What to do if someone is breaking into your house? No homeowner wants to think about a burglary or a break-in, but you better prepare. Knowing what to do should the worst will help. Read on to find out about five steps homeowners need to take immediately if they discover a break-in.
Step One: Report the Incident
The first thing homeowners need to do is call the police to report the incident. Don’t touch anything until the police arrive; never try to apprehend a burglary suspect. The police will head to the area to apprehend the burglar if the burglary is in process. Otherwise, they will file an incident report and do everything possible to help homeowners retrieve their stolen items. The incident report will also be required to file an insurance claim.
Step Two: Call a Locksmith
If the burglar has broken in through one of the home’s doors, homeowners will need a locksmith to replace the locks and repair the damage. The right locksmith will also be able to recommend how to prevent future break-ins. Depending on the homeowner’s circumstances and preferences, these may include installing access control systems, video cameras, or security systems.
Read more: When Should You Hire a Locksmith in Chicago?
Step Three: Cancel Stolen Cards and Lock Phones
Suppose the burglar has stolen residents’ wallets, phones, or other devices with personal or financial information. In that case, homeowners should call their credit card companies, banks, and service providers to cancel the cards and place holds on all accounts immediately to avoid identity theft. Burglars may be able to use the personal data they find on cell phones, tablets, or laptops to access consumers’ bank accounts, so place a hold on the phone service and change all passwords associated with sensitive accounts. This will help consumers control damage by preventing the need for complicated mitigation strategies, such as bank account hacks or stolen credit cards.
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Step Four: Take Inventory
Once the police have evaluated the scene and homeowners have taken steps to mitigate additional damage, it’s time to take an inventory of what has been stolen or damaged. Take pictures of the home before moving anything, especially if there has been any vandalism during the burglary. Try to collect evidence about stolen items before filing an insurance claim (consider using aerial imagery for insurance claims, you will need to install some additional tools). The most common items stolen during home break-ins include purses, wallets, cell phones, computers, electronic devices, jewelry, watches, tools, and work materials. Look for these things first!
Step Five: Contact the Insurance Company
After gathering evidence about what items have been stolen and what parts of the property have been vandalized, it’s time for homeowners to call their insurance providers to file claims. You should prepare a copy of the police incident report, photographs of the scene, a list of affected assets, and supporting evidence such as receipts, valuations, or old photographs. The insurance agent will use this information to determine the claim’s value.
The Bottom Line
What to do if someone is breaking into your house? Dealing with break-ins is always stressful, but it can help to have a plan laid out in advance. Homeowners who follow the steps outlined above should have fewer problems with collecting insurance benefits and avoiding collateral damage such as charges on credit cards or money stolen from bank accounts.