Category: Uncategorized


Space Heater Safety Tips

By NWA Electrician,

Central heating systems distribute warm air throughout a building, but some rooms may have cold spots or need additional heat. Space heaters can be a great way to augment heat, and they can also be the source of fires, shocks and injury. As winter drags on, many people will take their safety for granted, and they will forget to maintain proper space heater safety precautions. Below are several space heater safety tips to help you stay warm and safe throughout the remaining cold season.

Fires and Space Heaters Check out these space heater safety tips to keep your family safe and warm this season!

Space heater fires account for 15 percent of all house fires and the root cause for millions of dollars of property damage. An average of 10,000 fires start each year because of improper space heater placement. Objects such as furniture, curtains and bedding coming too close to a heater is the third leading cause of heating equipment fires that cause fatalities. A space heater is always a danger that requires constant awareness.

Space Heater Safety Tips

Space heaters may be gas, kerosene or electric. Although basic safety tips apply to all types, there are specific operating and safety concerns for each.

• Always leave at least 3 feet of clearance around a space heater. Ensure that children and pets follow this 3-foot rule.
• Place the unit in an area that doesn’t get much foot traffic.
• Make sure the unit is on a flat, stable surface, so that it won’t tip over if bumped. Don’t place it on a table or other surface that is unstable or can catch fire.
• Turn off the device when you’re not using it, when moving to a different room, or going to sleep.
• Use a heater with safety features such as a thermostat and overheat protection. Select a unit that automatically shuts off if it tips over.
• Use in a well-ventilated area. Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
• Select a unit that is properly sized for the area to be heated.
• Educate your family and others who use the unit about proper operation.
• Use the proper fuel for gas and kerosene units. Using the wrong fuel can start a fire.

Here are additional safety concerns for electric heaters:

• Use a unit that has been certified by a reputable testing laboratory. Look for the laboratory’s logo, such as UL or ETL, on the cord or unit.
• Never use extension cords with electric space heaters. Extension cords may not be able to adequately power the unit, which increases the risk of shock, overheating and fire.
• Check plugs and outlets when the unit is running. The plug should fit snugly into the outlet. If the outlet or plug is hot, turn the unit off.
• Don’t run cords under furniture or rugs. Cords can overheat, which can cause a fire.
• Never touch the device if you are wet. This can result in a shock. Don’t use the unit around a water source, in bathrooms or in humid basements.

If you question the safety of your space heaters power source, ask a certified electrician to inspect it. Call the licensed electricians at Mister Sparky NWA to answer your questions and provide more information about proper space heater use. Follow these tips and keep your loved ones safe and warm!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, aluminum wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

  Category: Uncategorized
  Comments: Comments Off on Space Heater Safety Tips

Know Your Home Electrical System

By NWA Electrician,

Mister Sparky Electrician Rogers knows your home electrical system.

 

Electricity powers almost everything that makes our lives comfortable. Heating and cooling equipment, refrigerators, computers, lights, fans and hybrid cars require electricity to function. Before World War II, 60 amperes at the service panel was adequate to meet home electrical system requirements. Today, households require a minimum of 100 amps. Large homes, or those with electrical heat and other major electrical appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers, may require 150 to 200 amps of service.

Mister Sparky Electrician Rogers is repairing a home electrical system.The electrical service in your home is a network of wires that begins at the meter and is distributed first to the main electrical panel and then to points throughout the building. The meter records how much electricity is transferred from your service supplier to your home. The electrical panel distributes wiring to circuits. Behind the walls, electrical wiring is logically laid out to distribute electricity from circuits to user points. Switches and plugs are user points that control appliances.

Wiring is categorized by gauge, which defines the size of the wire and how much current it can carry. The lower the number, the more electricity can pass through it. A 4-gauge wire carries fewer amps than a 1-gauge wire. Wiring is usually three strands, a hot wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire. Each is a different color for ease of identification and safety. White is always neutral. Other colors are not standard; however, black or red is usually the hot wire, and green is usually the ground.

Circuits are rated according to the amount of amps they can support. When electricians wire a house, they try to distribute the load, or the amount of wattage that a circuit can bear. A 20-amp circuit can run lights, fans and small appliances for a total of 2,400 watts. Wiring between receptacles and 20-amp circuits must be 12-gauge. Major appliances such as water heaters may draw up to 1,500 watts, which is why they usually get a circuit to themselves.

