Steps to take after a break-in at your business

Office break-in

Even if you’ve taken all the necessary steps to secure your business, your business could still be a target for burglars.

There is a lot of appeal of being able to hit up one location and get plenty of items they can resale, especially if your business contains valuable merchandise or equipment, such as electronics.

Discovering your office has been broken into is devastating. Many people immediately find themselves wondering if anybody was hurt in the process and what was stolen. If this happens to your business, take the following steps.

Stay out of the building

If you or your employees are in the building at the time of the burglary, focus on getting everyone out of the building or in a secure location. And if you’re approaching the building and see that your door is ajar or that a window has been broken, your first instinct might be to run into the building.

Don’t do this. There is a chance the burglar is still inside. If they are armed, they might try to shoot you. Stay outside at a safe distance. Plus, entering the scene could result in accidental tampering of evidence.

Contact the police

Once you realize your office has been broken into, contact the police. Provide them as much information as possible. They will want to come out to gather evidence. If you suspect the break-in happened several hours ago, use the non-emergency line. Only use the emergency line if you suspect the burglar is still in the building.

While the police will gather evidence, you may also want to do some documentation for insurance purposes. Take photos of any damage. However, you should not go into the building until the police say it is safe to do so.

Secure building from additional thieves

While you might not be able to immediately replace windows or doors after a break-in, depending on what the police and insurance company say, you should still take the necessary precautions to secure against additional thieves.

Board up broken windows. If door locks were tampered with, contact a local locksmith to come to perform emergency lock repair. Use a search term such as “locksmith services London” to find a locksmith near you. If there are no physical signs of a break-in, the burglar likely knows the electronic keycode for your business, so you should change that as well.

Call your insurance company

Once the police have been out to collect evidence and you’ve had time to document damages and take inventory, it is time to reach out to your insurance company. Most of the time, you will need to reach out to them within 24 hours of the break-in.

Over the phone, they’ll start to walk you through the claims process. This includes noting the date and time of the information, as well as a verbal account of the incidence. The insurance company may then ask for photos, contact the police, and/or schedule a visit for further review.

Communicate with employees

Stay in communication with employees about what has happened and what steps you are taking. In addition to communicating logistics, talk to them about how they’re feeling. For many people, a break-in leaves them feeling valuable and insecure.

Employees may view the break-in as a traumatic event, especially if they were directly impacted by it. They may fear a similar incident happening again. Encourage employees to visit a therapist if they seem to be having trouble coping. And depending on how many employees were impacted, you may even want to have a professional come to the office.

Re-evaluate security procedures

Eventually, you’re going to want to review security procedures. For example, maybe you need more surveillance cameras or need your surveillance cameras positioned at different angles. If you don’t already, consider getting an alarm that will go off when windows and doors are tampered with.

You’ll also want to check for vulnerable areas in your building, such as easy-to-break locks. And, review security procedures with your employees, such as proper closing procedures. If you have an electronic keycode, remember employees not to give this information out to anybody else or to leave it written down somewhere where it could be stolen.

Final thoughts

A break-in at your business is never a pleasant experience, but there are immediate steps you should take to ensure the safety of your business and employees. Also, don’t forget to take care of your own mental health during this time. Take the time to destress and, if needed, contact a therapist.