It’s been a crazy year and you’re probably looking forward to a good year-end break. Before you pack your bags and head for your chosen destination though, here are a few things you might want to consider at home to ensure uninterrupted holiday bliss.
1. Secure your home
The last thing you want is a 2am ‘false alarm’ call from your security company while you’re fast asleep in a neighbouring town or province. Before you leave, cut back any plants that are near your outdoor security beams so that they don’t trigger your alarm while you’re away. Also, put moth balls behind the sensor to prevent bugs from crawling over the sensors and falsely triggering your armed response team. Finally, be sure to get your alarm serviced ahead of time to ensure it is working properly, and remember to notify your security company, so that they can keep an eye on your property while you are away.
2. Arrange for house sitters
A vacant home is like bait for criminals. While setting your lights to a timer and arranging for a neighbour to collect your mail are good preventative measures, a better preventative measure is to arrange for a house sitter. Remember that a house sitter is unlikely to be familiar with the layout of your home – especially if you make use of a professional service. To avoid unnecessary accidents, arrange for a quick run through of your home and the various rules you have in place before you leave. Also be sure to leave a list of emergency contacts in case something breaks or needs urgent repairing.
3. Make plans for your pet
While large dogs can be a deterrent for criminals, pet owners need to ensure their pets are well looked after while they are away. There are three options for holidaying pet-owners: book your pets in at a pet sitter, hire somebody to pet sit from your home or ask a friend or family member to house sit or take your pet into their own home while you’re away. Whether it is somebody you know or a professional pet-sitter, the person will need enough notice so that they can plan their lives accordingly. The person will also need their own set of keys to get in and out of your home. If you don’t have a spare set, then you will have to get these made before you leave.
4. Avoid social media
If you’re operating a public social media account, consider the dangers of actively posting about your upcoming trip. Crime is big business and criminals use social media for all sorts of prospecting. If you are announcing to the world that your home will be standing vacant soon, you never know who might be watching. It might be a good idea to post your pics once you’re safely back at home, and as an added bonus, a break from your social media is never a bad thing either.