Whether you were out on a holiday or at home when the actual break-in happened, being a victim of a burglary can be a traumatic and unsettling experience. An incident like this can leave you feeling violated, paranoid, and anxious for a long time. And though it is important that we deal with the emotional aftermath, it is essential that we process what happened and take action.
Here are steps that you can take immediately after a break-in and some ways to increase your home’s security and prevent future incidents.
1. Contact the Police
The first step you should take after discovering a break-in is to contact the police. They will conduct an investigation that may help in recovering any stolen items. Ensure you provide them with any relevant information, including what was stolen and if you saw or heard anything suspicious before the break-in. If you have security cameras installed, share the recordings with them.
2. Assess the Damage
After the police have finished their investigation, it’s time to assess the damage to your property. Check for broken windows, doors or other possible points of entry. Also, take note of any stolen or damaged items. This information will be useful when filing an insurance claim.
3. Repair Damage
Repair any damage to your home immediately. This may include replacing broken windows or doors. Do not settle for a temporary fix for damaged doors or windows, as this may make your home vulnerable to another break-in.
4. Change Your Locks
Whether the intruder was able to enter your home with a key, by picking or bypassing your lock or by breaking windows or doors, it’s important to replace your home locks immediately. It is advisable to install additional locks for both doors and windows to add another layer of protection for your home.
5. Upgrade Security Measures
Review your current security measures and consider upgrading them. Install a security system with cameras and alarms, add motion-sensor lights, and upgrade your locks to make your home more difficult to breach. Having security cameras and alarms installed is a strong deterrent for potential intruders.
6. Secure Valuables
Consider protecting your valuables by investing in a safe or storing them off-site. Hide any spare keys in a secure place, as intruders may look for them in common places like under a rug, plant pots or other predictable places where they may be hidden.
7. Notify Neighbors
Let your neighbors know about the break-in, as they may have seen or heard something suspicious. They can help you keep an eye out for any unusual activity and report it to the police.
8. Stay Vigilant
After a break-in, it’s important to stay vigilant. Lock your doors and windows when you leave your home, and install a security system that can alert you if someone enters your home when you’re not there. Consider joining a neighborhood watch program or other community-based security initiatives.
9. Talk to Someone
If you have experienced a home break-in or burglary, it is completely normal to feel scared and worried. Taking care of your mental health should be a top priority. Consider reaching out to a professional, such as a therapist or counselor, who can provide you with the necessary tools and support to work through your feelings. You may also find comfort in talking to trusted friends or neighbors. Remember, there is no shame in seeking help and taking care of your well-being.
Securing your home after a break-in can seem daunting, but with the right precautions, you can reduce the risk of another intrusion occurring again in the future. Changing your locks, installing security cameras, and installing an alarm system are all great ways to ensure that your property remains safe going forward. Taking these steps will help give you peace of mind knowing that you have done everything possible to protect yourself and loved ones from further harm or distress caused by unwanted intruders entering your property uninvited.