4 Electrical Safety Tips for Your Home

  • By Todd Starr
  • 27 Jul, 2017

Keeping Your Family Safe From Electrical Hazards

It's the place where our kids sleep, our family visits  and we gather for dinner at night. Our homes are precious, and the people who live in them are absolutely invaluable. Keeping them safe is always a priority, but it can be easy to overlook dangers that are lurking in your home. Keeping your home free of electrical hazards go a long way in keeping your family safe.

Here are 4 electrical safety tips for your home:

1. Have a fire extinguisher in your home.  The only safe way to put out an electrical fire is with a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher. Be sure you have one that is easily accessible and that you know how to use it.

2. Do not ignore electrical irregularities. If you see lights flickering, have frequent power surges or hear crackling outlets, don't ignore it. Call an experienced residential electrician right away. 

3. Do no overload electrical outlets. Be sure that you do put to much strain on your outlets by plugging in more than they are designed for. This can lead to dangerous conditions and fires.

4. Check the condition of your electrical cords. If cords are frayed, damaged or stripped, they can be extremely dangerous. Don't attempt to repair or tape a cord either. Extension cords should only be used as a temporary solution, not a permanent remedy.


My Neighborhood Electrician Blog

By Todd Starr 27 Jul, 2017
It's the place where our kids sleep, our family visits  and we gather for dinner at night. Our homes are precious, and the people who live in them are absolutely invaluable. Keeping them safe is always a priority, but it can be easy to overlook dangers that are lurking in your home. Keeping your home free of electrical hazards go a long way in keeping your family safe.

Here are 4 electrical safety tips for your home:

1. Have a fire extinguisher in your home.  The only safe way to put out an electrical fire is with a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher. Be sure you have one that is easily accessible and that you know how to use it.

2. Do not ignore electrical irregularities. If you see lights flickering, have frequent power surges or hear crackling outlets, don't ignore it. Call an experienced residential electrician right away. 

3. Do no overload electrical outlets. Be sure that you do put to much strain on your outlets by plugging in more than they are designed for. This can lead to dangerous conditions and fires.

4. Check the condition of your electrical cords. If cords are frayed, damaged or stripped, they can be extremely dangerous. Don't attempt to repair or tape a cord either. Extension cords should only be used as a temporary solution, not a permanent remedy.


By Todd Starr 22 Jun, 2017
Ah, summer in Atlanta! It brings to mind warm weather, the Braves, and the kids being out of school. Summer also means that we’re hitting peak house-selling season. While everyone knows to hire a great home inspector, very few of them are qualified electricians. And whether you’re buying or selling, that could cost you money. And yes, even newly built homes can have electrical problems!
By Todd Starr 11 May, 2017
It is critical to have working smoke detectors in your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association , 3 out of 5 fire related deaths occur in homes with no smoke detectors or no working smoke detectors. A working smoke detector cuts your chances of dying in half in a reported fire.

Safety Tips for Smoke Detectors:
• Install smoke alarms inside and outside every room where people sleep.
• Install alarms on every level of the house including the basement.
• Interconnect smoke detectors so when one alarm sounds they all sound.
• Smoke alarms should be at least 10 ft from the stove to reduce false alarms from cooking.
• Replace smoke detectors every 10 years.

CO detectors are important as well to alert us of carbon monoxide gas. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is undetectable by the human senses. It causes flu like symptoms in low level exposures and more severe symptoms and/or death at higher levels and longer durations of exposure.

Carbon monoxide is created by malfunctioning fuel burning appliances such ranges, water heaters, furnaces and room heaters. CO is also created from fireplaces and charcoal burning equipment. High powered engines, such as cars and portable generators, also create CO.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends the following:
• One CO alarm should be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home.
• CO alarms may be installed into a plug-in receptacle or high on the wall.
 Hard wired or plug-in CO alarms should have battery backup.
• Avoid locations that are near heating vents or that can be covered by furniture or draperies.
• CPSC does not recommend installing CO alarms in kitchens or above fuel-burning appliances.

Installing both smoke detectors and CO detectors is critical. Consider installing detection devices that detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. This is a small investment considering the unthinkable consequences.
By Todd Starr 19 Apr, 2017
We usually only consider having a home electrical inspection if we are selling our home, having major renovations or experiencing electrical issues. These events require an inspection, but there are other good reasons to have an annual home electrical inspection. Your electrical system is critical and performs a role in nearly every function of your house.

Here are 4 good reasons to have an electrical inspection:

1. Inspections Prevent Fires – Electrical fires are the number one cause for residential fires in the US according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). An electrical inspection can identify problems in wiring, circuits and connections that may otherwise go undetected.

2. Inspections Prevent Injury – Electrocution can occur if using an outlet with bad wiring. Faulty wiring can easily be fixed, but the problem must be identified first!!

3. Inspections Prevent Surprises during Home Sales or Remodels – The last thing you need during a major renovation or home sale are electrical issues. Electrical Inspections help you get a jumpstart on those required home repairs and help prevent other major repairs from being created.

4. Inspections Help Save Energy and Money – Bad wiring and circuits can drain energy. Appliances that are not receiving adequate power are not efficient and may sustain damages due to insufficient power.

A proactive approach can save on expensive damages and repairs later. A peace of mind is worth the cost of the inspection.
By Todd Starr 24 Mar, 2017
Spring is upon us. There's so much to enjoy... warm weather, blooming flowers and family trips. Spring is a great time to prepare your home for potential dangers as well. Here are 3 Springtime electrical safety tips that can help to keep you and your family safe all year round.

