Burglaries are events that leave victims feeling a number of emotions: anger, fear, violation, confusion, anxiousness, and many others. These emotions arise in the immediate aftermath of a break-in, but in these moments it’s important to respond effectively and immediately to take care of the situation at hand and allow the post break-in process go smoothly.
Once the practical hand-lings following a break-in have been completed, it will then be important to grieve and cope with the event in a healthy way so that you can fully recover mentally.
But in the moments following a break-in, how should you respond, and how will Protect America respond if you’re one of our customers?
Contact Law Enforcement
If you have a monitored home security system, you will be notified immediately of the event by receiving push alert notifications, receiving a phone call from the central monitoring station, and a police will physically respond to the home.
If you don’t have a monitored home security system, start the post break-in process by notifying the police of the event.
When you begin speaking with law enforcement, inform them of the location of the burglary, the nature of potential injuries, and hazards that exist as a result of the break-in. Remember to note descriptions of vehicles, persons involved, and any other evidence relevant to the crime.
If you have home security equipment, you can view camera recordings to identify suspects and as evidence to provide to law enforcement. Tell authorities of all suspect details, including sex, age, race, and any tattoos or marks that identify the suspect specifically.
If you have home security equipment, log on to your app and view the video footage of the break-in. This footage can help make sense of security weaknesses in the home, see what was taken, and provide useful evidence to give police and insurance companies.
Contact Insurance Companies
Step two should be to contact your insurance company. This is simply preliminary contact to make them aware of the incident, and to provide them with a summary of the crime. Mention all known injuries and damages to property. The insurance company may schedule a visit from a claims adjuster, or another process and instructions for how to file a claim.
If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, it’s possible you can collect back a decent amount of the money from the items that were stolen. Make sure that you have placed a call within 24 hours, and make sure that all necessary information has been submitted to police, because this is the same information the insurance company will use to process your claim.
Remember: Do not touch anything in the home until police arrive. By touching items, you risk destroying or contaminating evidence that police will need for finding and prosecuting burglars. You can begin taking photos to document the break-in and record the results
Once you’ve completed the post break-in processes with police and insurance companies, you can now move forward with cleaning your home, repairing any damages, and either purchasing home security equipment or strengthening the setup that you currently have.
By working quickly following a break-in, you can enhance the chance of successful criminal prosecution, maximize potential reimbursements from insurance companies, and help minimize the impact of stolen property.
Protect America Will Help You Following a Burglary
Protect America will be alerted of the break-in by the central monitoring station. Once they’ve alerted us—within a day—Protect America will follow up with a customer immediately. We will investigate what caused the break-in, whether that may a zone error, the system being disarmed at the time of the break-in, or lack of sufficient security. We will explore all possible causes.
Once the event has been investigated, we will report it in our internal systems and request a copy of the police report to make sure all of the facts line-up.
Based on the event, we will provide recommendations and a new strategy to ensure another break-in does not occur. This may involve additions to your security setup. If there were any system problems, we will identify them and either fix the problem or send new equipment or relocation devices as necessary.
We will also provide education with our new suggestions to further secure your home. Once you’ve initially spoken to us, a leadership member from our Protect America team will reach out to speak to you personally and follow up to make sure that everything is OK.
At Protect America, we want to make sure that not only your property is OK following a break-in, but that you are as well. We are here to answer any questions that you may have, and help with your needs following a break-in.