Becoming the victim of a burglary is on everyone’s nightmare list; we often see people who have been the victim of a crime and we have seen the lasting effect it can have – it’s more than just the loss of possessions. People often report feeling unsafe in their homes, even after tightening up security, and for good reason; repeat burglaries are common when your home is a good target and you have things worth stealing, especially so if the thieves were disturbed before they had a chance to get everything they wanted. There is also the emotional impact of knowing someone with bad intentions has been through your stuff and turned out your drawers all over the place, and the clean up after a burglary can be a difficult task to do.
If you are burgled there are some important things you need to do, whether you’re home when they intruder enters or not. If you are home it is likely that the burglar hasn’t noticed you (especially if there are no lights or a TV/radio on to create noise). You may well be off work ill and in bed and in these cases it’s best to avoid any contact or confrontation with the intruder. Even if you feel confident challenging an intruder there’s no way of knowing whether they will turn and run or attack you (many burglars will have a weapon on them just in case), so it’s better to be safe and avoid them.
If possible, lock yourself in a bathroom or spare bedroom which is unlikely to be a target for the thief – they’re more interested in the rooms that might have cash or electronics in them so the bathroom is a relatively safe place. Take your mobile phone and alert the police quietly so as not to reveal your presence to the burglar. If you can’t move around the house without being seen and you’re in bed, pretend to be asleep, so as not to be a potential threat to the burglar.
Some alarm systems have an SOS function that alerts the authorities when triggered, so if possible use this setting on your alarm system to alert the monitoring centre and the police. It may not always be possible to do this, and if you haven’t got an alarm which monitors the downstairs during the night then you may have to raise the alarm yourself by calling 999. Under no circumstances should you compromise your safety by challenging or tackling the burglar.
If you are not home when the burglary happens you might be returning to a house with the front door wide open and the alarm blaring. In these cases do not enter the property until you are sure it is safe to do so. Call the police and explain the situation and that you are not sure if the intruders are still inside. You may see someone fleeing the scene but don’t assume it’s safe to go into the house – they may be working with an accomplice who is still inside. If you have to wait a long time for the police you may need to go inside, especially if you need medication or something else vitally important. Never go in alone and always announce your presence before entering; if someone is hiding inside this gives them the chance to get out before you come in.
It would be unwise to enter a potentially dangerous situation alone and with nothing to protect you, so the advice we would give is to stay out of the home until the police have checked the property for hidden burglars. We recognise that there are some circumstances under which you may have to go inside and there is someone with you who is able to safely deal with a potential threat. You should only ever act in self-defence.
After the burglary sorting your insurance claim and security arrangements is vital, and we are able to give advice on the best measures to take and which security products would be the best for you home should you wish to install an alarm. Unfortunately, it is often a burglary which triggers the purchase of an alarm system, so if you don’t have one, please don’t wait until you’ve been burgled to get one. Contact us on 01905 799949 today.