This post was originally published on February 25, 2014. It was updated on February 28, 2020.
essential steps to take after a home break-in
You come home to find the door pushed in, the lock busted, and your things were stolen. Your heart begins to race. It doesn’t take long for you to realize that you’ve been robbed.
This unfortunate set of circumstances is the reality for many in the United States. The US Department of Justice reports that nearly 7,000 burglaries occur every day, with an average $2,416 stolen per incident.
This invasion of privacy is unsettling and can leave you with questions. After experiencing a break-in, the following steps can help you reclaim your property and sense of security.
1. Get to safety
Safety is the top concern following a break-in. As soon as you realize someone has broken into your home, leave immediately with family members and pets. A burglar may still be in the home and could be dangerous. You can go to a neighbor’s house or park your car up the street. Additionally, do not touch anything in your home. The police need to collect evidence that may help them catch the thief.
2. Call the police to file a report
Meet the police at your home. They will work with you to document evidence and take a list of all of the items that were stolen. Take pictures of damages throughout your home, from broken doors and windows to wreckage and missing items. This can be a difficult process—having the police, a family member, or a friend there to support you can be helpful.
If you have a home security system, police can view your security camera footage from indoor cameras and outdoor cameras to add to the evidence. Learn more by reading our blog on how security cameras help police catch burglars.
3. Call your insurance company
Once you have a list of all the stolen items and you’ve filed a police report, call the insurance company to file a claim. Most insurance companies require you to call within 24 hours of the break-in. Some companies require a claims adjuster to come to your home and assess damages.
Be sure to ask your provider before cleaning up damage—they may want you to leave things as-is until a claims adjuster comes to your house. In these cases, it may be helpful to stay at a friend’s house or a hotel until the insurance assessment.
4. Clean up
Replace doors, windows, and locks, followed by replacing stolen items. You may need to paint walls to cover scuff marks or rearrange the furniture.
5. Reinforce your home security
When replacing doors and windows, consider upgrading locks and purchasing motion sensor lighting. If you don’t have one already, consider investing in a home security system. Most burglars look for an alarm system before breaking into a home—60% change their mind if they see one.
Frontpoint's most popular security package, the Safe Home Everyday, comes with a hub and keypad, three door and window sensors, two motion sensor, a yard sign, and decals. With Frontpoint's DIY setup, you can choose to add cameras and sensors to the system based on your desired level of home security and automation.
6. Notify your bank
After a break-in, you may not notice if financial documents were taken from your home. Notifying your bank and credit card companies can put them on alert for suspicious activity.
7. Notify neighbors
Let neighbors know that a break-in occurred—65.1% of people know their burglar, meaning it’s possible that it was a neighbor or someone they know. Help others protect their home by making them aware of the crime.
8. Find support
Break-ins can leave you with a sense of discomfort in your own home. Talk to family members about the incident and steps taken to prevent a future break-in—and seek additional support if needed.
Break-ins are stressful experiences. Be patient with the process—both the physical steps required and any emotions you may experience. And remember, investing in home security is the best way to protect your home from future break-ins.
Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.