What to Do After a Burglary: A Locksmith’s Step-By-Step Guide
Every year, several million burglaries are committed in the US. These crimes are often unpredictable, costly and emotionally devastating to the victims. It can happen even to responsible people who take care to protect their homes. Even worse, many people don’t know what to do following an attack, which makes the sense of fear and violation more intense. However, if your home is burglarized, you don’t have to just suffer and deal with it. Follow this advice from professional locksmiths to help you take action after the attack, protect yourself in the future and move on with your life.
Right after the burglary
The first hours after a burglary are critical for your recovery from the incident, and it’s important that you act calmly and decisively.
As soon as you see that your home has been burglarized, go outside and lock the doors in case the perpetrators are still inside. Call the police immediately, and don’t touch anything in the house until they arrive. Many people don’t report these crimes, because they think there’s nothing the authorities can do, but it’s always worth an investigation. Plus, a police report is necessary for filing insurance claims on lost valuables.
Within 24 hours
Make a list of everything that was stolen or damaged. You’ll need this both for the police and insurance companies. Submit the list and other relevant information to the police first. Once this is done, you can call your insurance company if you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, or a policy on a specific item.
The more details you include, the better. You should also take pictures of the scene before you clean up anything, especially clear photos of any broken property.
As you clean up, take note of where the most mess and damage is, as well as any signs of forced entry. This will help you figure out exactly what happened and how you can protect yourself.
Preparing for the future
There is no better time to evaluate your home security and invest in improving it, so you won’t suffer from another attack. The first thing to do is identify how the burglar got into your house – maybe a smashed window or broken lock – and close the breach.
What if you can’t tell how they got in? The perpetrator must have picked the lock, so ask a locksmith to replace them with high security locks as soon as possible. Either that or you left a door unlocked: more than one third of burglaries take place in this way!
In any case, consulting a residential locksmith is a good idea at this point. A security professional can do a thorough examination of your safety measures, find any weak points and offer solutions. If you don’t have one already, it’s strongly recommended to install a home security system. Research shows that burglars are three times more likely to attack a house without such a system, and most will abandon their attempt if an alarm starts going off.
Emotional recovery from a burglary
For many people, the worst part of a burglary isn’t the loss of property, it’s the emotional damage. You’ve suffered an invasion of your most personal space and it’s natural to feel shaken up. Give yourself the time to recover. Fear, shock, feelings of violation and even depression are normal after these attacks, so don’t try to suppress these emotions or be ashamed of them. Acknowledge them and let them pass through you.
Staying active and keeping up with your normal schedule will get you back on track. Do things you enjoy to take your mind off the incident. It helps to spend time with friends and family, especially hosting gatherings at your home to restore the sense of security and cheerfulness there.
Acceptance is key. Rather than lingering on your anger and the things you lost, take it as an opportunity to clear out the space and make a fresh start. Try to cultivate compassion and forgiveness for the people who robbed you. After all, though you’ve lost some material objects, having the type of mind that would drive a person to commit this crime will cause the burglars more suffering in the long run! It might be hard to think this way at first, but ultimately it’s the best way to help you move on from the trauma and even get some positive feeling out of it.