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Instructions for preventing domestic burglary and what to do if a crime takes place

Domestic burglary violates anyone’s sense of security. A domestic burglary is not always considered as a very traumatic experience but copying with burglary at an emotional level can take longer than to restore your house.

House burglaries 

Home burglaries takes place both in detached houses, terraced houses and in multi-storey buildings. Most house burglaries take place in objects that are easy to break into. Breaking into your house can be made difficult with some simple methods:

  • Pay attention to the locking of your house.
  • All entrance doors should preferably have a rear lock.
  • In addition to the rear lock, a security lock that is opened and closed with a key can be installed to the entrance door. The use of a rear lock and a security lock together guarantees a good burglary protection for apartments.
  • The locking security can be made more efficient with trailing edge bolt devices (to prevent the door from being lifted off), a peephole and a security chain.
  • Regularly check your home’s basic security system (door and window locks, key storage, alarm systems) and learn how to use them.
  • If you have an alarm system – place stickers of the alarm system on doors and windows.
  • Do not store the spare key under the doormat or in other obvious places.
  • Do not attach contact details to your keys or information to which door they fit.
  • When you move to a new apartment, you should re-install the locks.
  • You can suspend the delivery of any subscribed products during your holiday.
  • Do not leave a message on the answering machine or on social media about your holiday trip.
  • Tell a reliable neighbour that you are away from home so he/she can keep an eye on your house.
  • While you are away, make sure your home looks like someone is living there.
  • Leave the curtains open.
  • If possible, set up a lamp to turn on and off with a timer.
  • Ask someone to empty your mailbox, shovel the snow or mow the lawn.
  • Outdoor lighting equipped with a motion sensor can keep uninvited guests away.
  • When planning and installing an alarm system you should only use devices and installation professionals that are approved by insurance companies.
  • Find a safe storage place for your important documents.  If necessary, get your own safe deposit from your bank to store your documents.
  • Large sums of money should not be kept at home. Do not keep all your money in one place unless you have a proper safe for them.
  • It is good the keep an inventory of the property and take pictures of the valuables to help you remember.
  • Make sure your insurance is up to date. Find out what your insurance covers and related protection guide. Particularly valuable paintings and other objects or devices should be insured separately.

Cottage burglaries 

Cottage burglaries mostly takes place in places with a lot of summer homes. Cottage burglaries attracts criminals because the cottages are often located in remote areas, and they have poorer burglary protection than permanent houses. There may also be more property to steal and turn into money in a cottage. In addition, cottages are often empty most time of the year.

To prevent cottage burglaries, the same methods apply as for house burglaries. You should, however, pay special attention to the following:

  • Valuable movable property should be taken away from the cottage when the cottage season is over. Thieves are especially looking for valuables, alcohol, weapons, electronics and outboard motors.
  • You should not leave out “burglary objects” to the criminals, such as tools and brush handles, they should be stored behind locks.
  • If the cottage is empty for a long time, you should ask neighbours or acquaintances to make sure that everything is ok with the cottage.

(Source: Police: Domestic and holiday home burglaries

If you fall victim to domestic or holiday home burglary 

  • Notify the police about the incident as soon as possible and ask for instructions.
  • Make a copy of the criminal report for yourself. The insurance company can later ask for a copy of the criminal report.
  • Try not to mess with any possible fingerprints and other evidence. Do not clean or arrange your things before you have been given the permission by the police.
  • Repair broken doors, locks, windows etc. as soon as you have the permission from the police. Save any receipts of possible repairs for a possible claim.
  • Make a list of lost property.
  • Make a damage report to your insurance company and attach a copy of the criminal report.
  • Contact the Victim Support Finland, if you have any questions related to the incident, which you like answers to or if you feel the need to discuss the incident.

Look at the videos: Tip: Domestic burglaries | Tip: Holiday home burglaries

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