Holiday Season

We are now fully into holiday season and so we thought it would be a good idea to write about preparing your home before you go away on holiday.

What To Unplug/Turn Off

As well as safety, many of these tips will also help you to reduce energy usage and save money while you are away from home:

  • Switch off and unplug any unnecessary equipment.  Some appliances are designed to be left on such as fridges, freezers and Sky boxes but if you’re not sure, check.  If you are going to be away for an extended period
    though, it may even be worth considering emptying your fridge and freezer beforehand and turning them off too.  If you have more than one fridge, transfer everything into one and turn the spare one off.
  • Make sure your lights are all switched off.  If you prefer, you can get timers to turn a couple of lights on and off automatically to give the appearance of someone being at home.
  • You won’t need hot water in the house while you are not there so either turn down or turn off your hot water system.
  • Either turn off or turn down your central heating system too – there is no point in heating an empty house!
  • If you have gas, turn off the supply at the mains (unless you have gas powered appliances which need to be left on).
  • If you have a pool or spa, check with the manufacturer or specialist to see what you can turn off.  A pool cover can also reduce energy usage and evaporation so its a must to sort for the holiday season.

Security Tips

We have already covered timers for your lights but the following are some additional tips to help make your home more secure while you are away:

  • Cancel any deliveries such as newspapers or milk so that they don’t pile up on your doorstep while you are away.
  • Leave a key with someone you trust and ask them to collect your mail, check on your home, water plants etc.
  • Consider security lights outside your property and make sure they are positioned to cut down on shady or dark patches.
  • Make sure your outer doors are fitted with security locks that conform to British Standards.
  • Cut the lawn before you go so it doesn’t look as though no-one is there to take care of it.
  • Don’t put your name and address on visible luggage labels as these may be seen at the airport by a potential thief.
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to park a car in your driveway.
  • Avoid mentioning that you are going away to strangers or on social media.
  • Make sure all of your windows are securely shut and locked.
  • If possible lock any valuables up or at least put them away so they are not on clear display to an intruder.

Extra Advice

  • Water leaks are one of the most common problems people face when returning from holiday.  It is good advice to turn off the water at the mains as a leak from a water tank or pipe may short out electrical wiring and could start a fire.
  • Close all internal doors.  If a fire was to break out, this will slow down the spread and could minimise damage.
  • Check your smoke alarms are working – even though you will not be there, a smoke alarm could alert a neighbour or passerby to a fire.  This is such a simple check but vital during the holiday season as it could save some of those impossible to replace possessions.
  • Make sure your house is clean before you go.  More people than you would think inadvertently attract pests by leaving crumbs or food leftovers out.  Also make sure you empty the bin before you leave.  The last thing you want is to come back to find out that your house has been infested by pests!
  • Leave your dishwasher door and washing machine door slightly ajar as this will stop it developing a musty smell.

Above all, once you have secured everything don’t worry!  Just relax, enjoy your holiday.  All of us at Barton Electrical wish you a very happy summer, whether you are going away or staying at home.