How To Protect Your Home After A Burglary

by Diane Barnes

Being the victim of a home robbery is stressful enough, so you don't want to chance it happening a second time. Fortunately, you have options to keep your family and your possessions safe—from securing your identity to upgrading your windows and locks.

Secure Your Accounts

After the police leave, the first thing you need to do is call your bank and credit card companies. The big theft often happens after the bad guys leave your home, when they drain all your accounts. Keep in mind that your accounts will be canceled or temporarily frozen, so you won't have access to quick cash. Putting an alert on your credit is also a wise idea. If the thieves got your personal information, this will help prevent identity theft.

Change the Locks

Often, thieves will grab any keys they come across when looting your house, with the hopes this will give them easier access for a future robbery. Call out a locksmith as soon as possible to rekey all the locks in your home.

Don't forget the garage and shed locks. You don't want to come home in a few days just to find all your tools, or even you car, missing.

Be careful whom you give spare keys to, especially if there is no sign of forced entry. The thief may have gotten the key from someone you know, with or without their knowledge.

Repair the Windows

According to the FBI, in 2011 over 60 percent of burglaries involved forced entry, so damage to a window is a likely side effect. If the break-in occurred through a window, getting the glass replaced will prevent a future robbery. Thieves typically work quietly, so you may find they only knocked out a single pane to access a window or door lock.

A window repair technician from a company like Distinctive Siding & Window should check all the windows and panes for damage. Although only window may be visibly shattered, a thief may have tried several so the panes could be loose in other parts of the home.

Close Security Gaps

Look for and close any gaps in your home security. A few things to consider:

  • Replace windows, especially those near door latches, with shatterproof glass. Alternatively, have bars installed.
  • Your window installer can tint or put a reflective coating on your windows. You can still see out clearly, but a would-be thief won't be able to see inside.
  • Install deadbolts on all exterior doors.
  • Trim back hedges and keep outdoor items away from doors and windows. Don't give thieves a place to hide.
  • Install an alarm system. Attach it to all doors and windows so there is no unarmed areas for a thief to find access.

There's no need to live in fear after a burglary. A few commonsense steps will help keep you and your family safe and secure.