Circuit breakers are essential elements of an electrical wiring system. Circuit breakers and fuses cut the flow of electrical current surging through wires if the flow becomes too strong or unsafe. If an electrical appliance overheats, or if two wires inside the appliance touch, there may be a surge of electricity. The wires may overheat, which could start a fire or cause other electrical problems. The circuit breaker absorbs the surge and shuts the current off.

A special type of circuit breaker is called a ground fault circuit interrupter. These devices protect people from getting shocked or electrocuted. GFCIs monitor the flow of current in neutral and hot wires. If the flow in the hot wire surges, the GFCI immediately cuts the connection. GFCIs are installed on electric hot water heaters, dishwashers and other major appliances.

Although it is important to understand how electricity enters and is distributed through your home, it is also important to understand that electricity is dangerous. Improper wiring can cause fires, give shocks or burns and electrocute people. Electricians are trained professionals who are licensed and certified to handle electricity. They wire according to local and national code to keep you safe. They understand which appliances must be protected by GFCIs, how to ground a building and how to distribute load to prevent electrical problems. For your safety, and to ensure that your home is protected, it’s best to use a professional electrician for household wiring projects.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Rogers, Bella Vista, Bentonville, Springdale, and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, aluminum wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

 

  Category: Uncategorized
  Comments: Comments Off on Know Your Home Electrical System

Top 10 Holiday Electrical Hazards

By NWA Electrician,

Mister Sparky advises homeowners of the top holiday electrical hazards to watch out for this season!Home electrical safety may not be the most festive topic, but it’s an important consideration before pulling out the holiday decorations. Knowing what holiday electrical hazards are most common during the season, you can prevent unnecessary problems and help to keep your family safe. Here are the top 10 causes of electrical shock, fires, and other issues during the holidays:

1.) Using the wrong type of lights

Indoor holiday lights are not always waterproof or safe to use outside. Outdoor lights sometimes burn hot, causing fire risk to your Christmas tree. Always check the box of any lights and decorations you plan to use.

2.) Using counterfeit or unsafe products

Your decorations should be marked with a certification such as the Underwriters Association (UL). Be wary of foreign-made decorations that do not bear compliance marks.

3.) Using damaged extension cords

Before plugging in any holiday electronics, be sure to check that your extension cords are in good repair. Visible wiring or frayed casing can lead to electrical hazards.

4.) Overloading outlets

When you have multiple decorations or devices plugged into a single outlet, you risk a chance of overloading the outlet. This can lead to fire, electrical outage and other problems. Try to space out your decorations so that they draw power from multiple different outlets in the home, and only use power strips that are new and in good repair.

5.) Leaving lights on all the time

It’s a good idea to run your lights only when someone is home and awake to monitor them. That way, if any problems happen, they can be dealt with swiftly before fire has a chance to spread. Never sleep with your Christmas tree lit.

6.) Using old or damaged decorations

It’s best to save non-electrical ornaments for family heirlooms. Be prepared to replace your Christmas lights every 4-6 years. Also be sure to inspect your decorations thoroughly before use. Throw out any with exposed wiring or other signs of visible damage.

7.) Using out-of-date lighting technology

Even if your older lights are still in good working order, they may be inefficient and more susceptible to causing electrical issues. Most older lights use incandescent bulbs, which burn hot and can cause a fire when clustered on a dry tree or near drapes, wrapped gifts and other flammable objects. LED bulbs are cool to the touch, have a longer lifespan and are less likely to start a fire.

8.) Connecting too many cords

You should avoid stringing more than three strands of lights together end-to-end. Otherwise, you run the risk of sending too much current through the wire, leading to potential fire hazards and blown fuses.

9.) Allowing cords to get damaged

If you have pets or children, keeping all electrical cords and plugs away from curious fingers and mouths is important. It’s also important that your cords not be pinched by furniture, closed windows or other possible hazards.

10.) Damaging strings of lights when mounting

For safety, the insulation of your cords and light strings needs to remain intact. Avoid using thumbtacks or staples if they will pierce the cord. Instead, drape lights over hooks or place staples across, rather than through, the cord.

If you need help with assessing your home’s holiday electrical hazards or would like to consult with an expert about keeping your family safe, contact Mister Sparky today for more information!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, aluminum wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

  Category: Uncategorized
  Comments: Comments Off on Top 10 Holiday Electrical Hazards