Discovering that someone has broken in to your home can be very scary and unsettling. It can make it hard to think rationally and make sensible decisions about what to do next. So, if you find yourself in this situation, read this quick and clear guide explaining what to do if someone breaks into your house.
First of all it’s important to determine whether the intruder is still on the premises. If they are, call 999 and ask for the police. Do not do anything that will place you or your family in danger.
If you’re sure that the burglar has left and that there is no immediate threat, call the non-emergency police number, 101.
Try not to disturb the crime scene by touching anything until the police have arrived, as they may be able to find evidence that could lead to the intruder’s arrest.
Repair windows and locks
If windows or doors have been forced or broken, you’ll need to make your home secure again. This is a priority. Check Yellow Pages or an online directory to find a local locksmith to help you after a break-in. You should be able to find a 24-hour locksmith who is happy to be called out at any time of the day or night.
Make a claim
To ensure that you don’t lose out financially, contact your insurance company next. Check that you are insured for the break-in and give them all the details they ask for, including a crime number which you’ll have been given by the police. A representative from the insurance company may wish to visit your home to see the extent of any damage and ask you questions face to face.
Improve home security
Once you have reported the break-in and made the basic repairs necessary to secure your home, you could consider taking additional security measures. Now that somebody has broken in to your property you are likely to be more aware of the risks, and anxious to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Here are some measures you could take to help prevent or deter burglars:
• Deadbolt locks on all doors
• A visible burglar alarm
• Signs or stickers to warn intruders that your home is alarmed or monitored
• Locks for your gates, front and back
• Outdoor lighting
In addition, you could take the following steps to ensure that your home does not tempt opportunistic intruders:
• Keep valuables out of sight
• Always lock doors and shut windows, whenever you leave the house
• Don’t keep a spare key in an obvious place
One constructive thing to do after someone breaks into your house is to join or form a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme. It’s a great way to work with your neighbours to make the area safer.
We hope these tips have helped you grasp what to do if someone breaks into your house. The experience can be traumatic, and it can take time to get over it. There’s no shame in needing some help to move on. Victim Support can offer support to the victims of crime – call the Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111.