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Should you turn off all electrics before holidaying

Looking forward to heading away for that much-needed holiday? Find out what you should turn off or unplug before you go, in this article.

We’re all familiar with the scenario: You are frantically preparing, packing and planning the last few important bits before you jump in the car to head off on holiday. There are a thousand things on your mind from “I need to throw the milk away” to “Where did I put the passports?”.

At this stage, you don’t have the time to examine each electrical socket and device to determine what you should leave on, and what you should turn off or unplug.

Step 1: Unplug everything that’s not essential

If you have your laptop or desktop PC plugged in or your kettle or toaster, these can be unplugged. Similarly, devices such as Google home assistants and games consoles should be unplugged as well.

For technical reasons, it’s best to leave your WiFi on so that it doesn’t have an issue re-connecting when you get back, although it’s best to check this with your broadband supplier.

For many appliances such as toasters or kettles, leaving them plugged in will use up very little power, but it’s still best to unplug them for safety reasons.

Interestingly, many homeowners often don’t realise how many devices they have in their home and, while each device or appliance might only draw a small amount of electrical current on a daily basis, this can quickly add up if you have 30 or 40 devices still plugged in over a 2 week holiday period.

If you think you don’t have 30 or 40 devices, do a quick count and you might be surprised!

If you have any concerns about older devices, definitely unplug them and make sure to have the contact details of a 24-hour electrician in case there are any issues.

Step 2: Work out what you need to keep switched on

Some things need to be left on. If you have CCTV then any linked devices need to be left on to protect your home.

Similarly, modern internet-connected doorbells and thermostats might need to stay on, especially as devices such as Ring from Amazon also act as protection for your home by recording live video of anyone approaching your front door.

Note: if you are going on holiday in the summer, then it’s assumed that you already have the central heating switched off, but you might need to keep your smart thermostat on so that Holiday Mode can function, and you have hot water when you get back home.

It’s also possible to consolidate so that you can switch off some devices. If you have a second fridge or freezer in the garage, then you might want to save electricity by reducing what you have in storage and putting everything into the kitchen fridge freezer.

Electricians Approach

We have talked a lot about saving money by turning off devices but we mustn’t forget the importance of safety. While you are away there are various risks that can occur that you can normally handle when you are at home.

A simple water leak can easily lead to electrical components being exposed to water - and this is a danger for you and your family when you return home. By unplugging electrical equipment, you reduce the risks.

If you do return home and have any concerns at all, make sure to call a qualified electrician who will be with you as soon as possible to help you.

In summary, no you don’t have to switch off and unplug every electrical device in your home, but the more devices and appliances you can unplug, the safer your home is and the more you will save on electricity!