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How to Avoid Electrical Fires

With an average of 34,000 electrical fires being reported annually, it’s important to know what you can do as a homeowner to avert disaster. Here are some tips to ensure that will help you prevent electrical fires in your Northern Colorado home.

Install GFCIs: Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters throughout your home to prevent fires because they automatically shut down if a circuit is overloaded or at risk.

Install an AFCI: Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters detect electrical abnormalities and shut down the circuit before it overheats. If you have an older home, it’s a good idea to replace your circuit breaker with an AFCI since arc faults are nearly impossible to catch before there’s a fire.

Update your electrical system: Ideally, electrical systems should be updated every 10 years. Now that so many households are adding more and more technology, it’s a good idea to make sure your current wiring is able to handle the load.

Know when you have faulty wiring: Faulty wiring can be a huge problem for older structures. These are the signs you should be aware of:

  • Light switches are hot to the touch
  • Outlets spark when you plug something in
  • Flickering light bulbs
  • Lights dim when you use appliances
  • Outlets are buzzing, hissing, or crackling
  • Circuit breakers are constantly tripping or shorting
  • Wires or fuse boxes are hot to the touch
  • Burning smell from an outlet

Check your outlets: Make sure that all of your outlets are tight and fitted to the wall – loose-fitting plugs can be a fire and shock hazard. You should also replace any broken or missing plates to avoid having exposed wiring, and put protective covers on any unused plugs if you have children.

Don’t tamper with plugs: You should NEVER remove the third prong from plugs. It’s better to replace your two-conductor outlet if you need to use a three-pronged plug. You should also avoid bending prongs and follow all manufacturer instructions while installing appliances.

Use surge protectors: If you need to plug in multiple items, you should invest in a surge protector to make sure you don’t overload your outlet.

Replace damaged cords: If you notice fraying or cracking on your cords, you should replace them. Most appliances have the replaceable cords available through the manufacturer.

Know where to run your cords: You create a hazardous environment when you run electrical cords under carpets, furniture, or rugs because you’re not able to tell if the cord becomes damaged or overheated.

Unplug small appliances: It’s a good habit to unplug smaller appliances when they’re not in use anyway, but you can lower the probability of them catching fire if they’re disconnected.

Use correct bulbs: Avoid using bulbs with higher watts than your lighting fixture recommends, or replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce the heat created when your light is on.

Are you worried about electrical fires in your home? Call us today for an inspection. We also offer 24-hour emergency services!

What You Should Know About Water Damage and Corrosion in Your Electrical Panel

Fuse BoxWhen you notice water dripping out of your electrical panel box, your first reaction is to panic. Water and electricity make for a dangerous combination, and although signs of moisture aren’t something you want to see, water getting into the electrical panel box is a common problem homeowner face. But it isn’t a problem you should try to fix yourself. Call an expert electrical technician to determine the extent of the damage and recommend the necessary repairs.

What to Expect During an Electrical Inspection

chadwick-electric-services-december-blog-post-imageYou may not think about the wiring in your home every time you flip a light switch or plug in an electronic device. But you rely on a safe, efficient 
electrical system to keep your home comfortable, safe, and well-lit.

When making an electrical change or trying to identify the source of an electrical issue, your first step may be to schedule an inspection.

In this blog, we list some of the most common reasons to have a residential electrical inspection and what you can expect from the inspection process.

3 Things You Need to Know About Charging Electric Cars

Imagine a long, errand-packed day. You have to drive down to Denver and back. You have to get groceries. You have to pick up your kids from school.

As you pull into your driveway, you realize your car needs fuel. But, instead of backing out and heading to the closest gas station, you plug your electric vehicle into a home charging station, go inside, and enjoy some well-earned relaxation. Electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) have many benefits, home charging stations among them.

Well-Lit: 5 Warning Signs of Faulty Light Fixtures

You rely on a variety of lighting fixtures to keep your home beautiful and useable when it’s dark outside. However, many homeowners fail to account for their light fixtures when thinking about potential electrical problems. Some property owners mistakenly believe that changing light bulbs when necessary is enough maintenance to ensure their light fixtures stay safe.

5 Common Causes of Electrical Fires

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires per year. These fires cause $1.1 billion in property damage and loss and are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries each year.

The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights. Most electrical fires start in the bedroom, but the highest number of fatalities occur with fires located in the living room, family room and den.

Some electrical fires happen because of problems in house wiring or appliance failure, but many occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords.

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Chadwick Electric Services