Holiday Fire and Electrical Safety

  • By Todd Starr
  • 06 Dec, 2017

Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday season brings together family, holiday traditions and celebrations. Statistics show that it is also the time of year for an increase in home fire incidents. 860 home fires are caused by holiday decorations each year according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA also reports that 30% of all home fires and 38% of all home fire deaths occur during December, January and February.

Here are a few holiday safety precautions that will go a long way in keeping your home and family safe.

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Consider having additional outlets installed to avoid an electrical fire and ensure your family’s safety. 
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or frayed sockets, 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.
  • Use flameless candles. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Water your tree every day. A dry tree is a fire hazard.
  • Keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves and radiators.

My Neighborhood Electrician Blog

By Todd Starr 06 Dec, 2017
The holiday season brings together family, holiday traditions and celebrations. Statistics show that it is also the time of year for an increase in home fire incidents. 860 home fires are caused by holiday decorations each year according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA also reports that 30% of all home fires and 38% of all home fire deaths occur during December, January and February.
By Todd Starr 10 Nov, 2017
  • Lights dim or flicker when an appliance or air conditioner starts. 
  • Circuit breakers need to be reset frequently.
  • Frequent tripping of GFCI receptacles.
  • Shock from any fixture or discoloration around switch plate.
  • Whenever you need to do anything that requires a connection to the electrical supply.
  • You have not had a home electrical inspection in the last 5-7 years.
  • When in doubt about any electrical safety or wiring. 
By Todd Starr 10 Oct, 2017
It's National Fire Prevention week. We thought this would be a great time to share some fire prevention tips with you. Put safety 1st in your home year around. 
By Todd Starr 20 Sep, 2017
New lighting can completely transform your home. From the kid's bedroom to your patio, upgrading your lighting can beautify your residence. There are a number of advantages to updating your lighting. 

HERE ARE 5 REASONS TO UPGRADE THE LIGHTING IN YOUR HOME:
By Todd Starr 31 Aug, 2017
My Neighborhood Electrician wishes you a Happy Labor Day! Enjoy yourselves and always keep us in mind for all of your electrical services and installations.
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. 
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