Top 10 Home Electrical Safety Tips

By Rogers Electrician,

Mister Sparky Springdale electrician shares electrical safety tips to prepare you for national safety month.

Top 10 Home Electrical Safety Tips

Homeowners always strive to keep their family and property safe from accidents. With so many different systems and appliances to consider, there are many things to be mindful of when securing your home. Electricity is one of those things. Check out some of our tips own electrical safety tips to keep your home and family safe!

Don’t Overload Outlets

Plugging too many items into outlets is the cause of many house fires. Outlets are designed to handle a certain amount of current. Power strips or extension cords are often used to allow several different electrical items to pull power from one outlet. If the outlet is overloaded, it can cause issues with the breaker box. In the worst cases, outlets can spark and start a fire. Keeping outlet load at a reasonable level is one of the electrical safety tips that can save lives.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

This is common advice and should go without saying. However, there might be a couple of things that even moreMister Sparky Springdale electrician explain Electrical safety tips about water and electricity do not pair. experienced homeowners aren’t aware of concerning electricity and water.

One of the primary electrical safety tips that everyone should know is that water will conduct electricity. Many unsuspecting people have been shocked by touching their appliances with wet hands, or when using electronic items too close to water. Having an outlet by the kitchen sink additionally increases this risk, so be careful.

Water typically puts out fires, but electrical ones – not so much. While water may seem to put out the flame at first, it will fuel the electrical fire more. Only fire-retardant chemical extinguishers should be used to put out such a fire. Its recommended that there should be an extinguisher installed and easily accessible on every level of the home.

In the event of flooding, basements can become lethal. If there is standing water in a basement, don’t go into the basement. It could be carrying a current from any electrical equipment that it comes in contact with. Standing water like that should always first be tested for electric currents before anyone attempts to walk through it.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

GFCI outlets are safest and most recommended electrical outlets for any room that has running water. They’re also great when you want to make the room child-proof. If an outlet gets wet, has a foreign object inserted into it or if it is overloaded, a GFCI will cleverly detect the power surge and disable the outlet.

Power Tool Electrical Safety Tips

They make big jobs more accessible. Although, they can be dangerous. Here are some ways to be more careful with them:

  • Never stand in or near water when using a tool that is plugged into the wall.
  • Always wear goggles when using power tools. (This is not an electrical issue, but a good idea.)
  • Outlets being used for power tools need to be strong enough to supply the correct current. It helps to check for this when either buying a new tool or before getting ready to work with one.
  • Place extension cords strategically, to avoid accidents.

 

Electrical Cord Safety

Be mindful of both the power cords on appliances as well as of any extension cords. Here are a few things to consider when dealing with cables:

  • This may be hard to accept, but extension cords are designed for short-term use only.
  • If you have any pets living inside, you should definitely consider hiding the cords away from their reach. Pets can create safety hazards if they try to chew cords or wires.
  • Use cords that are in good shape, with no fraying or exposed wiring.
  • Don’t stretch cords across walking spaces.
  • Cords should never be yanked out of the sockets. Doing that can damage the cable, the outlet or both.

 

WallsElectrical safety tips 101. Make sure you are aware of the wires before you drill.

Don’t get too carried away with your next house project! Nails or drilling often damage the wiring inside of walls. You should find out where all of the internal wirings is located before you do any work on the walls.

Fixing Appliances

It’s recommended to have a professional take care of any repairs on home appliances. Homeowners are often tempted to fix appliances themselves or have a friend do it. This is another one of those electrical safety tips that if not followed correctly, can lead to health risks.

Electrical Safety Tips for Light Bulbs

Light fixtures will have recommended wattage requirements, usually noted on the outside of the socket. Using the wrong bulbs can cause them to overheat, which can cause a fire. If a bulb breaks while in the socket, unplug the lamp first if possible before removing the bulb to ensure your safety.

