It takes seconds for a burglar to break into a garage. A thief may be incredibly efficient at getting inside a home, whether he threads a wire hanger into the garage door, kicks through a side entry or uses high-tech gadgets to crack the code on the remote.
A home burglary leaves you and your family feeling vulnerable. Your garage door may need to be repaired. Your property may have been stolen or damaged. You may feel angry, scared and at your wits’ ends. Don’t panic. As upsetting as a burglary may be, there are steps you can take to repair the damage and possibly recover your belongings.
The garage door is a common entry point for thieves. The garage is often full of valuables and if it’s attached, it leads directly into your home. Thieves often look for an easy target. If you leave the side door, window or garage door open, you’ve extended an invitation to opportunistic bad guys.
Basic security will go a long way toward deterring a burglar. Reprogram the remote or keypad regularly and keep the doors and windows locked. You may also want to go the extra step by installing a home-security system and motion-activated lights. However, there’s no surefire way to keep determined thieves out. Here’s what to do if someone breaks into your garage.
Call 911 and report the theft. If you arrive home and see that your home has been broken into, call the police before you go inside. Follow the directions of law enforcement. They may ask you to remain in a safe location until they arrive. There’s a chance the culprits are still inside. By entering the home, you may also disturb evidence needed by the police.
If you saw anyone leaving your home, quickly write a description of everything you remember. Note their age, height, weight, hair color, clothing and anything else you noticed.
When the police arrive, you’ll need to work with officials to report damage and stolen items. You will also need to call your insurance company as soon as possible. A police report will be required for an insurance claim.
The manner in which the burglar entered your home may be important to the police investigation. While the officers may note the damage themselves, it doesn’t hurt for you to provide them with additional information. Let them know if you see that the control panel was smashed, the door damaged or if the doors were open or unlocked.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Call your insurance agent as soon as you can and always within 24 hours of discovering the theft. Your agent will get you started on making a claim. The agent may give you certain instructions, such as the type of information you should collect to file a claim. In general, you’ll have to document the damage to your home. You may need to write a description and take photographs.
When the police have finished their investigation, and it’s safe to go inside, make a complete list of the damage or missing items in your home. If you’ve previously documented your belongings, for instance for insurance purposes, now’s the time to refer to those files. If you previously took photos of items that have been stolen, provide those images to both police and your insurance agent.
If you don’t have documents, write a detailed description and even make drawings. Give these to your insurance company and to police if they request them.
Insurance may pay for repairs to your garage door or home. It may pay to replace stolen property. Your insurance company will contact the police to confirm your report is on file. In most cases, your insurance will send a claims adjuster to examine your home in person.
Don’t start cleaning or making repairs until the adjuster has had time to make an assessment. If you need to secure your home because the doors or locks have been broken, be sure to mention this to your insurance agent.
Personal safety is your priority, but you should strive to achieve that in a way that won’t damage your claim.
Contact A Garage Door Specialist
Once the police officers and insurance agents are finished with their investigations, it’s time to sweep up the damage. Ponderosa Garage Doors can repair or replace your door. We can suggest a more secure door if you need one. We’ll evaluate the door you have and advise you of the best way to keep it secure from thieves.
If you’d like to upgrade the automatic opener to a smart system, we can help. Today’s openers can be part of a smart system that works with your home’s WiFi. With these systems, you can monitor your garage door remotely from a smartphone or computer. Anytime the door opens, you’ll be alerted. If the door is open, you’ll get a notification.
A home burglary is frightening and frustrating. Our team can repair the breach, and also help you choose the most secure door for your home. Contact us today for more information on repair, installation and security.