**Electrical issues are something most homeowners miss!
I found a recent article on Alliant Energy about preparing for a storm. You can do this yourself and get your kids involved. Read the full article here.
To get started, you’ll need a big plastic box – one with a lid is best. Use a marker to write “SAFETY KIT” on a big piece of tape and stick on it on the box. Find a good place to keep the box so you can find it quickly when a storm hits. A coat closet or kitchen cabinet might be a spot. Now you’re ready to fill up your box.
You Will Need:
*Small fire extinguisher
*First aid supplies, like bandages
*Snacks like granola bars and fruit roll-ups
*If you have room, you can add stuff to play with while the lights are out – coloring books and crayons, a deck of cards, puzzles or board games.
**If there’s a baby in your house, keep some extra diapers, wipes and baby food in the safety kit too.
Another good thing to keep in your safety kit is a list of important information:
*Emergency telephone numbers, electric company, gas company, neighbors and relatives…
*Medicines that someone in your family might need
*A map of where to find the main shut-offs for the electricity, gas and water
*Instructions on how to open the garage door without the automatic opener
*Old-fashioned phones come in handy
It’s also a good idea to have at least one old-fashioned telephone with a cord in your house. If the power is out for a long time, a corded phone might be the only way you can call for help.
Like people, your house ages; electrical wiring can deteriorate and become “worn out” causing dangerous situations within the walls that cannot be seen. For example, the insulation around the wires sometimes wears out due to excessive heat caused by overloaded circuits. Even household pests, like mice, can damage the protective outer coating. Homeowners should be aware of what the safety concerns are of old wiring in their houses and learn the most common electrical wiring warning signs.
While reading over these tips, keep in mind ARC Electric Company offers CurrentSAFE. CurrentSAFE is the most comprehensive diagnosis of your homes electrical system! ARC Electric Company’s specially trained CurrentSAFE Technician can locate concealed electrical problems by providing this revolutionary electrical testing on residential properties without having to dismantle, damage or cut into any parts of the home. CurrentSAFE’s unique testing process ensures the electrical safety of a home along with reducing the risk of fire or electric shock by exposing any potential hazards that can and should be corrected. Call us today to schedule your FREE In Home Assessment. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!
Safety Concerns of Old Wiring
According to a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association(NFPA), faulty wiring is the most common cause of residential fires in the United States. As fire and building codes improve, the longevity of electrical devices and wiring improve as well. However, any wiring over 40 years old should be checked by a qualified licensed electrician periodically. This is an investment for a household’s safety and your peace of mind.
Five Electrical Wiring Warning Signs
Sign 1: Breakers and Fuses Go Out Regularly
Circuit breakers are designed to help to protect the house from fire by “tripping” when they are overloaded by exceeding the number of amps the circuit is rated for. Fuses provide the same protection, but circuit breakers are reusable and can be “reset”, where fuses need to be replaced whenever they “blow out.” Circuit breakers do wear out over time and, and the more often they trip, the more likely they can go bad.
Sign 2: Dimming and Flickering Lights
Dimming and/or flickering lights are a sign of an overloaded circuit. As another device turns on in a circuit, especially motor driven devices, they pull more amperage than when they run at a steady pace. Good wiring on a circuit will rarely dim or flicker. However, occasional dimming or momentary flickering is normal in some cases. But, if it happens often, this may be a sign of faulty wiring or a bad circuit breaker that needs to be replaced.
Sign 3: Buzzing, Charred, or Discolored Outlets and Switches
Buzzing, humming, charred, and/or discolored outlets or switches are a bad sign of a potentially dangerous situation. The outlet or switch should be replaced right away, but the problem is not always in the outlet or switch. In some cases, faulty wiring, usually near the outlet or switch, or a loose connection on the switch is the cause. This causes the outlet to arc and make a small, short-lived mini fire that causes the outlet’s surface to char or discolor from heat.
Sign 4: Burning Smell
A burning smell in a home can be scary. An electrical fire initially has a fairly acrid smell. A short in a circuit that causes a brief burn has the same smell. Electrical fires that catch surrounding material on fire, however, have a much different smell. If a burning smell is present, especially if it smells acrid, call an electrician immediately. In some cases, the short is in the outlet, but if it is in the wiring within the wall, it can more easily catch surrounding materials on fire. In either instance, homeowners should turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for that circuit until the electrician can examine the circuit and make repairs.
