We wince at reading house sitting stories like these - 'House sitter lights cigarette, falls asleep' (http://www.indystar.com/story/news/crime/2015/02/14/house-sitter-lights-cigarette-falls-asleep/23431223/) - although such stories are admittedly rare).
Nearly all of our home owners request non-smoking house sitters. We make it clear to our sitters from the start they MUST respect this, as only a handful of owners will indicate that they don't mind outside smokers.
The comprehensive checklist we've developed for home owners helps them carefully make notes and any special requests for the sitters to refer to during the housesit. This means that both the client and the live-in sitter can be sure they've covered and agreed everything with the sitter in advance, including everything from daily routines to emergency contact numbers or particular requirements for the home and pets.
The reference checks and personal interviews we require for each new house sitter joining Homesit help us to take all possible steps to be sure that our sitters are capable, honest and reliable people, mature enough to use common sense when appropriate during an owners' absence if anything unexpected happens. We work hard to give home owners peace of mind for their home's security and safety during their absence.