You have health insurance, don’t you? And car insurance, and life insurance? You wear your seatbelt, and you look both ways when crossing the street. You know where your flashlights, candles, and extra blankets are in case the power goes out, and you might even have a small food storage set up.
You take the necessary precautions to prepare and protect yourself in case of an emergency. But what are you doing to protect yourself and your home in case of a break in? Break ins, just like car accidents or power outages, happen every day. They are unexpected and devastating. They can be extremely costly. But, just like you have car insurance, health insurance, seatbelts, and airbags in case of a car accident, there are things you can do to better prepare yourself for a break in.
Here are 5 ways to prepare your home for a break in:
1. Home security system
The first step to preparing your home for a break in is to try to prevent the break in from happening in the first place. If you don’t already have a home security system, get one now. This can help to scare intruders away, and to notify the police in case of a break in. Of course, make sure that you actually use your alarm system. Make sure that it is always set and active, especially when you are away from the home.
2. Take inventory of your home
Even with a home security system, you may not be able to completely prevent a break in from happening. So the first step to protecting yourself should a break in happen is to take a complete inventory of your home. Go through your home with a camera, taking pictures of all of the rooms and closets. Or even better, take a video camera with you through your home, explaining all of the possessions located in each room. This will not only help you to notice everything that was stolen in case of a break in, but it will also help you to prove to your insurance company that you owned these items. Make sure to pay extra attention to any valuables you may have in your home.
The other good news? This step will also help you out tremendously with your insurance claims in case of a fire. Just make sure that you email yourself copies of these photos and/or videos so that you will always have access to them no matter what happens to your home.
3. Protect your identity
It’s not just televisions, jewelry, cash, and golf clubs that thieves are after when they break into your home. It is also documents with information about your personal identity on them. Burglars can get a lot of money selling this type of personal information. Make sure to take extra care to hide and protect any items that have your personal information on them. Birth certificates, social security cards, passports, etc should all be hidden well. Don’t make it easy for burglars to find and steal these items or this information. Also make sure that any personal computers have locks on them, and never write down or store account numbers, passwords, etc.
4. Get a good homeowner’s policy
If you have any concern about break ins, please tell me that you already have a good home insurance policy? If not, stop everything, and get one now. And if you do already have a homeowner’s policy, it might be a good idea to check in with your insurance company and see what type of protection your have for break ins or theft. Make sure that you are comfortable with the levels of coverage that you have. If you feel that you aren’t fully protected, you may want to increase your coverage levels. While you are on the phone with the insurance company, it’s not a bad idea to also ask them any additional steps you should take to better prepare and protect your home and valuables.
5. Cooperate with your neighbors
It is a great idea to coordinate with your neighbors to watch out for each other. Get to know your neighbors well, and educate each other on when you will/won’t be home. Agree to watch out for each other’s homes while each of you are away. Especially if you are going out of town, ask your neighbors to watch your home for you and report any suspicious behavior. And of course agree to do the same for them.
Of course no one ever wants their home to be broken into. But just like with unexpected illnesses, power outages, and car accidents, they sadly are a part of our lives. They happen. But luckily, there are things you can do to work to prevent these break ins, and to work to better prepare your home and situation should one of these break ins occur to you.
If you work to do these 5 steps, you will be better prepared should a break in occur in your home. These preparation steps won’t lessen the fear and confusion that follows a break in. But they can help you to feel more in control, and help to decrease the effects you and your family will have to endure should a break in occur.
Nicole writes for the company reviews section for the Best Home Security Companys website. See who they’ve chosen as the best home security companies.