What is whole house surge protection? Why is it an important investment for your home safety?
To many homeowners surge protection isn’t needed or it is a waste of money. But looking at the larger picture, it is very much needed. You plug your TV into a surge protection strip – why not protect your entire panel? I recently read an excerpt from “This Old House” where a contractor was remodeling a home and suggested surge protection to the family – they declined and later lighting hit the utility pole near their home and electricity went through their home, destroying wiring, appliances and electronics. A few hundred dollar investment could of possibly saved them over $11,000 in repairs. Below is a link to the article. The article also touches on several great key points.
Sometimes homeowners underestimate a surge – an electrical surge will follow any wire into a house — including your phone and cable lines, threatening fax and answering machines, televisions, satellite systems, computers, and modems. Don’t forget about your plugged in appliances, they aren’t exempt from a electrical surge’s wrath. A power surge may last for only a few millionths of a second, but at its worst, it carries tens of thousands of volts, enough to fry circuit boards, crash hard drives, and ruin DVD and home-entertainment systems. A lightning strike has to be less than a mile from the house to cause harm, and in fact most surge-related damage is not caused by lightning. Far more common, if not as dramatic, are surges caused by downed power lines, sudden changes in electricity use by a nearby factory, or even the cycling on and off of laser printers, electric dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other energy-sucking devices in the home. The damage inflicted by these minor power fluctuations can be instantaneous — but may not show up for some time. “You might not even notice it,” says consultant with a firm that installs both residential and commercial surge-protection systems. “Then a year or so later your microwave stops working.”
Mike Holmes, contractor and host of the television show “Holmes on Homes,” and diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation, a global leader in electrical power management, announced a collaboration to offer homeowners a line of “Holmes Approved” electrical surge protectors. “People never think it could happen, but it happened to me,” said Mike Holmes. “A large electrical surge entered my house and I lost all my electronics that were plugged in. All of them. The first thing I did after replacing everything was install an Eaton Complete Home Surge protector.”
When installed on a home’s breaker box, Eaton’s surge products can help prevent or minimize damage to electronic devices, home appliances and other equipment in the event of electrical surges. Mike Holmes is an advocate for homeowner and building safety. All projects and initiatives undertaken by the star contractor are defined by quality, integrity and trust. Eaton’s product innovation, superior customer service and commitment to doing business right makes the collaboration a logical next step.
From 2010 to 2014, the National Fire Protection Association estimated an average of 45,210 home fires caused by electrical failure or malfunction, resulting in an estimated 420 deaths, 1,370 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage each year.
* The National Electrical Code has had 15 revisions since 1974, the year the average home was built. Is your home adequately protected?
* AFCI breakers and receptacles protect against arc faults and can prevent the majority of electrical fires
* 52% of electrical fires are caused by an arc or short circuit
* Was your home built before 1999? Call an electrician to ensure your home has AFCIs
* Any electrical maintenance should be performed by qualified electricians to ensure proper NEC and fire prevention standards
During a Fire: Every Second Counts. Plan 2 Ways Out™
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy
* Smoke alarms: test monthly, change battery yearly, and replace alarm every 10 years
* Have at least one smoke alarm on every level, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom
* Draw out a fire escape plan
* Conduct a fire drill twice a year, once in the day, once at night, withe very in your home and practice using different ways out
* Have two ways out of every room and make sure they’re always easily accessible
* Have a designated meeting space outside your home and never reenter a burning building
Testing Your Smoke Alarms Monthly
*Smoke alarms should be maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions.
*Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the “Test” button.
*Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
*Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.
*Smoke alarms need a new battery at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
Testing Your CO Detector
*Test CO alarms at least once a month using the “Test” button to ensure it is drawing electrical power. It will emit high-pitched, loud beeping, usually louder than a smoke detector. During this test it will also speak to you.
*Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the CO detector and knows how to respond.
*If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries and replace. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
*Replace CO detectors every 7 years.
Smoke Alarm Safety
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Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year. These fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.
Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without adequate safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.
Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:
* Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
* Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
* Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
* Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
* Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
* Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
* Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
* Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
* Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
* Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
* Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Space Heater Safety
ARC Electric Company will be closed Monday (1/1) in observance of New Years. We will re-open Tuesday (1/2) at 8 a.m. As always, our phone lines will be answered by our on-call technician. Thank you for understanding!