Walking in to your home after a long day at work, the last thing you want to find is your personal belongings thrown across the room and a sense of fear that your personal space has been invaded. Experiencing a break-in can be very frightening, and hard to keep your emotions level when worrying about a lack of home security, especially in a smart home. MAXIMUS hopes this is something our readers never face, but in the event that it does, there are some key steps to remember in order to stay safe and approach the situation carefully. The following is a chronological list of the necessary steps to take after a break-in.

Leave your house immediately

If you walk into your home and you suspect a break-in has occurred, leave your home immediately. Call 911 from your vehicle and report the crime. Do not stop to inspect the damage. Most burglars leave within minutes of breaking in, however, it is better to be safe than sorry. Beyond the safety aspect, you must have a police report to file an insurance claim. Do not wait to call 911.

Leave your house untouched

As tempting as it may be to open your jewelry drawers to check for stolen property, don’t. There is a chance that the burglar did not wear gloves. Fingerprints can be your only source of evidence, and are very powerful in court. If you see something that looks like it could belong to the burglar, let the police know immediately. This is also a great time to view video footage from a home surveillance camera if you have any.

Arrange for your children to sleep somewhere else for the night

The damage a burglar can do in under twenty minutes can be frightening for any adult, let alone a child. Keep them away until their “safe place” has been returned to normal. You’ll want to call a glass repairman at this time if there are any broken windows or doors.

Make a list of missing items and contact your insurer

This may be the toughest job on this list. Going through years of mental inventory can be frustrating. Once the police have finished their job, you may begin taking inventory of what was stolen. Stay calm and try to think like a burglar. Typically, items that are stolen are quick to unplug and grab. Begin by taking photos of the damage for your insurance company. After that, identify any of your electronics that are missing and work your way from room to room. Also, make sure to note the serial numbers on your electronics if you have them written down. Lastly, take an inventory of your jewelry. Contact your insurer within 24 hours to ensure that everything stolen will be covered.

Clean up and prepare your home for the future

Now it is time to clean up broken glass, and the damage left behind. As soon as your house begins to look normal, you will be able to emotionally move on. Think about installing smart security options like the MAXIMUS Smart Motion Security Light, which is set to release this summer, and the MAXIMUS Smart Security Light. These smart lights provide a sense of security when you can see and speak to anyone approaching your front door, and the outdoor lighting it provides can deter criminals from wanting to approach your home in the first place.

While being the victim of a home invasion or theft can ultimately be a matter of bad luck, it’s always better to be safe than sorry by taking preventative measures and installing smart home security. If a potential intruder notices a outdoor surveillance camera like the MAXIMUS Smart Security Light that doubles as a smart light, it can make them reconsider entering your property. Be sure to check out our blog with other helpful tips to deter home invasions from occurring in your smart home in the first place, such as security advice for new homeowners and keeping your home safe while away on vacation!