We at Northeast Security Solutions always prefer a proactive approach to home security, rather than a reactive one. Last week’s post on Ways to Keep Your Home from Becoming a Target for Burglars reinforces that concept. However, in the case of a home break-in, homeowners must see what went wrong and take steps to improve security going forward. In this week’s post, we share security-related steps to take after experiencing a home burglary.

We’ll begin with ideas for figuring out what happened during the break-in itself. Calling the authorities and attempting to determine what went wrong can help you address any security issues. From there, we’ll share some specific tips on securing your home in the wake of the break-in. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to make your valuables more difficult for thieves to access. Finally, we’ll take a look at how installing security equipment can help you battle future home burglary attempts. Let’s begin with some important first steps to take after realizing your home has been broken into.

Contact the Authorities and Attempt to See What Happened

Homeowners have a lot to accomplish in the time directly following a home burglary. Attempting to recover lost items and take care of insurance claims to receive financial compensation for damages sit very high on the priority list. Additionally, homeowners should take steps to ensure they do not fall victim to another break-in. Burglars have plenty of incentive to re-create a successful burglary. For starters, they know the layout of the house and the types of items in each room. They also have a point of entry in mind that already worked for them once. In fact, this News 4 article describes this exact scenario happening to a family in Florida over the holidays in 2015.

So how do homeowners stop attempted break-ins? Calling the local authorities and attempting to re-create the burglary can go a long way. Burglars such as the thieves described in the article above may well attempt breaking in through the same point of entry twice. Knowing what went wrong the first time can help you guard against a potential second attempt. Furthermore, adding extra security to any areas of entry can help thwart follow-up attempts. Now, let’s take a closer look at this concept.

A basmenet winday with a window cover.

Installing window covers over basement windows can make them a difficult target for aspiring burglars. Photo Credit: Window Well Experts on Wikipedia. Used under the CC BY-SA 1.0 license.

Repair and Reinforce Points of Entry

If burglars create any damage committing their crime, we recommend taking immediate steps to fix it. Doors off of frames, broken windows, and any other compromised points of entry make an easy target for another home burglary attempt. Homeowners should always prioritize fixing any damage made by burglars during a break-in. Furthermore, homeowners should attempt to make potential break-in points even more secure than they were in the first place. After all, you’ve already experienced a burglary at your current level of door and window security.

Consider using dowel rods to make windows and sliders harder to force open. Security film can also make breaking windows more difficult. Installing grates or window well covers in front of basement windows can block access to your basement as well. Additionally, we recommend taking steps to make your doors harder to breach. Thieves use a variety of means to break in through doors. However, security and locksmith companies like us also offer door hardware and locking equipment that helps combat these burglary tactics. Let’s take a look at how we make doors a more difficult target for burglars.

Upgrade Your Door’s Security and Locking Equipment

A Schlage turn bolt

Turn bolts, such as this model by Schlage, add protection to your doors while remaining unseen by potential thieves.

Several months back, we posted our 6 Ways to Improve Your Door Security. We dedicated a good amount of that post to discussing deadbolts and additional door hardware. After all, your doors provide the first level of security for your home. Locks that break easily or that have been installed improperly can turn your doors into a very weak line of defense. Likewise, locks that burglars can easily pick also provide very little security against knowledgeable thieves.

If you have questions about your door’s locks, we recommend calling your local security company and/or locksmiths to evaluate your locks. They can ensure proper installation and also evaluate your locks for security purposes. Additionally, they can suggest additional equipment. Turn bolts (pictured), for example, can offer the security of an additional deadbolt. Installing these devices on doors with windows near your regular deadbolts can make those doors less vulnerable.

We also offer devices to reinforce the hinge side of doors. Burglars often kick through doors on the hinge side rather than attempt to compromise the door’s locks. Installing hardware to defend this type of attack can add security to your doors. In addition to locking down your doors more effectively, you can also lock up your valuables themselves. Keeping your most prized possessions safe — even during a break-in — makes installing a safe an important security measure. Let’s take some time to examine how to go about following this security tip.

Lock Up Your Valuables

In the case of a break-in, burglars try to get the most “bang for their buck.” The smallest and most valuable items are the most likely to be snatched up by thieves during a home burglary. Unfortunately, that means that families come home to find heirlooms, sentimental and valuable jewelry, and cash and credit cards gone after a break-in. We offer safes that can make taking off with these items much less feasible for burglars. Installing a safe makes these items difficult for thieves to obtain. Keeping your personal documents and most valued possessions in a safe also keeps them out of burglars’ eyes. While burglars certainly look to break into safes, if doing so proves difficult they may move on to other areas of the home.

An American Security Wall Safe

A wall safe, like this one by American Security, lock up and hides and your valuables at the same time.

Furthermore, we can install safes in areas that thieves have trouble finding them at all. Wall safes, such as the one pictured here, can be installed on the studs behind your drywall. Homeowners then cover the safes with a mirror or a picture. This often leads to burglars never even knowing about a safe’s presence. Of course, if they do find the safe, they still need to crack it to get to the contents inside. The time it takes to locate and break into a safe can mean the difference between a burglar’s success or failure in taking your most valuable items. If you do install a safe, make sure to follow our 10 Best Practices for Safes. Now, let’s look at additional security equipment that you should install if you’ve had a home burglary.

Install Security Recording and Home Burglary Notification Equipment

One final way to make burglars less likely to repeat a burglary attempt? Install new security equipment. Returning thieves may well find themselves less likely to attempt another crime upon discovering security cameras on their return trip. If they do still attempt a break-in, you can use the footage to see what happened. Recorded video gives the authorities a much higher chance of solving a crime.

Additionally, home burglar alarms can also make thieves reconsider sticking around in your home. In some cases, seeing your new security yard sign can even convince criminals to look elsewhere. Burglar alarms provide a blaring siren response upon alarm activation. Monitored alarms also create a central station response. From there, our central station notifies both you and the authorities about the potential break-in. This adds both security and peace of mind for our customers, whether or not they have previously experienced a home burglary.

Putting Together a Complete Plan to Avoid a Repeat Home Burglary

We hope this post has given you some valuable tips to follow if you ever fall victim to a home burglary. Even if you haven’t had this experience, we hope you use this information to increase your own home security. Additionally, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We offer free security surveys for homeowners looking to enhance their own home security. Perhaps you’ve experienced a break-in and wish to install some of the security equipment mentioned in this post. Or maybe you want to make sure you have the proper measures in place in case a thief does target your home. Either way, we can help you create a security plan that to help keep you and your family as secure as possible.