While the cat’s away...

Posted Date: 09 May 2014
Protect your home

The best thing to do is to make your home appear as though its ‘business as usual’ to reduce the risk of having unwanted visitors while you are away. If possible, have a friend or relative ‘house-sit’  your home while you’re away. If this isn’t an option, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to come and check on your house, clear your mail, water your plants and keep an eye on things in general.

You’ve got mail

Stop your mail and newspapers so your letterbox doesn’t overflow. New Zealand Post can hold your mail for up to 12 weeks, so check their website for hold service fees at www.nzpost.co.nz

Bragging rights

As tempting as it is to brag on your social media pages about the fabulous holiday you’re going on, just think about who might be reading your posts. Even if you’re just sharing with friends and family, others may be able to read their comments on your post.

Curtain call

Should curtains be open or closed? The best way to deter unwanted callers is to leave them as you would during the day. Closed curtains during the day can suggest nobody’s home if they’re like that day after day. If someone is checking on your house, ask them to open and shut the curtains at different times.

Lights on, nobody’s home

Create the illusion you’re at home using light timers and - even better - set them up in different rooms to go on and off at different times. Alarms and outside security lights are great deterrents, so make sure they’re left on. Even if you don’t have an alarm, you can put alarm monitoring stickers on street visible windows and an “under surveillance” camera sticker.

Overgrown means we’re not home

Mow your lawns before you leave and if possible have someone mow them while you’re away, before things start looking overgrown and neglected.


Unplug all your non-essential appliances such as your TV, computer, washing machine and dryer to protect them from power surges. If possible turn off your electric garage door. This way it can’t be opened with a universal remote. Keep all spare house keys and car keys hidden to prevent thieves from stealing these and making a return visit.

Hide the jewels

Hide all valuables from view and, in particular don’t leave your expensive jewellery on the dresser or in the sock drawer! Hiding valuables in several locations can be a good idea. Better yet, if you have a safe, use it. Even costume jewellery left out could attract thieves if they can see in.

Don’t show and tell

Finally, don’t advertise your address on a bright coloured tag on the outside of your travel suitcase. You only need your name, city and phone number. Put an address label inside the bag.

And above all, to have a stress free and relaxing holiday, don’t forget to purchase Southern Cross Travel Insurance! Have a great trip!

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