Everyone hopes that a break-in will never happen at their house. You take the necessary precautions to keep your family and your home safe, but you should also be prepared in case the worst happens. Here are some steps you should follow if you think someone has broken into your home:

1. Call the police.

You've noticed signs that make you think someone has broken into your house. Before you do anything else, call the police. Use your cell phone or go next door to borrow your neighbor's phone. 

2. Don't go inside.

Do not go into your house until the police have arrived and investigated. The burglars might still be in your house, and they might be armed and dangerous. Your safety comes first, so resist the urge to immediately go inside and check to see if your belongings are okay. Wait outside or at a neighbor's house.

3. Assess the damage.

Once it's safe to do so, assess the damage to your home. Check to see if your valuables are still there. Thieves commonly steal items such as electronics and jewelry, so check these first. It's also important that you check your documents. Burglars may steal your birth certificate or social security card, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft. Consider buying a safe to store your valuables, such as important documents, money, and expensive jewelry.

4. Contact your insurance company.

If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Report everything that has been stolen or damaged, so you can be properly reimbursed. It's a good idea to have insurance on your home for emergencies like this.

5. Call a locksmith.

After you've contacted your insurance company, call a locksmith to inquire about door lock repair services. If someone has forced their way into your house, they may have damaged the locks on your door to do so. It's important to have your locks inspected by a professional. If a locksmith finds any damage, they will be able to repair or change the lock as necessary. Don't keep spare keys outside under a welcome mat or in a shoe. These are common hiding places for keys, and burglars know this.

It can be very frightening having someone break into your home. Your home is a safe place where you can go to get away from the rest of the world, and being burgled violates the sanctity of that safe space. If you stay calm and follow these five steps, you'll be able to get through this difficult time as safely and quickly as possible.