1. INSTALL SURGE PROTECTORS: Installing a whole home surge protection system can protect your expensive appliances and electronics during the intense storms and lighting strikes. 

 2.  UPGRADE YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL: If your electrical panel performs poorly or is very out of date, it may be time to replace your electrical panel with a more modern and safe unit.

3. CHECK ALL YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS: Never just assume all your smoke detectors are working. Perform a safety test on all of them to insure they are in proper working condition. Promptly replace any outdated or malfunctioning smoke detectors. 
By Todd Starr 08 Feb, 2017
About 2400 children per year suffer injuries from electrical outlets. There are multiple ways to protect children from the dangers of electrical outlets. An easy, inexpensive method is to use plastic outlet caps. Outlet caps may potentially pose a choking hazard if the child is able to remove the cap. Sliding receptacle covers are also a common way of childproofing outlets. Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR) provide permanent security against objects being inserted into outlets. The shutter system in TRRs, allow only plugs to be inserted while preventing access of other objects.

Additional steps to help ensure your outlets and switches are safe from electrical dangers include:
  • Ensure outlets and switches are working properly
  • Check for crackling, buzzing, or sizzling sounds
  • Guarantee plugs fit snugly in outlets
  • Check if they are warm to the touch
Extension cords can also create potential danger to your children and entire family. Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when not properly used. They should only be used as a temporary solution. Install additional outlets instead of using extension cords.

For additional information on how to protect your family from electrical hazards, refer to The Electrical Safety Foundation International website http://www.esfi.org/ .
By Todd Starr 09 Jan, 2017
We invite you to take advantage of this limited time special offer! We offer full electrical repair & service. Here are just some of the many electrical services we offer:

Installation of Switches and Receptacles

Whole House Surge Protectors Installations

Smoke Detector Installations & Replacements

Lighting Fixture Repair & Installation

Lighting Fixture Repair & Replacement

Electrical System Inspection

Electrical System Maintenance

Fire Repairs

Garage Door Opener Outlets

Panel Replacements

Service Upgrades

Ceiling Fan Installation

Electrical Trouble Shooting

By Todd Starr 14 Dec, 2016
Safety is a top consideration when using space heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. Here are some safety tips to remember when using space heaters:

  • Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Designate a 3 foot "kid free zone". 
  • Plug space heaters directly into the outlet and do not share the outlet with other cords. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
  • Do not run cords under rugs or carpeting. This may result in damage to the cord which could cause a fire.
  • Do not place heaters on furniture. Use only on a flat level surface.
  • Discontinue use of the space heater if the cord, heater plug, outlet or face plate are hot.
  • Do not use heaters in damp, wet areas.
  • Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. They are not intended to replace the home's heating system.
  • Look for the UL Mark on your electric heater. This means representative samples of the appliance have met UL's stringent safety standards.
  • Unplug your space heater when you leave the room, not at home or sleeping.
Spread the word to friends and family about space heater safety!! Call a certified electrician if you have any questions or concerns about your space heater.
By Todd Starr 09 Nov, 2016
Did you know that half of all electrical fire deaths occur in the months of December thru March? A few precautions now can prevent fires and save lives!

Heating related fires contribute to 1 in 6 winter home fires. Keep in mind the following electrical safety tips for the winter:
  • Plug only 1 heat-producing appliance into a single wall outlet at a time (such as space heater or microwave).
  • Extension cords are only a temporary solution. Have additional wall outlets installed by an electrician if extension cords are necessary.
  • Keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves and radiators.

Holiday decorations also pose fire hazards. Additional safety steps should be taken with all holiday decorations.
  • Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Additional outlets may be necessary to avoid an electrical fire and ensure your family’s safety.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
  • Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.
  • Turn off and unplug all decorations before leaving the house or going to sleep.
By Todd Starr 19 Oct, 2016
Why is buying a light bulb overwhelming these days? With so many choices, how do you know which bulb is the right choice? Incandescent? Compact Fluorescent (CFL)? Light-Emitting Diode (LED)?

Incandescent bulbs are the old fashioned bulbs that have electricity running through a wire filament heating the filament until it glows and generates light. Incandescent bulbs are the least energy efficient because they produce heat and light in every direction loosing 50% of light before it exits the fixture.

CFL bulbs generate light when electricity runs through a tube containing mercury and argon creating UV light when it reacts with the coating on the tube. CFL bulbs emit 75% less heat than incandescent bulbs. Because they contain mercury, a hazardous material, they should be properly disposed of.

LED bulbs emit light when electricity passes through semiconductor material illuminating the semiconductor device. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient because they do not use heat to generate light. They also do not contain any hazardous materials.

Still confused?
  • Follow the directions given on your fixture for the proper bulbs. 
  • Do not use bulbs with a higher wattage than recommended on the fixture. The use of a higher wattage bulb may damage the fixture or cause bulbs to constantly burn out. In hard to reach areas, use bulbs with a longer life span to limit the number of times you need to change the bulb.
  • The lifespan at 3 hours per day of usage for incandescent bulbs is less than a year, CFL bulbs will last about 9 years and LED’s can last over 22 years.
The bottom line… the LED annual energy cost is about $1.00. CFL bulbs cost about $1.20 annually and incandescent bulbs cost between $3.50 and $4.80 per year. This information should better help you buy the right bulbs in the future.
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