With the Christmas season fever, everyone is so excited to have quality family time and take a good rest from the hustle and bustle of the year 2021. Planning for a vacation will include hours spent in finding the right vacay spot, good deals, great accommodation, and more.
Aside from the vacation details, every homeowner should make sure that every aspect of their home is secured. You’ve probably heard vacation horror stories from friends or posts on social media about issues ranging from burglary to home fires.
We have already tackled Electrical Safety Tips for the Holidays, which focuses on safety tips that you can apply, like inspecting your decorations (check for frayed wiring, loose parts, broken lights, and more), protecting your cords (never run under carpets or through doorways), being careful when hanging Christmas lights (should not be hung up close to electrical lines and more).
This time, we will focus on safety tips when homeowners are not in their houses and are away on vacations. Of course, we don’t want to mar a happy vacation by coming home to issues. We will particularly focus on electrical safety tips before going on a holiday vacation.
Here are some safety tips that you can add to your holiday plans to ensure that everything is in order electrically wise. Some tips will also help conserve your energy bill:
1. Don’t just leave the lights while you’re on vacation
Most likely, you will think that leaving the lights on will deter intruders or burglars from coming into your light. However, not only will 24/7 lights be an added cost to your electricity bill, but it is also a safety hazard. If you a light bulb over an extended number of hours, there is a huge tendency that it will heat up and start a fire.
You can consider investing in a good motion-sensor outdoor lighting system. This is a great device because aside from detecting motions that will trigger the lights to open, homeowners can also program the lights to switch on randomly, creating an illusion that the homeowners are in, aside from detecting motion.
Switch off those lights to help with your budget plus it’s also environment friendly. If you are worried about burglars, the next tip could help you.
2. Make sure that your alarm systems are updated
Many homes now have a smoke, fire, and security alarms in place. Newer alarm systems are usually wired to the main power. Having an alarm system is common nowadays and especially useful if you are away from home. However, it is not enough that you have an alarm system in place, proper maintenance should be applied.
Do not assume that your alarm system is working, or if you don’t have one, don’t attempt to install by yourself and contact a licensed electrician to check the wirings and if everything is safe and running.
Need an electrician near you? Click here.
3. Make sure that your home is equipped with power surge protectors
Who among you here thinks that a power surge is only caused by a lightning strike? This is a common notion among homeowners. There are a lot of possible causes of a power surge, and since you will never know when a power surge can strike, protecting your property is a must. We suggest that you consider equipping your home with a whole-house surge protector (not only because you will be leaving some plugged electronics when you are away)
To further convince you, here are some important info on surge protectors.
4. Unplug as much as you can
Have a list of appliances you have at home or per section of your house and unplug as much as you can. Not only will it limit possible electrical issues like overheating, but it will also reduce or eliminate phantom or “vampire” consumption. A phantom consumption is when an electronic is not actively used but still consumes electrics e.g., television on standby mode (these accounts for about 10% of your energy consumption in your home).
If you are not at home, then it is not necessary to have your appliances plugged in, or you could also do a more extreme measure in our next tip.
5. Consider turning off the electric panel
If you want zero consumption and to make sure that you won’t miss any electronics, you can go straight to the source and turn off the electrical panel. This will also mean that there will be no electric consumption in your home and the meter won’t budge at all until you return. Do this only if applicable to your needs and usage.
6. Regulate your thermostat
Do you have a thermostat installed at home? If yes, use their features properly. T
With the cool weather, subtract about 5 degrees from your desired temperature when at home. Be careful, however, as you won’t want to go home to frozen pipes or blast your heater when you return from your holiday trip to warm up your space.
You can also invest in smart thermostats or those that are fully programmable. You can even control it via your smartphone.
In addition, make sure to close your windows so that the weather from the outside won’t affect your home. It will also be good if your HVAC system is well maintained.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyed. We all want to go home fully relaxed with lots of happy memories with our loved ones. We usually prepare on different things, like setting our budget, itinerary, and more but do homeowners also mindfully plan on what to do with their homes in terms of security when they are away? It is not just about unplugging your appliances and locking your doors, it entails you have a more specific list to ensure safety.
Follow the steps above and you will surely not fall into unpleasant “surprises” at the end of your vacay. As we always say here, safety first!
From us here in Same Day Pros — happy holidays, everyone!