While most burglaries occur when a house is empty, there is still a very slim chance that you could experience a break-in when you are inside your home. Even though the likelihood of this is relatively small, it’s still essential you are prepared for a worst-case scenario.
If you do unfortunately find yourself confronted by an intruder, it can be a traumatic experience, leaving you feeling frightened and vulnerable. In the event of this happening, you may not know how to react, potentially putting yourself in even more danger.
If you are unsure of what to do if someone breaks into your house, here are several lifesaving pieces of advice that can help you should you ever find yourself in this situation.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE BREAKS INTO YOUR HOUSE
Seek Safety Outside of Your House
If you have discovered an intruder is in your home, the most essential thing you need to do is remain calm. Refrain from panicking and making noise, and ensure the intruder doesn’t know you are aware of their presence.
This latter point is vital for many reasons:
- There may be more than one person in your home
- You are not aware of their intentions
- You have no idea how they will react to you
By ensuring the intruders are unaware of your presence, you are giving yourself an advantage, as well as a head start. You can use this crucial time to vacate your home quietly and find a safe hiding spot, as well as gathering your family into safety. This physical block between you and the intruders will reduce any chances of you becoming harmed.
Be aware that no matter how brave you may be feeling, the worst thing you can do is confront the intruder. This abrupt decision can startle them, forcing them to decide whether to attack you or run from your property.
Call the Police
Once you have reached safety, the first thing you should do is call the police. If you have a home security system or alarm monitoring device installed, they may already be on their way if your system has features that can activate a security breach and automatically call the local authorities.
Even though these technological advancements provide you with extra security, you should still always call 911 to double-check they received the alert from your system. This will also help them understand the situation better, allowing them to respond accordingly. When you call the operator, you must provide them with the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- All the information you know about the intruder, including:
- What they look like
- Their location in your home
- Whether they are armed
Once you’ve made the call, it’s imperative you still stay quiet and inconspicuous, even if you are outside the house. This will ensure that the intruders remain in your home until the police arrive, giving them more chance of being caught. You should also wait for them to arrive and under no circumstances re-enter your home to confront them.
Assess the Damage and Take an Inventory
Once the police have arrived and dealt with the situation, you will be able to re-enter your house and assess any damage or stolen belongings. To ensure you leave no stone unturned, it is advised that you start a record and include all the information relating to the burglary in it. The first section in this folder should be an inventory whereby you detail every single missing item.
With many families collecting possessions over the years, it is advised you create a home inventory list irrespective of whether you anticipate a burglary. This ensures you are aware of everything you own and comes in handy if you ever need to perform an inventory of stolen items or make an insurance claim.
When you are collating this list of damaged or stolen items, it is also advised that you provide a detailed description alongside it, with the approximate value of each.
You should also note that the most common items stolen during burglaries are jewelry, cash, electronics, and firearms. So, when taking your inventory, ensure you have covered these areas in particular, and make sure you make an extra copy of the list to provide to your insurance company.
It’s also important to take photos of how the intruders left your home. Try not to touch or move anything, as this could contaminate the evidence. These images are helpful for insurance companies to assess how severe the damage to your property is. You should also note down everything you remember about the break-in, including the description of the intruder if you managed to catch a glimpse.
Assist the Police Investigation
Assisting the police in their investigation can make it much easier to solve the case. When you become involved in the case, be prepared for the police to ask you a range of questions. These include:
- Do you have a security system? If so, do you have footage?
- Are you emotionally prepared to watch through the footage to see what other details can be accumulated from the break-in?
Once these questions have been asked, you will be required to provide the police with all the information you know, along with the footage. If you remember additional events from the break-in, you should let the police know immediately.
It’s also imperative you have access to a copy of the police report. This document could come in handy later down the line for insurance purposes.
Prevent Future Break-ins
The best way to handle a burglary is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By taking steps to reduce the risk, including installing security systems and motion sensors, you can burglar-proof your home, and deter intruders from planning a break-in.
If you find yourself in a home invasion situation, these tips for what to do if someone breaks into your house will allow you to deal with the situation in the safest way possible.
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