Planning a course of action after an invasion or business break-in isn’t pleasant, but it’s a necessary part of business ownership and management. While we don’t like to imagine things like that will happen to us, it’s best to be prepared if that day comes.
The moments following a break-in or burglary are crucial. Because we provide security and surveillance systems to both homes and businesses, we feel responsible for putting out helpful information about these types of situations. Here is our brief post-incident checklist:
Notify Law Enforcement
Before you begin digging through the mess left behind or checking security cameras, call your local police department. If you arrive to find signs of a break-in and suspect someone may still be inside, we recommend waiting safely outside until police have cleared the building.
It may be your first impulse to begin cleaning up and sorting through what’s left behind, but it’s best to leave the crime scene undisturbed until it’s been processed by law enforcement.
In addition, notify police during the initial call if there are potential injuries or hazards because of the burglary. They can coordinate with other first responders or hazard crews if necessary.
Document, Document, Document
Once the scene has been cleared and is deemed safe, it is STILL not wise to begin cleaning up. Take out your smartphone or camera and begin snapping photos or videos of the entire building. Take extra care to capture structural damage to the building, doors, or windows, and evidence of missing items, hardware, furniture, inventory, or other items.
Review security camera footage and turn over those video files to the police department. Video can be a crucial part of finding those responsible, and it is also important for documenting losses for the next step:
Put Insurance to Work
Call your insurance company and report the incident. Give as much detail as possible, including any police report or case numbers given to you by the responding officers. Mention any injuries and damages to insured property. The insurance company will likely send a claims adjuster to review the property and collect any additional documentation. Your video and photo evidence will be crucial to proving losses, especially if the area has been cleaned and repaired.
It can be a tedious process when it’s a scheduled part of your annual or monthly responsibilities, so taking a detailed inventory could understandably be the most painstaking step on this list. However, taking a complete and accurate count of what’s missing, damaged, or otherwise affected could prove to be one of the most important steps for law enforcement, insurance, and business records.
Have employees take stock of their work areas, and depending on the nature of your business, complete a full audit of computer hardware, software, files, and customer data.
By acting without delay after a break-in at your business, you can increase the chance of criminal prosecution, be given adequate reimbursement from your insurance company, and help reduce the fallout from stolen inventory, data, or other assets.
We hope you’ll take this planning opportunity and also schedule a free security consultation with the specialists at YK Communications. We’re happy to share details about the security and surveillance products we offer as your local service provider. Get started today with a call to 361-771-3334.