Should you unplug your electronic devices when you go on vacation?

Whether it’s for reasons of safety, economy or energy consumption, should you unplug your electronic devices before going on vacation? Here is the answer to the question many French people ask themselves on the eve of the long summer vacation!

Finally, the rest you deserve has arrived. No more work, school and daily worries, you can finally relax on a warm sandy beach, empty your foggy mind while taking a beautiful mountain hike or even discover this wonderful city abroad, which you have always dreamed of going. When there’s sudden anxiety: between two sunbathing, you suddenly remember that you forgot to unplug the power strip from the box, that your TV is still plugged in and that there must be one or two chargers waiting for you patiently back, between the living room and the bedroom.

To avoid this, the eternal question that arises before going on vacation: Should you unplug your electronic devices during a long absence? Here’s everything you need to know to get a well-earned break with a clear conscience.

Unplug electronic devices to save power

So, should you unplug your electronic devices while on vacation? To pay attention to its carbon footprint and energy savings, yes, that’s even better. Because even when you turn off your various devices, they continue to consume power. A small amount, of course, but they still consume, because they are never off: they are on standby. This is especially the case when the small diode remains lit on your respective device, be it a TV or your Internet box.

But make no mistake about it: even when there’s no small light, a device that’s turned off but still connected stays on standby. It is ready to turn back on as if nothing happened when you turn it on again, thus consuming a small amount of power. To avoid wasting power unnecessarily, it is recommended that you disconnect your electronic devices as much as possible.

How much do electronic devices really consume in standby mode?

Let’s agree right away: by unplugging your electronic devices when you go on vacation, you won’t save a lot of energy and increase your purchasing power exponentially. We are talking about very small savings and very little impact on the planet. But shortened to all the French and men, it cannot be neglected.

Suppose that before going on vacation, you leave a desktop computer, two laptops, your box, your TV, DVD player, hi-fi, two game consoles, and six smartphone chargers before you go on vacation. Every time you leave for two weeks, by unplugging it, you will save 27 kWh, or just over €4. And this is only for your electronic devices, and this does not take into account even household appliances, which consume more energy.

Plugged in electrical appliances on vacation: Are there fire hazards?

But the question on your mind is probably the fire question. Nobody wants to come back from vacation and find a little pile of ashes where they belong. Can electronic devices catch fire while you’re away if left plugged in? Yes and no. If one in three fires in France is caused by an electrical fault, it will not be caused simply by the fact that the appliance is plugged in.

The risks mainly relate to hardware that is very old, very worn, damaged or questionable (a power strip connected to another power strip, for example). By leaving your box plugged in, your modern TV, or your smartphone charger, there’s no real danger of finding your house on fire when you come back from vacation. But if in doubt, we still advise you to separate everything before leaving, and safety first.

How to properly disconnect your electronic devices before going on vacation?

It may seem like a silly question, but not much. How to properly disconnect an electronic device? There’s an easy version: make sure it’s not plugged into an outlet. There is an easier version: if your devices are connected to a power strip with a lighted switch on it, then there is no need to disconnect the power strip. Turning it off with this famous switch is more than enough. Finally, there is also the issue of concern: if you really want to leave with a completely free mind, turning off the center circuit breaker and leaving everything plugged in is also a viable option. This should allow your box and all your other electronic devices to take the well-deserved rest during your vacation!

Sources: Fire Safety, Hitek, CIPI, Ctendance, M Habitat, ekWateur

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