Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and you’re ready to head out off for a much-needed vacation. But as you pull out of the driveway, you can’t help but feel a tinge of worry. What if something happens while you’re away? How do you know that your home and belongings will be safe?
Before leaving your house unattended for a period of time, take some simple precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of your home’s electrical system. By following the safety tips below, you can relax and make the most of your summer escape.
Unplug everything you can. The first and best step in keeping your electrical system safe is to disconnect devices and appliances from their wall sockets. This includes televisions, lamps, computers, exercise equipment, microwaves, toaster ovens, and clock radios, to name a few. Especially if you’re going away for a while, keeping your home appliances plugged in (even though they’re turned off) poses the risk of short circuiting or faulty grounding, which can result in a fire. Unplugging your devices has the added benefits of reducing your energy consumption and slashing your utility bill.
Invest in an external power surge protector. You never know what the weather will be like when you’re gone, so you should add an extra layer of home protection in case a major storm strikes. Such conditions can force excess electricity through your plugged-in appliances (such as refrigerators, dishwashers and freezers) and destroy them. A whole-house surge protector redirects the power through your home’s grounding path instead.
Be smart with your lighting. Leaving lamps and lights on while you’re away is dangerous. Over time, bulbs can become very hot and even ignite a fire. Rely on an electronic programmable timer switch instead. These digital devices offer a variety of on and off settings to give would-be intruders the impression that someone is home. For the outdoors, a motion-sensor outdoor lighting system is the way to go. Studies show that criminals prefer to target houses with dark, shadowy exteriors rather than those that are well-lit. Our experienced electricians can quickly install responsive outdoor security lights that automatically turn on when motion is detected.
Adjust the thermostat. During the summer, setting your thermostat to 85 degrees when you’re away will prevent extreme heat from entering your home while still saving significantly on your energy costs. If you travel during the winter, set the heat to 55 degrees to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Don’t forget about outdoor electrical hazards. Inspect your yard and the outside of your home for anything that may cause troublesome electrical incidents. These might include dry leaves covering an outdoor lighting fixture or electrical wires exposed to moisture, for example. Be sure to also prune any trees in your yard that are that are close to power lines.
Get a home electrical safety inspection. As you make plans for your summer getaway, include an inspection of your home’s electrical system from a qualified electrician.
Outdated electrical appliances degrade over time and many were manufactured in eras when sufficient safety regulations didn’t yet exist. Electrical sockets, outlets, cords and plugs, switches, and lines are among the most likely to go on the fritz, so get all these hot spots thoroughly examined before you leave. A trained professional will identify electrical hazards before they turn into serious issues.
Plan for emergencies. Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by your home from time to time to check for signs of attempted entry, storm damage, electrical fires, or any other potential problems. Also, make sure all your smoke alarms are working in order so they can alert neighbors if a fire should break out while you’re away.
Whenever you leave your home, whether it’s for a long weekend getaway or an extended vacation, it’s important to take additional electrical safety precautions like these.
A little extra effort in advance will give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your well-deserved respite. For safe, professional electrical service and inspection in and around Montgomery County, MD and Washington, DC, contact M.R. Electricians today. Our experienced team will ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe, secure, and ready for your time away.
About M.R. Electricians: Since 1996, M.R. Electricians has been serving the electrical needs of homeowners and businesses throughout Montgomery County, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and surrounding areas. The company also specializes in commercial fire protection, contract needs from small tenant fit outs to whole building installations, and motor controls for industrial spaces. From major renovations to the smallest of electrical jobs, the family-owned company is committed to providing high quality products, superior results, and unmatched customer service. Regarded as a leader in the electrical industry, M.R. Electricians has set the standard for excellence in the region. For more information, please visit the website at https://www.mrelectricians.us or call 301.871.0477.