Three tips to get your electrical system summer vacation-ready

With the summer season approaching, we are all very excited about the holidays

Lying on the beach, swimming in the sea or exploring new cultures seem to increasingly occupy our minds. But there are some things you should keep in mind before leaving your home for an exciting trip.

First, it is a good idea to switch off all power appliances at home which are not in use. This might not apply to the refrigerator or the freezer, but do turn off your TV. It will surely not be used when you are away on holiday. Lamps and multimedia devices should be unplugged because they consume electricity even if they are not in use. Light bulbs, in particular, can overheat and, in worst cases, ignite a fire. Sensor-controlled outdoor lighting can stay switched on, of course. As the electrical system in apartments and houses are usually designed with one or more dedicated circuits for appliances that will always remain on, for example the oven or burglar alarm, you can easily distinguish those from the rest.

If you have not tested your residual current devices (RCD) during the last 12 months, now is the perfect time to do so. RCDs prevent any person coming into direct or indirect contact with electricity by detecting fault currents and cutting off the affected circuit. To check if the RCD is still in a healthy working condition you can push the test button on the front of the device. If it does not disconnect the circuit, it has to be replaced immediately by a professional electrician.

Next, make sure your electronic equipment is protected against damage from external power surges. A lightning strike can force excess electricity through your appliances, which can cause serious damage, including starting a fire. ABB’s surge protective devices (SPD) installed in the consumer unit can protect your sensitive electronic equipment against those hazards by redirecting excess power harmlessly to the earth. A professional electrician will help you install the appropriate SPDs for your home.

If you have already upgraded your home into a smart home using automation technologies like ABB-free@home®, you can feel at ease while your home simulates your presence. You can easily create scenarios that make your home look alive: programming blinds to go up in the morning, lights to switch on in the evening, even the TV can automatically be switched on and off – the possibilities are almost unlimited.

Window sensors are also very useful to protect your home against unauthorized access. They monitor the current position of the window handle and send any status change via the home automation system. The most important part of a smart home is the door entry system because it lets you control your front door from wherever you are, with your smartphone. Imagine you are enjoying the sun on the beach when your smartphone sends you a notification that there is someone ringing your bell. The camera module integrated into the ABB-Welcome door entry system, for example, lets you unlock the door to, for example, let in the person who is watering your plants.

So remember:

  • Switch off and unplug all devices which will not be used during the time of your vacation. Where there is no electricity flowing, there is no risk of devices overheating. You will also save money on electricity!
  • Make sure all relevant protective systems are in place and working properly. An SPD will make sure your electronic devices do not suffer any damage from surges, while an RCD reduces the risk of electrical shocks to you and your family. Miniature circuit breakers (MCB) protect the circuits in your home against damage from short circuits and overloads.
  • Prepare the settings of your smart home to simulate your presence while you are away. Program the lights and blind controls to show it is normal business at home.

These small steps will go a long way in ensuring the safety of your home and, most importantly, free your mind so you can enjoy a well-deserved holiday!

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About the author

Carmen Schick

I am working as Marketing Communications Manager for ABB’s modular DIN rail devices and distribution enclosures, providing safety and comfort in electrical installations. Online I am passionate about the digital transformation and how it will affect the energy industry. Offline I love to dance and travel the world. Follow me on Twitter (@Carminissima) or connect on Linkedin!
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