Few people are truly at NO risk of having their home burgled. Even with security systems in place, a burglar may be able to bypass your locks/system and break in. Secure locks and alarms are usually enough to protect your home, but not always.
Being a victim of a home invasion and burglary is draining – not just on your finances, but on your emotions as well. People whose homes were burglarized often feel like they’ve let their families down. On top of that, they have to deal with the financial impact of filing insurance claims or replacing what was stolen or upping their home security. All of this takes time and energy.
In this post, we’d like to discuss what to do after a burglary – steps you can take to care for your home and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
What To Do After a Burglary – Immediate Steps
Don’t Touch Anything
The very first thing you should do after your home has been burglarized is alert the police. The earlier you call, the more likely they are to catch the burglar. It’s crucial that you do not touch anything while you wait for the police. It may compromise their investigation and hinder their ability to identify a culprit. So, wait until after the police have inspected to clean up the mess.
Take Inventory of What Was Stolen
Make a list of everything that was taken, not just for the insurance claims, but also for the police. It may be helpful in tracking down the burglar. In addition to the physical items that were stolen, check in with your banks to make sure there hasn’t been any strange activity on credit cards that were possibly stolen.
Call Your Insurance Company
Even in the chaos of the aftermath of a burglary, it’s important to call your insurance company as soon as you can. For this, you’ll need a police report of the crime and a list of the stolen items. Some companies may even require proof of ownership, such as receipts and online transactions.
Protect Yourself Online
Oftentimes, burglars don’t just target your physical property – they’ll go after your personal and banking details. Think back – did you have mail on the counter? Was your laptop or PC stolen? Call your bank and cancel all your cards immediately. If your laptop was stolen (or even if it wasn’t and it’s not password protected) change all the passwords on your accounts immediately. Assuming they got this information is critical, even if they didn’t.
After your home was broken into, you need to take stock of your security situation. Think about your habits, your locks, and any possible weaknesses around your home. Does each and every member of your household always lock the door when they leave? Do you check the doors to make sure they’re locked before you go to sleep? Do you leave a spare key under your doormat? Is there any evidence of how the burglar got in? Broken locks?
Thinking about the answers to these questions will help you understand not only how your home was accessed, but how to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Improve Your Home Security
If there is no evidence of how the burglar got in, they may have done it by coming in through an unlocked door or window, lock picking, lock bumping, through the garage emergency release, by bypassing improperly installed locks, or by using a working key (that they found on your property.) Here are some measures you can take to beef up your security.
Always lock your doors
It almost goes without saying, but make sure every member of your household locks the doors every time they leave the house.
Change the locks (get higher grade ones!)
If your locks were bypassed, it means it’s time to get stronger locks. We recommend choosing grade 1 high security locks.
Prevent lock bumping
Anyone can order a key online that will allow them to bump your locks. Read up on what lock bumping is and how to prevent it, and consider purchasing some products that fight against lock bumping.
Make sure locks are installed properly
If your locks aren’t securely installed, it will be easy to get past them. Instead of installing your locks yourself, we recommend hiring a professional locksmith to do so. They’ll make sure your locks are fastened securely to your door so that a potential burglar can’t get around them.
Install a home security system
Go above and beyond your locks – if you really want to make sure your home is protected, install a home security system that can monitor your home for you. Burgarls report being much less likely to rob a home that has cameras and an alarm system in place.
Lock and Key Security in Miami
For lock installation and rekey services in the Miami area, give State Locks and Keys a call. These locksmith services can help you beef up your home security and prevent break ins before they occur.