Is your property going to be home alone these holidays? Seven #realsafety tips

(Glenda Luitingh, Branch Manager at Jawitz Properties Atlantic Seaboard)

The end of the year holidays are often a time of travel, meaning that many homes may be standing empty. Make sure your property is safe by taking some precautions before you hit the road. 

1. Insurance 101

Does your insurance match your needs? Now is the time to be 100% sure that you are adequately covered - both the structure of your house and the contents inside. If you are underinsured, claims may not be paid in full, or might be rejected altogether. Make sure you have #real coverage.

2. Follow your policy to the letter

If, according to your insurance policy, it states that you have an active alarm, for example, you need to make sure your alarm is active when you are away. It might seem obvious, but your home must be in its insurable state to be sufficiently covered. Security features must be well maintained so they will always be in good working order. It may be worthwhile to jack up your security even more, or at the very least to do some much needed maintenance on any faults that could become an issue while you are away. An example could be tightening a window handle or replacing an old padlock.

3. Don’t be caught out

Outbuildings on your property may have unique insurance conditions – so it would be wise to check that structures such as wendy houses or free standing garages are sufficiently secured and insured. Sometimes there may be certain limits in place, or some stored goods may need to be specified. 

4. Save on energy and stress

Turning off all electrical points, except for essential outside lighting for security purposes, can save on your electricity bill, as well as give you peace of mind that nothing can go wrong, such as suffering a power surge. Depending on how long you are away for, you can also turn off your water supply and geyser and uninstall or unplug any appliances that will not be in use. 

5. Play it safe

If possible, rather get a house sitter as that of course means your home will be occupied, which is generally safer. But if you can’t arrange that, at least get a trusted neighbour or friend to bring in your post, turn lights on in the evening and off again in the morning, perhaps take out your wheelie bin on rubbish days and open and close your curtains. Sadly this is the silly season when it comes to crime too, so rather be safe and create the impression that someone is home in your absence.

6. Keep it quiet

Be careful where you publicise that you are going away, especially on social media. The wrong individuals could become aware that you are not home and target your property.  

7. Secure your space

Don’t forget to let your security company know you are going to be away so they can be extra vigilant while keeping an eye on your home. 


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