How to Cope After a Home Burglary

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Having your home burgled is one of the most traumatising things that can happen to us. Waking up to find we have been burgled while we slept and that the burglars could have been merely inches away from us while we were completely unaware is hugely unnerving. Likewise, returning from vacation with some great memories of your trip only to find your house has been more or less cleared out is devastating, and soon your vacation is a distant memory.

Clearly, both the emotional and financial repercussions of being burgled are huge. From the feeling of having been violated in your own home to knowing that someone opportunistic was aware you weren’t going to be in the property; moving on from a home burglary can be extremely difficult.

Home Burglaries are on the Rise

Unfortunately, crime statistics show that home burglaries are on the rise, meaning we’re becoming more likely to be in a position where we have to deal with this traumatic event happening to ourselves.

In Melbourne alone, the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency reported a rise of 12.6% in burglaries in 2015-16 compared to the previous year.

Considering the increased risk in this area, what can you do to reduce the risk of your home being burgled, and what can you do if you are unfortunate enough to have it happen to you?

Reducing Your Risk of Being Burgled

By taking steps to reduce your risk of being burgled, you not only make yourself feel safer and make it less likely that you’ll experience the trauma of dealing with this event, but you may also benefit from better home insurance quotes, which could save you a significant amount of money in the long-term. You could even increase the value of your property if you have security measures “hard wired” into your home.

Taking Advantage of Technology

Most of us are familiar with the traditional methods of protecting our homes. For many of us, this means dual locking systems on windows and doors, and a basic alarm system that will alert neighbours if activated thanks to its’ volume, or be a silent alarm that notifies a control room or the local police station that your home has been accessed by someone other than yourself.

Today, modern technology allows us to take advantage of a wide range of security options, including automation and remote monitoring of your home.

You should explore whether the following products would be useful for your property:

  • Electronic locking systems. These are designed to allow you to grant access to guests or tradespeople doing work around your home between certain hours. For example, if you will be at work all day and you need to grant access to a plumber, you simply set the system to allow access between a certain time, or get the plumber to notify you when they arrive and leave so you can remotely grant access and secure your home.
  • WiFi security cameras. WiFi security cameras can be used in a number of ways. There are options that allow you to remotely access your cameras and view what is going on at home, while you can also set up instant alerts for if the cameras detect movement while you’re not there, which then allow you to access a live feed of your home. Just remember to adjust your settings if you leave your dog or cat access to one or two rooms during the day!
  • Remote monitoring alarm systems. These work in a similar way to WiFi security cameras, providing both yourself and your alarm support function provider (if you choose to pay for the remote monitoring and support) with round the clock access to the status of your home, live camera feeds, and the option to instantly notify police or other services.
  • Fully integrated systems. If you want a full security solution for your home, then many providers can give you fully integrated security systems that do everything we’ve looked at here and much more. Even seemingly simple features such as being able to remotely disable the lighting or turn on your heating can put off anyone who does manage to gain access to your home and deter them from doing anything more than they already have done. If you already use a smartphone app or other technology for automating processes at home, many security solutions can integrate with what you already use, ensuring you wouldn’t need to invest in a wholly new set of solutions.

While these may at first seem like large scale measures to take to protect your property, the increased peace of mind you will enjoy as a result will be more than worth it.

How to Recover if You Have Been Burgled

If a criminal really wants to break in somewhere, the chances are that they’re going to break in if they feel you have something you want and that they can get away with it, even if you have a visible security system. The truth is that no matter how much we invest in deterring burglars from our home, there is still a chance that it can happen to us.

Therefore, while we should absolutely take whatever steps we can to ensure we don’t fall victim to a home burglary, we should also accept the reality that it could still happen, and thus be prepared with regards to what we need to do if it does.

Moving on from Being Burgled

As we explored earlier, clearly being burgled is a traumatic experience, whatever the circumstances. Moving on is easier said than done, but it is crucial that you look to do so as quickly as possible. By trying to get your life and your routines back to normal at the earliest opportunity, you can move on from this and once again feel safe and secure in your home.

Dealing with the Emotional Aspect

This is arguably going to be the most difficult thing to deal with. While resolving to move on quickly may help, you may also find that you need to speak with a councilor or look at online forums where people discuss similar experiences. Try to talk about what has happened with others that live with you, too. Whether this is just your partner or if you have children, too. Children are likely to be affected not only by the event but also how you deal with it, so be prepared to discuss it openly and highlight the positive steps you are going to take to make things better.

While you are dealing with the emotional aspect of being burgled, there are many other steps you can take that will help the recovery process and help you get your life back to normal.

Step 1: Repairing any Physical Damage

Depending on the nature of the burglary, you could have significant physical damage to your home. This could range from something as relatively simple as a broken door and door frame to larger scale, significant structural damage to your property. Physical damage to your property is likely to be the most noticeable, and therefore the most regular reminder of what has happened. Repair any physical damage to your property first.

Step 2: Replacing Stolen Items

There are likely to be some things that are irreplaceable due to the emotional value they have. While it is going to be impossible to replace keepsakes and other similar items, things like televisions, games consoles, toys, and furniture should be replaced as quickly as possible after dealing with any physical and structural damage.

It is up to you whether you replace 100% like for like, or go for a fresh start by buying different items to those which were stolen.

Step 3: Reviewing Your Security Systems

Was your home being burgled something that would have happened regardless, despite you having some excellent security systems in place? Are there improvements that could be made to your home security arrangements? On reflection, were you complacent with your security arrangements and being burgled has been an unwelcome wakeup call?

Whatever the circumstances of your home being burgled, you should ensure you review security to ensure you reduce the chances of it happening again. If you already have a number of home security solutions in place, discuss the burglary with the companies that provide these as they’ll be keen to ensure their products and services are as effective in preventing burglaries and identifying home security breaches as possible.

There’s No Time to Waste!

One of the most difficult aspects of moving on from a burglary can be the financial side of things. Even if your home insurance pays out a certain amount you may still find yourself facing a shortfall to fully repair your home and replace everything, while investing in new security systems can be an additional cost, too.

To help you move on quickly and to ensure you don’t find yourself waiting for anything, consider taking out a personal loan to cover the costs of home improvements, new furniture, or additional security systems. A personal loan can get you the cash you need to cover these costs without having to dip into your savings or needing to save up extra money yourself.

With NOW FINANCE, you can get your interest rate before applying, then when you complete an application, you’ll know exactly what you’ll be paying and how long you’ll be paying it off for.

If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having been burgled, you don’t need to wait to move on. Consider taking out a personal loan from NOW FINANCE to help you deal with the aftermath of your burglary, and move forward with your life, NOW.

Disclaimer:  This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.

Categories: Everyday Money, Lifestyle Tips, Money Matters

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