A home burglary is a traumatic event that leaves the victim feeling shocked, scared and confused. No one expects it to happen, so when it does, it’s an understatement to say that it’s emotionally overwhelming. This trauma is all on top of any material objects that are missing, as well as property damage incurred. So what do you do?
You don’t panic; instead, you should follow these five tips. And they’ll help prevent you from becoming victimized again.
- Immediately leave and call 911
Don’t attempt to do any heroics; play it safe. When you arrive home and find that everything is amiss, don’t go inside—the burglar (or burglars) could still be there. Instead, go somewhere safe, like your neighbor’s house or your car and call 911. Alert the dispatcher of your emergency situation and that you are nearby and safe. While on the phone with them, inform them of anything you saw that didn’t look quite right. This information, however unimportant it seems, can help catch the burglar.
- Don’t interfere with the crime scene
In not touching anything, you are leaving the crime scene intact for the police to see and handle. They will search your home for fingerprints, which can be used to help identify any burglar who is taken into custody—linking them to your home burglary.
- Document what’s missing and take pictures of any damage
After the police leave, you should go around the house and take inventory of what’s missing and damaged. Just as you’d take pictures of your car after a car accident for your insurance company, you’ll likewise need to take pictures of any damages done to your home. This is both for your insurance company and for the police to have on file.
- Try to get back to normalcy
It’s hard to feel like you can go back to “normal” after such a traumatic event, but you should try. Start off by thoroughly cleaning up and straightening up any messes sustained during the burglary. Having things placed where you want them will help you feel more in control of your home once again—these small things make a difference.
If you have children, try keeping them on their normal routine, although it’s understandable if you decide to keep them home for a day after the incident. But in having them go to school or childcare, you are left being able to take charge of the situation without having to worry about their wellbeing as well.
- Protect your home from future instances
There’s no way to guarantee that your home will never be targeted again, but what you can do is to protect your home with a home security system. It’s proven that homes with a home security system are much less likely to be targeted by a burglar. And with an armed home security system, the authorities will immediately be contacted the moment the alarm is triggered in the event of a future break-in.
Monitoring systems, such as ADT (now Telus) Pulse provide remote home monitoring, allowing you to know what’s happening within your home at any time, regardless of where you are physically. It provides a peace of mind that has never been given before.