Before you pack your bags and print your boarding passes, there are a few things you need to get in order at home to ensure uninterrupted holiday bliss.

Below are the four safety precautions you can put in place before you leave for your vacation:

1. Secure your home

Before you leave, cut back any plants that are near to your outdoor security beams so that they don’t trigger your alarm while you’re away. Also be sure to get your alarm serviced to ensure it is working properly. To prevent bugs from crawling over the sensors and falsely triggering your armed response team, put moth balls behind the sensor.

2. Arrange for house sitters

An obviously 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 vases being knocked over in the dark as they fumble for the light switch, 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 and some emergency cash 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

Unless you have rigorous privacy settings on your social media, avoid actively posting about your trip until you return. This includes pre-posts where you share your excitement about your pending vacation, as this is basically announcing to the world that your home will be standing vacant soon.