How to keep your home safe while you’re on hol­i­day

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FINANCE -

When you leave on your end-of-year hol­i­day, you can take some pre­cau­tions to avoid a nasty sur­prise on your re­turn. Shehnaz Somers, the head of per­sonal lines un­der­writ­ing at San­tam, of­fers the fol­low­ing ad­vice to help keep your home safe while you’re on hol­i­day:

Don’t tell the world (on Face­book or Twit­ter) when you’re go­ing away and how long you’ll be gone for. It’s not only your friends who may be in­ter­ested in this in­for­ma­tion.

Leave a spare set of house keys with some­one you trust (don’t leave the keys out­side un­der a flow­er­pot or in the post box). Also give this per­son de­tails of your flights, con­tact num­bers, itin­er­ary and your travel in­surance doc­u­ments.

Ex­cept for the fridge and freezer, un­plug all elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances to pre­vent the pos­si­bil­ity of fire. Turn­ing off your geyser will save you elec­tric­ity.

If your geyser is older than three years, get a plumber to check it be­fore you go.

Con­sider in­stalling a timer switch if you can’t find some­one to come in and switch your lights off in the morn­ings and on in the evenings.

Re­view the terms of your house­hold in­surance to make sure you are fully cov­ered in the event of a bur­glary or an ac­ci­dent.

If you can’t ar­range for a friend or neigh­bour to empty your post box ev­ery day, ask your post of­fice to hold your mail while you are away.

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