Even if you live in a lock-up-and-go unit in a security complex, there are some steps you need to take to ensure your home will keep running smoothly while you are away for the holidays.


  • Make sure your security system is functioning correctly.
  • Check the alarm system.
  • Make sure all windows and door mechanisms are in good working order.
  • Check that garage doors close properly.
  • Check all exterior lighting.
  • Install timers to switch interior and exterior lights on and off at different times.
  • Alert your neighbourhood watch, security company and neighbours that you will be away from home and make sure they know how to contact you.
  • Consider hiring a house sitter - particularly if you have pets or will be away for a long time.


Eskom will likely keep its load-shedding schedules going during the holidays. Keep in mind that load shedding could throw out your lighting timers as well as irrigation and pool pump timers. Your alarm system may also be affected if the battery backup fails.

If you don’t yet have an inverter system, consider installing one that starts up automatically when the lights go out. A basic system will be able to run the television, wifi, security and a few lights. With a more comprehensive system, you will also be able to run most of your household appliances like fridges and freezers, as well as your irrigation system and pool pump.




Check your homeowner, household contents and vehicle insurance policies. Make sure you are adequately covered in the event of break-ins or other potential mishaps while you are away from home. If necessary, update or increase your cover.

If you are going on a road trip, have your vehicle serviced. If you are planning a caravan holiday, check and make the necessary repairs. Ensure gas bottles are filled and that you stock up with non-perishable goods.


  • Make a list of all the things to check just before you leave home:
  • Switch off the geyser and stove breakers on the electrical distribution board.
  • Set the pool pump timer to run just often enough to maintain chlorine levels.
  • Make sure gas bottles are securely closed and safely stored.
  • Leave your house keys with a neighbour or a nearby friend for emergency access in the event of mishaps while you are away.

Happy holidays!

Courtesy of Sarah-Jane Meyer - Private Property



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