After a Break-In

No one deserves to experience a break-in, but it has happened to many of us. When it does, it is emotionally devastating. You feel threatened and personally violated. You can take precautions and set up a security system, but thieves often find their way around them. It is wise to check out the robberies that have occurred in your area and how they have taken place. There may be no perfect way to stave off home invasions, but you can add to your arsenal of steps that will ensure a minimum of damage or vandalism. Cameras are the latest devices to be installed along with movement trackers and alarms. Every system is customized for the homeowner and neighborhood. A professional company that specializes in security will help you form a preventative neighborhood watch.

Once the inevitable happens, you shouldn’t panic. You call the police and hopefully your alarm company has been notified as well. They will come and scrutinize the entry point and itemize your missing valuables. Most insurance companies want a police report before making payment. Your security professional will come out and look for weaknesses in your chosen system. Perhaps you have a glass door that is easily broken or windows that are not secure.

I always advise clients to keep a shop vac on hand. You can bring it out after the police have inspected the entire area. They will tell you that it is now time for cleanup since they have all the evidence they need such as fingerprints or telltale clues. If the thieves have been particularly destructive, the shop vac can clean up most of the mess. You can sweep with a broom if there are large broken pieces and follow up with a thorough vacuuming of the smaller particles. This is a very handy, and often necessary, household tool. They come in different sizes from basic and lightweight to large and professional. If there is a remaining residue, I would hire a cleaning service to touch up. The shop vac can at least clear away broken glass or ceramic that could cut children’s tender feet or pet’s vulnerable paws.

Surviving a break-in is a psychological process. Talk to other victims if you feel you need support. You want to restore a feeling of privacy and safety in your home. Adding or upgrading an alarm system makes the most sense. The expenditure is worth its weight in gold in terms of safeguarding your belongings. If you keep your living room drapes open, potential robbers can see in just by walking by your home. If you have a fence around the yard, you will deter onlookers and thieves. While they like the fact that they won’t be seen breaking in, they also know that they can be trapped by a barrier.

If you are home during a break-in (called a home invasion), other tactics are warranted. Some people are registered to own a hand gun. This is a big decision that will depend on the nature of your assets and the likelihood of robbery.

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