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What to do if you’ve been burgled?

If you’ve ever had your home broken into, you’ll know that it is a very stressful event. The impact of burglary is not just financial; it can also have a significant effect on your emotional well-being and sense of security. Most stolen goods are replaceable but some items have sentimental or personal value and this can be very upsetting for the occupants.

The thought of a stranger being in your home can be extremely distressing. The elderly and children in particular are susceptible to being anxious and frightened by such an event and may need extra reassurance to cope with the situation.

The first step to take if you suspect that you’ve been burgled is to make your way to a safe area outside your home and call the police immediately. Reporting your break-in straight away gives police a better chance of catching the culprits. It may be tempting to enter your home to see if anything has been stolen but you can run the risk of destroying valuable evidence and there’s a chance your uninvited guest are still on the premises. It’s best to let the police enter the property before you go back inside.

The second step is to check for damage to your home and organize to have it repaired as soon as possible. Fortunately, some locksmiths and window repair companies provide a 24-hour emergency call out service.

The third step is to check your home for a few important items and confirm their whereabouts:

Spare house keys – burglars will often steal spare keys so they can come back at a later date. If you suspect that keys have been stolen, you should have the locks changed.

Spare car keys – cars are often stolen days after a burglary so make sure your spare car keys are safe.

Computers & passwords – if your computer has been stolen and it contains information about your bank accounts or other sensitive information you should change your passwords and report the item as stolen.

The fourth step is to make a detailed list of any missing items and gather receipts, serial numbers, valuations, credit card numbers as your insurer may ask for proof of ownership. If credit cards have been stolen, you’ll need to cancel these straight away! Also, photograph any damage as this can be used to support a claim.

The fifth step is to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know you’ve been burgled. Find and review your Insurance Policy and provide as much detail when you are making a claim.

The sixth step is to take precautions against a repeat occurrence:

- Have a security alarm system installed by a licensed security technician
- Keep valuables out of sight and hidden away
- Have deadlocks installed on all external doors and windows
- Store garden tools away in a locked area
- Install motion sensor lighting around the home
- Use password management software to keep passwords safe
- Keep the garden clean and ensure your home looks lived in
- Get to know your neighbours and swap phone numbers
- Make sure to lock windows and doors every time you leave the house

Knowing what to do if you’ve been burgled can help you to cope more easily and clarify the steps to re-secure your property.

Homes with a security system are much less likely to be burgled so if you are considering a security system for your home or business, please contact us on 0417 384 787 for an obligation free quote.

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