There is a Murphy's Law for absentee home owners - "If anything can go wrong - it will go wrong whilst you are away"!
This can be the worst time for a calamity to occur. However, if you have contracted the services of a mature, professional home and pet sitter much of the following will not apply to you, and a calamity avoided.
For increased peace of mind, we do advise that you inform a neighbour or friend that you will be away. You might like to consider giving them a spare set of keys. You should advise your friend or neighbour that you have a home sitter in your house. The most common serious problems that arise when the home owner is absent are burst water tanks and leaking pipes! Just take a little time to think about the potential damage to your home if it is not detected just for one day! A professional home sitter would advise you immediately, organise a plumber and supervise the necessary work.
Believe it or not, it is not a good idea to advertise your absence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Wechat. You should consider advising both the local SAPS and neighbour watch of your absence giving them your home address and the dates that you will be away. Remember closed curtains are a potential "give-away" to any opportunistic burglar wandering through your neighbourhood. Make sure that your mail box does not become full. This is another "give-away". Your home sitter will empty your mail box daily. Do not leave any 'out of town' message on your answering machine. Test all zones on your alarm system a week or so before your planned departure. Give your pet and home sitter a dry run through your security system. Also provide any response company with the full name and ID number of your sitter.
Take a walk around your property. Check for any evidence of damage, tampering or gap that could allow intruders access to your property. If you have an electric fence, cut back any overhanging branches that could soon touch the fence and send out a false alarm and call out. If your have an electronic entrance gate, be aware that one of the latest targets has become your motor and/or its batteries. Make sure the motor cover is adequately secured. Outbuildings are often an extension of your property. These provide more opportunities for stolen property. Lock all doors and where necessary fit strong padlock systems.