Sign 5: Shocking Switches and Outlets
Shocking switches or outlets are a good indicator that the switch or outlet is bad. Sometimes it means that there is a wire in the circuit shorting out to the conduit enclosing the wires. Aside from being physically unpleasant, this is a sure sign that something is wrong. It could be a device plugged into the outlet, the outlet or switch itself, or a wire that has lost its outer insulation. If devices are removed or replaced and it still happens, the outlet or switch should be examined or replaced, and it would be a good idea to have the wiring examined as well.
For decades, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) have saved lives and have helped significantly reduce the number of home electrocutions. GFCIs are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents. A person who becomes part of a path for leakage current will be severely shocked or electrocuted. These outlets prevent deadly shock by quickly shutting off power to the circuit if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a slight amount from that returning.
A GFCI should be used in any indoor or outdoor area where water may come into contact with electrical products. The latest edition of the National Electrical Code currently requires that GFCIs be used in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and outdoors. GFCIs should be tested once a month to confirm that they are working properly.
How to Test Your GFCI:
*Push the “reset” button on the GFCI to prepare the outlet for testing.
*Plug in an ordinary light or plug tester (from Home Depot) into the GFCI and turn it ON. The light should now be on.
*Push the “test” button of the GFCI. The light should go OFF.
*Push the “reset” button again. The light should now come ON again.
*If the light does not turn off when the test button is pushed, then the GFCI may have been incorrectly wired or damaged and it no longer offers shock the protection it was designed for.
If you need electrical assistance, please call ARC Electric Company – (704) 821-7005!
Each year, thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents, electrocution in their own homes. The current economic downturn has inspired more homeowners to tackle do-it-yourself projects than ever before. Faced with declining home values and aging properties, homeowners may choose not to pay for the services of a licensed electrician. However, most do not have the training or experience needed to safely perform home electrical work, increasing the risk of immediate injuries and electrocutions and potentially introducing new dangers into the home. Working with electricity requires thorough planning and extreme care, and cutting corners can be a costly mistake. I will be the first to admit that I or my husband have tackled some DIY jobs to “save” money. Thankfully, he knows his limits and tries not to mess with our electrical.
ESFI strongly recommends hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home. However, if you do decide to do-it-yourself, consider the following important safety tips before undertaking any home electrical project:
* Make an effort to learn about your home electrical system so that you can safely navigate and maintain it.
* Never attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Knowing when to call a professional may help prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities.
* Always turn off the power to the circuit that you plan to work on by switching off the circuit breaker in the main service panel.
* Be sure to unplug any lamp or appliance before working on it.
* Test the wires before you touch them to make sure that the power has been turned off.
* Never touch plumbing or gas pipes when performing a do-it-yourself electrical project.
– See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/do-it-yourself-diy-electrical-safety-216#DIYFactsAndStatistics
Hey kids! Want to become a Safety Detective? Take a trip with ESFI’s mascot, Private I. Plug, and help him spot common home electrical and fire dangers in this fun, animated video. Afterward, you can visit P.I. Plug’s Kids’ Corner (http://kids.esfi.org) to find more videos and play games! (but ask an adult first)
It’s National Electrical Safety Month (NESM), have you or your family covered the importance of electrical safety? During National Electrical Safety Month we tie alot of our materials, statistics and information back to ESFi, Electrical Safety Foundation International. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace. To commemorate National Electrical Safety Month, ESFI spearheads an annual campaign to educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken in order to reduce the number of electrically-related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss. – See more by clicking here.
Below is a very cute video helping you and your family understand more about the 4 seasons of safety!
Don’t forget May is National Electrical Safety Month or NESM.
Have you taken our Electrical Safety Quiz? If you answered “no” to any other these questions, consider having a FREE CurrentSAFE assessment done. We will come out, go over the CurrentSAFE Electrical Hazard Detection(EHD) test, ask you show us any problems areas you have and we will let you know if CurrentSAFE is a good candidate for your home. CurrentSAFE is the only comprehensive electrical diagnosis of your homes electrical wiring and this non-destructive testing can point out a home’s electrical hazards before it becomes an emergency. All to often we see electrical emergencies that could have been avoided.
If you feel that you have an electrical issue that needs to be looked at or taken care of by a licensed electrician please do not hesitate to give us a call. Our phones are always answered office staff or an on-call technician, even after hours. ARC Electric Company offers free quotes and are glad to answer any question you may have! (704) 821-7005