There are many home security products currently on the market that allow you to personally monitor your home via your smart phone. But when that system does its job and alerts you via your phone of a possible break-in, it is frightening. No matter how worried and scared you may be, it’s important to stay calm. One way to alleviate your stress in this situation is to have a plan of action in place. Depending on the details of your security system, there may be different steps to take after an alert.

First Response

If you have a monitored security system, chances are your security provider contacted both you and the police when the alarm was tripped. If your home security system is not monitored, you should notify the police right away.

Depending on the features of your security system, your security provider will be best equipped to let you know what’s going on. If your system includes cameras, they can access them and see exactly what’s happening and what the point of entry was. Some security systems let you view security camera footage from your phone, which can provide you comfort so you can check in on your pets and make sure they’re still safe.

After the Alarm

Once police secure your home and verify that the intruders have gone, it’s time to start thinking about paperwork. Paperwork isn’t the first thing that comes to mind after a beak-in, but it’s crucial.

You’ll need to file a police report that documents any items that were taken, their estimated value, and any damage that was done to your home or property.

It can be hard to notice everything that’s missing. If you have security cameras, you can review the footage to help you identify all items that were taken. The police report will also help you with your insurance claim, as you’ll need to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the event.

Moving Forward

Having your home violated by strangers leaves you feeling vulnerable and on edge. One of the things that can help you get back to normal is taking a look at the security measures you have in place. Note what helped during the break-in and what improvements you’d like to make.

If the point of entry was a poorly-secured door or window, improving the security on all potential access points can help you feel more secure. If the intruders gained access due to a weak deadbolt, consider upgrading all the deadbolts in your home. If your security system doesn’t have cameras, you might want to add them, as the extra information they provide can not only help you recover the full value of items taken but might even help the police catch the bad guy.

This is also a good time to consider upgrading to a monitored security system if you don’t already have one. A monitored system means there are eyes on your home 24/7 and, in the event of a break-in, the security company can automatically alert you and the police.

What if it’s a false alarm?

If your pet, child, or well-meaning neighbor accidentally set off your alarm, you want to know that as soon as possible. False alarms can cost money if police and/or security personnel are dispatched to your home.

The best way to avoid false alarms is to make sure your system is monitored by security specialists. If your system uses a monitoring center, real people can see exactly what’s going on and verify if there’s a threat before contacting police. Your security provider can access cameras to verify whether a threat is real or accidental and will also call you and/or your home to determine if the alarm was set off accidentally.

You’ve already taken steps to protect your home and loved ones, but if your security system is limited in scope, you could still be vulnerable. Make sure you’re helping protect your home with a monitored home security system that will alert both you and the authorities of a break-in.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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