Personal Property


It is important that we protect the personal property in our homes which may be lost through theft or burglary or destroyed in a fire or by water damage.  Should a tragic event occur within your home, a homeowner will be required to provide a list of property that was stolen, damaged, or destroyed.

There is an increasing number of thefts and burglaries from residences and a homeowner will be required to provide a list of item(s) stolen including: the make, model number, and most important the serial number.  The serial number is the single most important piece of information that law enforcement will need to potentially identify the perpetrators of a crime. Reason being, that most items are usually sold to pawn shops and/or traded for drugs which are then resold to other individuals.  When items are sold to a pawn shop, they are required to keep records as to the item, model, and serial number and information as to the identity of the person that sold the item(s) to the pawn shop.

Many years ago, it was encouraged that you engrave your Social Security Number on any items such as television, stereos, or any other items of value.  Law enforcement no longer recommends this technique due to the ever increasing problem of identity theft; however, they would recommend engraving your name and city of residence on the items.  The presence of this information would make it a more difficult to pawn the items and would make it very easy for law enforcement should they stop someone in possession of property with your name and city engraved on the item.  These engraving tools can be purchased for less than $20 at most stores such as Lowes or Home Depot.

Should your valuables be destroyed by fire or water damage, your insurance company will request an inventory of the contents of your home.  It is recommended that you keep your receipts for items to insure the maximum claim settlement.  The best way to substantiate an insurance claim is to keep an inventory of the contents of your home along with photographs of each item, including jewelry. 

To download a “Sample Inventory of Personal Property” form that I have designed, simply click here  (Save the file to your computer and Open it in Microsoft Excel). It is further recommended that you keep the inventory and photos on a flash drive or other medium of storage and store it in a safety deposit box.

Dennis M. Luken, Safety Expert