Coming home to find that you have been burglarized is one of the worst feelings in the world. There is a strong feeling of being violated if you know an intruder has been in your home. FBI statistics indicate 1 in 6 homes will be burglarized. Chances are you will be one of the five not burglarized, however, FBI statistics also indicate homes without home alarm systems are 3 times more likely to be burglarized. Preventing a burglary is certainly the best option. By installing a home alarm system with alarm monitoring and placing the sign in the yard, as well as putting the stickers on your windows go a long way to letting potential burglars know you and your home are protected.
Unfortunately though, home burglaries do happen, even with a home security system installed. Why? Because we are forgetful, get distracted or become over-confident when we have a security system. Criminals know that most people forget to set the alarm when they leave and that they don’t set them at night. The key to preventing a home burglary is to consistently use the home alarm system.
So, in spite of your best efforts and consistent use of your home alarm system, or, if you still elect not to have a home security system installed, what do you do if your home is burglarized?
◦ Police – If you have a monitored home security system, the monitoring company will contact you in the event of an alarm. If you’re not home and they reach you, you can have the police dispatched. If the company can’t reach you, they will dispatch the police.
◦ Insurance – Contact your insurance company. You will need to talk with your agent or a claims representative to file a claim. They will need to know exactly that was taken from your home and they can tell you if the loss of each item is covered by your insurance policy.
◦ Security System – If you have been burglarized and you don’t have a home alarm system, you should strongly consider having a security system installed. If you do not have video surveillance cameras installed now, strongly consider installing them. With video cameras, you can access your system from a smart phone or computer to see what is happening at home. Video cameras capture images and help the authorities apprehend and prosecute burglars.
◦ Repairs – Breaking in to your home will undoubtedly cause damage to your home. Take pictures of the damage and have all the damaged areas repaired as quickly as possible, especially exterior doors and windows. If a criminal knows they can get into your house they may be more likely to strike again.
◦ Doors – Make sure you update the locks on all the exterior doors in your house. Install deadbolt locks with keys on both sides. Installing secure door jam and hinge plates greatly reduce the chances of doors being kicked in. If you have sliding doors, install a patio door lock in the frame to keep the door from being lifted up and out of the track.
◦ Counseling – If you or your family experience any emotional trauma as the result of a burglary, seek professional counseling to help you deal with the issues. Installing a home security system and taking steps to enhance your home safety may help regain the stolen sense of safety and your peace of mind.
The most important aspect of home security is working to deter and prevent burglaries from happening. But, in the event that it does happen, knowing how to react is critically important.