Leaving your home unattended for a week or a few months creates some uneasiness but with a little planning most of these issues can be laid to rest.
According to Elmarie Horak the co-owner of http://www.LocalEye.co.za, "Even if crime is very low, there are peace of mind steps home owners can take before they leave their home for an extended period. And seeing that this is the season where many residents plan a break we prepared a list of home care ideas."
1) Cancel all newspaper, milk or any other regular deliveries to your home.
2) Get timers for your TV, radio and lights to ensure you have light and sound coming from your home.
3) Arrange for the removal of mail and especially junk mail as this is a sure giveaway that the owner is not present.
4) Ensure that your property is checked for latent issues inside and outside on a regular basis.
5) Switch off the geyser before you leave and arrange with someone to switch it before your return.
6) Arrange for a cleaning service to clean the house after you have left. If possible get someone to air and clean the house before your return.
7) Arrange for must-do maintenance around the house, like mowing of the lawn and watering of plants.
8) Ensure all valuables are not visible from the street or byways.
9) Ensure that all windows and doors are locked and sliding doors have stoppers to prevent forced entry.
10) Lock the door between the garage and the house.
11) Install and activate low voltage outdoor lights on a timer.
12) Keep some shades and blinds open to keep a normal appearance.
13) Never leave a message on the answering machine saying you are not at home. Many people even have an email message saying they are away. Rather leave a message where they can contact you or ask them to contact a local trust worthy person. (By The Way: Set up an answering machine that it emails you the messages).
14) Turn the phone ringer and answering machine softer.
15) Turn off the gas.
16) Leave the closet doors open to allow air to circulate.
17) If the sun shines directly onto furniture you may want to cover these with sheeting or other material.
18) Maintain your garden, identify and cut down shrubs and bushes that obscure the view.
19) Get involved with your neighbourhood watch.
20) Check and activate your security alarm system.
21) Make a home key available in case of emergency but be careful to whom you give access.
22) Ensure that a reliable person has your contact number in case of an emergency.
Elmarie continues, "I think the general idea is that you should make your vacant home appear alive and well; by having light, sound and movement in and around your home. You can also inform your neighbours if you know them well and if you can expect your neighbour to do all the work for you. But asking your neighbour can cause strain and that’s why we created http://www.LocalEye.co.za to take care of your home when you are not there".
Local Eye Home Care And Watch
tel: 021 786 4028
email: johanhorak at gmail dot com