What to do when your business has been broken into

Use these helpful tips to make it as easy a process as possible.


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While it’s always better to prevent a break-in from occurring, experiencing one can be difficult, harrowing and complex to deal with.  Use these helpful tips to make it as easy a process as possible.

When you discover the break-in

  • If you’re the first person on the scene and there are signs of a break-in, don’t enter the premises - the intruder may still be inside. Instead, dial 000 and report the break-in to police. If you’re not the owner of the business, contact them or the manager and report the incident.
  • If you’ve entered the building before realising a break-in may have occurred, leave immediately if damage to the building, equipment or infrastructure makes the area unsafe.
  • Take care not to disturb the scene and try to preserve the evidence until the police arrive. It’s also really important to make a note of what you may have touched.
  • Talk to the police about when you can reopen the business for usual trading.
  • Make sure you provide support for any staff, contractors or visitors who may be impacted or distressed by the incident.

You need complete documentation

  • Take photos of the scene and any damage before you start cleaning up
  • Make note of what items, if any, have been stolen and make sure you have the details of any stolen equipment, such as serial numbers, photos, receipts etc.
  • Contact your insurance provider so you can begin the claims process.

Review and upgrade

  • Once the dust settles, make sure you undertake an in-depth review of your security measures. Find out how the intruder broke in and take steps to address any weaknesses.
  • While you’re at it, review how your business responded to the break-in. Did you or your involved know what to do?
  • Review your policies and procedures and make adjustments where necessary and include them in your staff training.
  • Check that your equipment is properly documented and up-to-date and review your insurance policy to make sure you’re adequately covered. You can use Insurance Tracker to help register your equipment for easy access in the future.