Wow, the holiday season is here. It seems to come quicker every year. This week as you celebrate Thanksgiving and kick off the holiday season, here are a few tips to keep you safe. With holiday traditions often including higher demands for electricity, your home’s electrical system will be getting quite the work out. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:
Plan accordingly. Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Plan your displays accordingly.
Don’t overload. Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
LED Lights. Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights
Just a few small changes can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe all without compromising your holiday. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Give thanks for the many blessings that surround you. And, if you need help with anything electrical, give us a call. We are happy to help.
Steamboat Willie was one of Walt Disney’s benchmark productions. It was the first cartoon with synchronized sound. Disney continued with another benchmark in 1937 with the first sound and color animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. No wonder Disney was quoted saying, “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney
While Disney forged the way for cartoons, we are forging the way in electrical service. Until recently, electrical service companies have primarily offered electrical installations and repairs. And, we’ve done that well. But we’ve found a way to do home electrical service even better. Beyond the installations and repairs, we now offer a test called an Electrical Hazard Detection test or EHD. It tests your homes electrical system and identifies hazards before they become a fire hazard. After the test, we give you a detailed report of how your electrical system is functioning down to the outlet and provide you with a plan for repairs. It’s our way of doing what we do well.
Find a location near you and see us do it well. So well that we know you will want to bring others in to show them just how well we did. And, whatever field you may be in, we offer the same advice to you, whatever you do, do it well.
Today we honor all of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. According to the Census Bureau there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S. Check out this infographic for a more detailed breakdown. The numbers are astounding. Chances are, with the large number of veterans still alive, we will pass one or two during the day today. Take a minute to say hi and thank you, maybe even help them out. After all, because of their sacrifice, we still have our freedom.
And, to any veterans who might be reading this, thank you. We are humbled by your sacrifice and ever grateful that you fought to protect this great nation.
How often do you look behind your walls? Here’s one story that may convince you to.
At CurrentSAFE, we scan a home for electrical “hot spots” with our thermal imager. On occasion, we have found hot spots or cold spots in a wall where there are no electrical devices. These areas could be found on the wall or ceiling of a home where a temperature difference exists across the boundary. In my case, our home’s bedroom ceiling exhibited one such hot spot.
I live in a tropical area in Southern Florida on the Gulf Coast. We have critters, tons of them and in all sorts of variety. We get a regular pest company to come out to our home once a quarter and what he found this last time was a bit… disturbing! He showed me areas of our roof that had the loose insulation pushed in by some sort of wild life. And then he showed me the evidence of a rats nest in our attic.
I should have known. The rats nest was shown to me by the thermal imager two years ago. I saw the insulation damage with the camera, but just assumed that the contractors that installed it missed a spot. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Here are the thermal images and the digital pic of the damage. It was directly above my bed!
The pest control company advised that we should seal the common areas of our type of roof that the rats and potentially snakes are known to use to gain access. Within one week, they had sealed the roof and set baited traps. We continue to monitor the traps, but since it was Summer, the rats may not have been “home.” We hope that this solution has solved our issues.
Our service can find electrical hazards and we often run into surprises like this one. Sometimes hot spots in the walls are overheating wires and sometimes they are wildlife. Either way, we can spot those and help you take the next steps to a safer home.
Halloween is always full of costumes, pumpkins, and candy. I can remember having a blast when I was little. I know my two favorite things were carving pumpkins and getting free candy! Of course, we know that walking around the neighborhood at dark in a costume isn’t the safest activity to be doing. Here are a few tips to make Halloween a little safer in your neighborhood:
Leave carving to the adults. Pumpkin carving can be difficult for kids. Instead of not carving at all, have them draw the face and you carve it for them.
Light up your Jack-o-lantern. To light the carved pumpkin, use a flashlight or glowstick. If you like candles, a votive candle is the safest. Always put pumpkins on a sturdy table away from flammable objects.
Use reflective tape. Increase your visibility around the neighborhood by adding reflective tape on costumes or treat bags.
Make your home safe for trick-or-treaters. Replace any burned out bulbs in your front yard and clear the sidewalks of any debris.
Always look both ways. It’s already difficult to see at night and on Halloween is even more difficult for motorists to see trick-or-treaters. Be sure to look both ways before crossing the street.
Home fires happen every 6 minutes in the U.S. and Canada. That’s a little too frequent for me. Preventing some of those fires, though, is something we can all do. It starts with asking ourselves the question, is our home safe? For the sake of this post, we will think about the house electrically. When is the last time you have had your electrical system checked? Aside from the chance of an electrical fire there are three reasons we should probably all have our electrical systems checked regularly, they are:
Degradation. Things get old and our homes are no exception. Our electrical systems are in use every day and some components are subject to the weather outside leaving plenty of room for the wear and tear.
Modern Electrical Load. In just a few decades we have increased our need for electricity. Just think about all of the appliances and electronics we have added to our homes, each of those demand some load of electricity to function. A lot of homes aren’t built to handle that amount of electrical load.
DIY Installations. Installing electricity or its different components on your own is very dangerous. Skilled electricians are educated on the how to’s as well as the most recent building codes. Unskilled, do-it-yourselfers can cause a lot of damage to your home’s electrical system.
If any of the three above apply to you, it’s time to get your electrical system checked. There are options, but we feel the best one is an Electrical Hazard Detection (EHD) test. It’s a comprehensive, non-destructive test that can identify the hazards hidden or not that may exist in your electrical system. Think about it, it just might save your life.
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This month, with the focus on fire prevention, we want to encourage every homeowner to take preventative steps no matter how big or how small to prevent a fire in their home. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Every 10 years. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
Stay while you cook. If you are frying, grilling, or broiling food, stay close by. Even if you leave for a little bit, turn off the stove. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Candles need space. Give candles at least 12 inches of breathing room, especially from anything that can burn.
Oven is for cooking. Just in case you considered it, don’t use your oven to heat your home. You are asking for trouble.
Leave it to a professional. All electrical work should be done by a qualified, professional electrician. Part of their job is to stay up-to-date with the latest codes and requirements for your electrical system; it’s safer to use them.
Don’t use temporary for permanent. Extension cords are only intended for temporary use. If you are using them year round, consider having more outlets installed.
Match the watts. Every lamp or fixture has a recommended wattage for the light bulb. Do not use light bulbs higher than that wattage. Learn more about light bulbs with our fact sheet.
Smoke outside. If you smoke, go outside. Most home fire deaths occur in fires that started in common living areas of a home. And make sure your butts are completely extinguished before walking away.
Install smoke alarms. Inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area a smoke alarm should be installed. Also, on every level of the home including the basement.
Get an electrical hazard detection test (EHD). Find out how your electrical system is performing with this non-destructive test. With an electrical hazard test, electrical fire hazards can be identified and fixed before they become a serious threat. Learn more in this video.