The holiday season's fast approaching, and for many of us, it means travelling. It also means no one's in your home.

If you're concerned about that, the Citizens On Patrol Program in Portage can help.

Spokesperson Rose says they've been doing residential checks for 27 years, and explains they provide the service for anyone who's away for more than three days, and it starts with you making a call to the RCMP.

"And tell them you would like to register for a residential check," she says. "We have teams that go out three days a week to check your house visibly, from the road. We see if the house is secured -- now windows, no doors open, no tracks going to the back yard. If you said there was a vehicle in the yard, we make sure that there is that vehicle. If it's missing, anything that's suspicious, we report it right away."

Rose acknowledges the demand's gone down in recent years, and they have about ten on their list now.

"This is a totally free service to all of Portage, and the Peony Farm," she says. "So it's real easy to do. You still have to have your key-holder, and you must make sure that your neighbours know that you are leaving, because if they see something suspicious, they're going to be phoning. And the better part of this is that the RCMP know that you're going to be away."

Rose encourages anyone leaving town to register.

"Because it makes sense," she says "Why wouldn't you register? You still have your key-holder, as I said, but this is extra eyes and ears for the RCMP, and extra eyes and ears on your home to make sure that something isn't going on."