martes, 9 de junio de 2015

What To Do After A Home Burglary

What To Do After A Home Burglary

As we have mentioned in other home security articles in this forum, a burglary happens every 14.6 seconds in the United States.  Unfortunately you and your family may become a victim of a home burglary and become one of these statistics.  Once this happens, it can be one of the most difficult emotional experiences you will face in life.  You will experience a sense of anger, frustration and of being violated, knowing that your home is no longer considered a “safe place” from the rest of the world.  Here is what NEXUS Home Security recommends that you do if this happens to you.
  1. Personal Safety Is Top Priority – If you determine that your home has been burglarized (door or window forced, possessions scattered, etc.) don´t investigate. You should leave immediately to a safe distance (your locked car or a neighbor´s house).  There will be a natural desire to either confront the burglar or search the house to determine what is missing.  Remember, your emotions will be running on high alert, but it is your personal safety and that of your family that is of most importance.  Also you should not assume that the house is now empty.  Remember all those movies where the victim walks through the house saying “hello, is anybody there?”
  1. Contact The Authorities – Now that you are out of harms way, call the police (911) and tell them that someone has broken into your home and whether the burglar might still be on the premises. Many burglaries are not reported because the victims think it is pointless to contact the authorities (and unfortunately less than 15% of home burglars are arrested and convicted).  But there is a point to reporting the burglary.  You may be able to recover your stolen possessions and without a police report you can not file an insurance claim.   If you are alone, call a family member, friend or neighbor to wait with you until the police arrive.  Their presence will provide you with emotional support and will help you remain calm for when the police arrive.
  1. Preserve the Evidence – As mentioned, wait for the police to arrive. If you had entered your home and then discovered the burglary, minimize touching items and areas that may have the burglar’s fingerprints on them. These include door handles, jewelry box drawers, and safes.  The police upon arriving will do an inspection of the premises and will be taking notes (possessions stolen, damage, means of entry, etc.) for a police report.  If you had previously made a list of valuable possessions (photos and serial numbers greatly improve the chance of recovery) you should provide one to the police and a copy for your insurance company.  Once the police have finished and left, it is time to begin putting things and your life back in order.
  1. Contact Your Insurance Company – If you have insurance coverage for home burglary and want to pursue an insurance claim, you will need to file a police report within 24 hours of discovering the crime. That means that you will need to visit the police the next day.  Call your insurance agent to explain what happened and determine what are the next steps on your part.  You will need to provide at a minimum a list of everything that was stolen and how much these items are worth as well as what damage was sustained during the burglary.   If you have photos and receipts of high value possessions this will also be helpful to substantiate your insurance claim.  For jewelry, given that it will normally appreciate in value, it should be appraised with some regularity so that in the event of an insurance claim you get reimbursed at current market value, rather than initial purchase price.
  1. Move On With Your Life – It happened. Its over.  You and your family are safe.  Now it is time to move on and begin the healing process.  Start by cleaning up right after the police investigation. It will not be easy.  But it is a necessary step for you confront what has happened and to move on, especially if your home has been trashed. You will feel that you have been violated and anger of this happening to you and you have a longer term sense of being unsettled and alarmed in your home.  Talk to family and friends; talking is important in the healing process.  Cover any damaged part of the house and remove any unusable furniture or appliances.  These will be a reminder of the burglary so get them out of sight.  You should consider rearranging furniture and repainting where there was damage.  The simple act of changing the look of your home will help in moving on.  You should assume that the burglars also stole personal financial information, whether bank accounts, checks, credit cards, etc. Even if these items are not missing the burglar could easily have taken photos with a smart-phone.  You will need to contact and cancel everything the next day.  If you want try and track down your stolen possessions (your personal pursuit of justice), you can contact the local pawn shops if you have a list with photos and receipts.  They will return the items to you if you have a police report of the burglary on file.
  1. Prepare For The Next Time – Unfortunately lightning does strike twice. Once you have experienced a home burglary, you are at greater risk in the future of it happening again.  Whatever attracted the burglar in the first place (house appearance, location, isolation, inside information, etc.) likely still exists after the crime.  Worse still, the burglar now knows the layout of your home and will simply wait until you have replace things for another “visit”.  It is time for you to do a security assessment of your home.  There are some basic everyday tips to protect your home, as well as do-it-yourself  (DIY) home security tips and you should invest in a home security system to reduce chances of a burglary in the future.
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1 comentario:

  1. Pretty article! I found some useful information in your blog, it was awesome to read, thanks for sharing this great content to my vision, keep sharing..

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