Although crime statistics for burglaries have decreased in recent years, they are still all too common. The Office of National Statistics reported 380,567 burglaries within England and Wales in 2019.
In the event of a home burglary there are various reactionary steps to take immediately, but eventually you may want to consider upgrading to a sophisticated home security system to prevent further burglaries.
What to do after your home gets burgled
So, what do you do if your home gets broken into? It can be a very stressful and emotional situation when your home gets broken into, for all the family. We understand that it can be difficult to think clearly, so we’ve put together a helpful guide to tell you what practical steps to take, to ensure everything is sorted and to minimalise any more distress.
- Call the police
Firstly, call the police as soon as you’ve realised your home has been broken into. You need to call 101 and the police with give you a Crime Reference Number, which you will use when making an insurance claim. To text, the number is 18001 101.
However, if you discover that the burglary is still in progress you must call 999. It is important to remain calm and to not confront the intruder, as they may have a weapon and cause you harm. The police will be with you shortly.
- Don’t touch anything
It’s important to not touch anything, move any items or try to tidy up any mess that has been caused. Your home is currently a crime scene and you do not want to compromise any evidence. Wait until the police arrive and they can provide clear instructions on what to do.
- Take photographs
Taking photographs of the scene will aid the process of making an insurance claim. Take photographs of any forced entry, broken windows or doors, as well as the spaces from where your possessions have been taken.
- Cancel any stolen cards
If you notice that any bank cards, credit cards or cheque books have been taken, you need to call your bank immediately to cancel or freeze your bank account, so that no money can be taken.
If you have devices such as phones, laptops, computers and tablets which have saved bank details on them, that have been taken, you will also need to contact your bank about these.
- Call your mobile provider
If your phone has been taken, call your mobile provider. They will be able to cancel your phone contract and lock your phone, so the burglar cannot use it.
- Change any passwords
If you have phones or laptops that have been stolen, consider what passwords are saved on them. Change all important passwords as soon as you can to prevent anyone from accessing your accounts.
- Make an inventory
You now need to make an inventory of your home to prove what has been taken and to help with any insurance claims. Go around your home and make a note of what has been taken. The most commonly stolen items are jewellery, watches, computer equipment, wallets, money, cards and electric items like cameras. If you have a garden or shed, remember to check these areas for missing items such as tools and garden items, such as lawnmowers.
Once you have a list of missing items, now find and collect any evidence of the items that have been taken such as past receipts, valuations or photographs. This will help you with the estimated value of loss when making a claim to your insurance provider.
- Contact your insurance provider
You will now need to contact your security provider about the break-in, detailing the list of stolen items with as much information and evidence of their financial worth as you can.
- Call a locksmith
If your door was forced open or if your keys have been stolen you will need to contact a locksmith to change the locks on your doors as well as any other entrances in which the keys have been taken such as windows, side gates or back doors.
Simple Steps to Make Your Home Safer
In a recent UK census of 2,000 adults, it was found that 1 in 4 never lock their front door when they go out, despite 17% of them experiencing a burglary, with a third of them experiencing burglary more than once!
There are simple steps to take to make your home more secure and prevent yourself from being a target of burglary.
- Lock Doors & Windows – even on upper levels and side entrances. Don’t make yourself a target by leaving a window ajar.
- Security Lights – an immediate deterrent to burglars, sensor security lights will light up your home when someone comes near the perimeter.
- Lights on a Timer – making it seem like someone is at home even if they’re not will deter intruders. Great for when you’re on holiday.
- Keep Keys Out of Site – especially car and door keys. Many people keep them near the front door for ease, but it’s easy for an intruder to reach through the letterbox.
- Hide valuables – don’t entice a burglar. Make sure nothing can be seen from outside the house or through windows. Don’t leave jewellery, money or laptops in clear sight.
- Install a Home Security System – increase your home’s security and your family’s safety with a home security system. Installing a burglar alarm, CCTV and more can reduce the likelihood of your home becoming a target.
Want to know more about how to keep your home safe? Read our full guide here.
Upgrade to a Home Security System
Improve your home security with a smart home security system. At Homewatch, we have over 20 years experience in installing home security systems and can provide a completely bespoke system to suit you and your family needs, as well as targeting any security concerns you may have.
Call us today on 0330 094 7404 or contact us to discuss all your options and to receive a free, no-obligation quotation.