Home safety tips for the holidays

Going away on holiday can leave your house vulnerable to break ins. It is important to keep your house safe while you are away.

It’s the festive season and you’re ready to head out on your ultimate vacation. After a year like 2020, we probably all need a good time away with family to wind down and relax into the upcoming year. Don’t let the excitement of the festive season make you forget that there are important things you need to do prior to leaving your home.

Here are tips on how to keep your home safe while you’re away this December:

1. Don’t let everyone you know that you’re going away

This is quite important. Don’t tell any and everybody that you’ll be away because this can potentially comprise the safety of your home. You can’t be sure of everyone’s true intentions.

This coincides with being careful what you share on social media. Posting a status update that says you’ll be going away on vacation for 2 weeks isn’t ideal for personal security. Keep what you share to a minimum, and rather share your vacation pics and updates when you’re back from vacation.

2. Be sure to have some form of lighting on for the night time

Leaving your home alone for long periods of time can pose a security threat. People who have ill intentions will be able to see that nobody’s home when night time comes around. To mitigate the risk of your home being burglarized, you can either buy battery operated lights that you leave on when you’re gone or install an automatic light system that switches on at specific times.

3. Let your neighbourhood watch and armed response company know that you’ll be gone

Your neighbourhood watch and armed response company should know that you won’t be home for the holidays so that they’ll be on the lookout for any potentially suspicious behaviour.

4. Switch off appliances and electrical lights

Before leaving for the festive season, be sure to switch off appliances that don’t need to be on 24/7. You can keep your fridge on, but appliances like the kettle, as well as other plugs, should be switched off. If you have any Christmas lights up, you should unplug those too. This will save electricity and prevent any electrical fires from happening while you’re gone.

5. Have an efficient security alarm system installed

This is probably one of the most important points on this list. Having a good security alarm system is essential, particularly in South Africa where crime is a significant issue. Make sure that if you have CCTV, it works properly. You can also get a remote CCTV system that allows you to monitor your home while you’re away.

Alarms should also function well when triggered so that the neighbourhood as well as the security company will be aware if there is a security breach.

6. Make sure your insurance policies are in place

Life is unpredictable, which is why insurance policies are vital. Before departing for the festive season, make sure that you check the status of your insurance policies to ensure that you are covered should anything happen. Homeowner’s insurance will cover the exterior of your property, whereas home contents insurance protects you against theft and possibly from natural disasters that could damage your valuables. Knowing the differences between this is important.

You should also consider getting travel insurance to protect yourself if you’re travelling somewhere. It will protect you from any financial losses incurred when travelling. If you happen to be too ill to travel, travel insurance will make sure that you’re cushioned against any losses.

The holiday season is exciting. It is a time where we can feel free of responsibility. While this is so, it’s quite important to make sure that certain aspects of the home are taken care of before leaving for the holidays. This will protect you, your home and your belongings.