We spend a lot of time here speaking about the best possible courses of action for preventing burglary and other crimes of that nature. While there’s a ton that can be done to ensure that you’re prepared for such an event, the unfortunate reality is that these things do happen and can never be entirely prevented. Of course, protecting one’s residence, family and belongings through a well-implemented home security system is an important part of home ownership, but it’s also important to consider what to do in the worst case scenario. Even if you’ve already installed security alarms throughout your home, you may have never taken the time to lay out a plan of action for the possibility of entering your home following a robbery. Never fear, though: Following these steps from Protect America can make certain that you deal with this sort of shocking event in the proper manner.

First and foremost

Though this step may seem somewhat obvious, you’d be surprised by how many people don’t think to do this before anything else. The absolute first thing you should do upon entering your home and discovering it’s been burglarized is call the police and exit the home. There is no situation in which this is not the appropriate course of action. You want the authorities to arrive there as quickly as possible to investigate what’s happened and begin to attempt to rectify the situation. Further, and perhaps even more importantly, you don’t know if the individual who robbed or otherwise broke into your residence is still inside. Do not ever attempt to search the house for evidence of that person upon realizing you’ve been robbed. If there is someone in your home, they may be dangerous and you should not attempt to confront them. Also, you’ll be disturbing a crime scene that could hold valuable evidence for police or other investigators. Simply gather your family, call the police and wait outside near the home or at a trusted neighbors house.

Being proactive

Once you’ve ensured the safety of your family by calling the police and exiting the home, you can begin to take proactive steps toward restoring normalcy and resolving the situation. If you’ve already installed home security equipment in your residence, notify the authorities once they arrive, as this may be of use to them in their investigation. This will be particularly true if you have video surveillance cameras anywhere in your home, as these may have captured an image of the person or people who broke in. If you use a Protect America security system, you’ll want to check your Simon XT control panel to see if you can determine whether a sensor was tripped at any point, as this may indicate the burglar’s entry point. Lastly, aid the authorities in compiling a list of any and all property or valuables that have gone missing. You may also want to obtain a copy of your police report for home insurance purposes.

Notification

Lastly, you’ll want to notify your neighbors of what happened. This process serves two purposes: Information gathering and furthered protection. They may have seen some suspicious behavior in the neighborhood that could be of value to you or the police in investigating your burglary. Also, you’ll want to make sure that they know so that they can avoid potential follow-up crimes in the area by protecting themselves and their homes.