We don’t blame anybody for needing to get away after the year we’ve all had. But just ensure that, like everything else, you plan your year-end holiday appropriately by considering the safety of your home.
That brings us to the architectural company Francois Marais Architects, which has been operating from two branches in South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) since the company was established in 1996. Services like architectural designs and additions and alterations also serve to enhance the reputation of the company, particularly its portfolio which showcases one amazingly detailed project after another.
Nearly a quarter of a century later, Francois Marais Architects is still going strong specialising in energy-efficient and green-star rated buildings for the commercial- and residential industries.
Let’s be inspired by some of the team’s most eye-catching designs while learning how to keep our own homes and properties safe during the festive getaway.
December is an exceptionally busy time for alarm companies, which is why it’s best to test your alarm system and notify the relevant people at least three weeks before you leave.
While you have your security company on the phone, advise them of your holiday plans and ensure they have the following (updated) info in case something happens while you’re away:
• All key holder info
• Details of your domestic workers, gardeners, house sitters, or anybody staying on/looking after the property in your absence.
You don’t want your house to seem deserted while you’re on holiday. And that’s why it’s recommended to consider smart lighting, ask somebody to bring your mail in (and maybe even do an occasional sweeping of your front porch), install a security system, set your lights on timers, etc.
Social media is not the space to brag about your travel plans. You never know who’s reading what on Facebook or Twitter. But you also don’t want to keep your year-end trip a total secret. Ensure that only the necessary people know when you’re leaving and when you’re returning.
Obviously you don’t want your Christmas tree and –gifts to be visible through a window from the street, but what about those big empty boxes placed in your driveway? Do you think it’s wise to advertise, on your own kerb no less, how much you’ve paid for your year-end shopping?
If you’re expecting any packages while on holiday, ensure you have someone who can receive them so they don’t draw all kinds of attention in your driveway. And remember to break down bigger boxes before recycling them.
You don’t want your dancing reindeer and whatever else you have in terms of Christmas decorations to pose a safety risk. When it comes to lighting and other electronics, always check cords to ensure they’re still in proper condition. And be careful not to overload outlets.
And if you simply must leave all your Christmas lights up until after your holiday, we advise asking a trusty friend or neighbour to housesit.
Neighbours who look out for each other make whole communities safer and stronger. And while we’re not suggesting you immediately become besties with your new neighbours, at least introduce yourself. You never know who will be asking who to house sit, check for delivered packages dropped at their front doors, etc.
Planning yourself a little design project after the holidays? Take note of these 10 things to remember when styling kids’ bedrooms.