Ready to treat yourself to a dream vacation? We understand your impatience and excitement. But in the midst of all this frenzy, don’t let the euphoria of departure make you lose your sense of responsibility. Before leaving on a trip, it is always essential to carry out a few usual checks. We’re going to give you a little reminder. And while we’re at it, we’ll take this opportunity to remind you that when you return from vacation, it is necessary to pay attention to an important detail: flush the toilet before using it.
Many water companies advise not only to run water from the taps and into the shower, but also into the toilet for a few seconds when you get home. We explain why.
A few tips to follow before going on vacation
– Pay attention to the pantry!
It is true that the greatest attention is always given to fresh and especially almost expired food, which we try to consume as quickly as possible before leaving on a trip. However, it is important to properly store all foods that will stay longer in our pantry.
Be sure to take a closer look at packages that have already been opened, which you will have to seal with the greatest care. Certain products such as pasta, rice, cereals and flours must be placed in hermetically sealed jars and stored in the refrigerator. This may surprise you, but it is not insignificant: because the high temperatures that homes can reach during the summer risk leading to a real infestation of “flour moths”, these small butterflies which often invade the pantry. Moreover, if the honey and sugar are not well preserved, or even if there are crumbs or residues of food left, you will have a very bad surprise when you return: the kitchen risks being invaded by ants and cockroaches. It is therefore better to take the necessary precautions, while leaving this space clean and hygienic.
– Refrigerator empty or switched off
Ideally, of course, if you plan to leave for several weeks, it is advisable to leave the refrigerator empty. It is therefore preferable to turn off the fridge if it is one of the appliances that has the greatest impact on your electricity bill. In this case, you will have to unplug it and above all clean it carefully before you leave. Likewise, we also recommend that you defrost and clean the freezer. Finally, let your appliances air out during your absence: it is essential to leave their doors open to avoid the formation of mold and bad odors.
– Turn off the water and gas
It goes without saying, but many people omit this small detail before going on vacation. However, these are two essential measures to avoid floods and dangerous gas leaks. Before leaving the house, always remember to turn off the water and the gas. Check very carefully that there are no water leaks at the taps and avoid blocking the drains of sinks, showers and bathtubs. Remember that in the event of a leak, the water could accumulate and create a small flood while you are away. Also make sure that the taps are perfectly closed in the bathrooms, and unplug the washing machine and the dishwasher.
Good to know: for more security, it would be better to tighten the main water valve, unless you have an irrigation system. If pressure changes occur in the water circuit, then leaks could occur, with unnecessary wastage of water. Finally, check that the walls, ceilings and floors are free of traces of humidity or water infiltration to prevent the development of mold and bacteria.
Why flush when returning from vacation?
Toilets – Source: spm
After having had a good holiday, you are back home. Do you have a pressing desire? Hold back a minute, because it is important to flush the toilet first before using the toilet. It is worth knowing that if the water stagnates in the pipes for a long time, the quality deteriorates quickly. The bacterium “Legionella pneumophila”, which can cause dangerous infections, develops at a temperature between 20 and 55°C in stagnant water. You could become infected with ‘legionella’ by inhaling small droplets of water (also called fogging). Which can, unfortunately, happen when you flush the toilet. Small droplets can thus spread in the air and you then risk inhaling them by accident.
Note that this kind of infection is revealed in different forms : the most benign is Legionnaires’ disease. The heavy form, “Legionnaire’s disease”, is more like severe pneumonia. Although the risk of infection is low, vulnerable people with reduced immunity, heavy smokers and excessive alcohol consumers are at greater risk.
We recommend also to let the shower run for a while before using it, making sure that no drops of water get into the air. You can achieve this by placing a washcloth over the shower head, for example.
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