footage? If you can be prepared, until you find the footage, watch the footage of the break-in to see what other details you can gather about the intruders. Give all the information you know to the authorities and give them the footage. If you notice things missing afterward, be sure to let the authorities know. Before the police leave, be sure to ask the investigating officer where you can get the police report.
Plan a Strategy to Prevent Future Break-Ins
The best way to control a burglary is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Make sure your residence is too difficult for a nasty intruder to enter. Your plan should include clear instructions for each member of the family. Determine what escape routes are best for each person and what is a protected meeting place on your premises. In general, it is safer to keep the escape line outdoors or in a nearby house if the danger is inside the house. Studies have shown that homes without monitored security systems are three times more likely to be targeted by burglars, so consider installing alarm systems to reduce the risk of burglary.