It is crucial to know what to do if a break-in ever occurs at your business. The steps below should help you prevent any additional headaches caused by the confusion and stress of a break-in. Take a look to get prepared.
You may be tempted to investigate the crime scene—don’t. The first thing to do is call the police. There is always a chance that the burglary could still be in progress, and confronting the burglar on your own could lead to a violent situation. Before you enter the building, call the local police department and wait outside for them to arrive.
Providing an accurate and detailed report to the police can help them make an arrest and make things easier for you when providing information to file an insurance claim. Write down the details of the break-in as soon as possible following the event. If your business was broken into after-hours, record the time you discovered it, note any property damage you see. If you were present at the time of the break-in, it would help if you also take note of these items.
- How many intruders were there?
- What is the approximate age of the intruder?
- What did they look like – hair color, height, build, etc.
- How did they enter the building?
- What did they take?
- Did they leave in a vehicle?
Once you’ve given a statement to the police, you should review your policy and contact your insurance company. Your agent should be able to fill you in on the necessary information you need to provide to file a claim.
After you contact your insurance company and know exactly what information you need to provide for your claim, do a walkthrough of the property to identify anything that was damaged or stolen. Make sure you take lots of photos of damaged property and equipment and areas of your property where the theft occurred like a shelf that contained the stolen merchandise.
Depending on how much damage was done and how quickly the police investigation takes place, you may need to close your business for a couple of days. Let your employees know what has happened, talk with them about the future of the business and if this will affect their work hours. Some employees may not feel safe at the workplace or want to know about plans for burglary prevention. So, it is important to be prepared for these types of questions. By addressing relevant concerns, you should reduce any damage the break-in could have on your workplace culture.
The final step (and one of the most important) is to reflect on what vulnerability was exploited and what can be done to prevent a future incident. What can you do to ensure that another break-in doesn’t occur? Do you need a stronger lock, more lighting on your property, or a security system?