Wake Forest— The days are long and the weather is warm; summer is at its peak, which means many of us are taking off for a much-needed vacation. Whether you’re taking in North Carolina’s scenery or off on a big adventure, you want to make sure your home is safe while you’re away. Before you pack up the car and hurry off to your destination, take the time to follow some simple safety precautions.
– Unplug major appliances such as televisions, computers, washers and dryers. They are more susceptible to power surges than smaller appliances. A power surge causes an increase in the electrical potential energy, which can increase the current flowing to your wall outlet
– Make sure extension cords and power strips are unplugged.
– Turn off the water supply.
– Carefully identify nonessential circuit breakers in your home and turn them off to prevent fires from developing in electrical circuits.
To protect your home from burglary, remember to:
– Ask a friend or trusted neighbor if they will keep an eye on your house while you are away.
– Set interior lights on timers and set exterior lights on motion detectors.
– Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
– If you are away for more than week, advise your alarm company or even your local police, if you live in a small town.
– Store jewelry and valuable items in a safe-deposit box.
In addition to making your home safe, you can also make it more efficient. Adjusting temperatures and unplugging appliances can help you be more energy efficient.
– Either turn off your air conditioner or set it to 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re away during the summer. Some thermostats are programmable with a “hold” or “vacation” setting for this purpose.
– Also remember to unplug “vampire electronics” to save energy. These are electronics that use energy even when turned off. They are items with a display clock or any kind of glowing light, like cell phone chargers, microwave ovens and DVD players. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates 40 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed when those devices are in standby mode, so remember to unplug them before your vacation.
You’ll enjoy your vacation a little more knowing that your home is safe and energy efficient.