I’m honestly surprised by the number of clients we sign up that tell us they won’t use the alarm system while we are pet sitting and therefore won’t give us the alarm code. Isn’t that why you have an alarm? To protect your home when you’re not there? In any event, I’d like to share a story with you which explains exactly why we still would like the code to the alarm even if you decide you’re not going to arm it while you’re gone.
I call this “I’m probably the only pet sitter who ever got locked INSIDE someone’s home”.
It was a stormy summer day; this was before I had employees and was still doing all the visits myself. Being that it was summer, the schedule was crazy busy. I visited a cute little Chihuahua at lunchtime and the power was out. I came back after doing many other visits for my last visit of the night. I took the dog outside and she did her business and we came back in for dinner. When we came in, the power went back on and, much to my dismay, ARMED the alarm system. At that very moment, I realized I was locked in the house. If I opened the door without entering the code and disarming the system the alarm would go off and the police would show up. I called the alarm company and confirmed this. There was nothing they could do to help me since one, I didn’t have the alarm code and/or two, I didn’t have the super secret password. In other words, I was trapped.
I tried calling the client but her cell phone was shut off. She had left a phone number for her husband so I tried that, only she had transposed two of the numbers and it was not a valid phone number. All I wanted to do was go home, but I couldn’t! I finally found the client’s Rolodex and started calling people with the same last name, telling my story, hoping that someone would take pity on me and be able to help. I finally reached a woman (about my fifth phone call) that felt sorry for me and said she would call the client’s son and have him call me. Thankfully he did and he gave me the code to disarm the alarm and I was able to go home!
I tell this story because if something CAN go wrong it will, despite best intentions. This client thought she was doing me a favor by not using the alarm system while she was gone.
I strongly urge you to provide your pet sitter with the alarm code regardless of whether you’re planning on arming it or not. Most alarm companies will allow you to program a code specific to the pet sitter that is temporary. That way, if you don’t want us to use that code again you just cancel it.
Another pet sitter shared this story and I am passing it on.
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