Don’t Ignore Issues

A home’s electrical system will usually give some hints if something is wrong. Here are some general electrical safety tips to keep in mind when at home:

  • No matter the weather outside, outlets should not be warm. If they are, there are several potential causes that an electrician will be able to diagnose quickly, like a bad connection or high voltage
  • Loose outlets can cause problems too. It usually is just a matter of securing the outlet. However, if it is loose for too long, the wiring will be affected and you are in danger once again.
  • Breakers that trip often indicates an overload of a specific circuit or an issue with the panel itself.
  • Flickering lights are an easy sign of an electrical problem. If the light bulb is not going out, it could be caused by faulty wiring or an issue with the amount of power that the main panel is attempting to supply.
  • Even if you know you just burned something in the oven – don’t ignore burning smells. It can mean that there are hot wires somewhere that can potentially turn into a fire, so make sure you know where it’s coming from for sure.

 

Outside Tips

If you are looking to make the outdoors around your house a safer place, or you are just beginning to build an outdoor area, here are a few things to consider:

  • Power lines are dangerous, electricity can be conducted through tree limbs, rakes, ladders or just about anything else that touches them. If you have power lines near your home, it would be a good idea to keep long/tall structures away from them. If you are planning really far ahead, don’t plant trees close to them.
  • Digging is a popular backyard pastime activity. If you like working in the backyard you may want to dig here and there on occasion. Unfortunately, power lines may sometimes be buried underground. Local electric companies should always be consulted before you do any digging, they will often be able to provide a schematic (or at least they should) – so that you know where you can dig. Don’t take your chances.
  • Extension cords: There are types of these specifically made for inside or outside. If not used as intended, they can be a fire hazard.
  • Exterior lights: The same causes for concern that exist for interior lights should be kept in mind with exterior lights. Any flickering, burning smell, frayed wires or any other suspicious issue should be addressed. Also, unlike indoors – outside there are different weather conditions. Keep that in mind as you are planning exterior lighting. For some tips on exterior lighting possibilities, take a look at our blog “5 Outdoor Light Fixtures You’ll Love For Spring.

 

For more information about electrical safety we recommend you visit the Electrical Safety Foundation Internationals website and stay tuned for the upcoming National Electrical Safety Month campaign during the month of May. For all of your residential electrical needs contact your trusted Mister Sparky Tulsa electrician today!

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, 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, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections

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5 Outdoor Light Fixtures You’ll Love For Spring

By NWA Electrician,

Walkway lighting is one of many outdoor lighting fixtures that can spruce up your home this spring!

Brighten up your yard this Spring with these outdoor light fixtures!

5 Outdoor Light Fixtures You’ll Love For Spring

Outdoor light fixtures can absolutely transform the look of your outdoor space, and with spring right around the corner, its the perfect time to plan an update to your yard or patio. Outdoor living spaces are extensions of our homes, so when it comes to lighting them, they should feel as comfortable and safe as our interior spaces.

When it comes to lighting our homes, we focus on mood lighting, light intensity, color and statement lighting. Our fixtures are intended to look beautiful and display light that either engages the eyes or lets them rest. Keep that in mind as you go about choosing your outdoor light fixtures. Here are some options you may want to consider!

Outdoor Chandeliers

You have probably experienced the sophisticated feeling of walking into a room that is lit by a chandelier. Whether it was in someone’s home or at a venue, it elevates the mood of the space while offering a great lighting solution. You do not have to nix that idea when it comes to outdoor light fixtures. The same effect can be achieved with an outdoor chandelier.

People assume that it would be difficult to hang an outside chandelier. The truth is – it can actually be easy, especially when using a skilled electrician. You simply have to make sure that the your fixture is wet-rated, which means the fixture has been rated safe to use in the outdoor elements.

No matter your preferred style, there are endless options to choose from. You can have industrial style metal elements or marble that help you create rustic or sophisticated ambiance. As long as the chandeliers are rated safe to use outdoors, your options are practically endless!

Sconces

Check out these outdoor light fixtures and call Mister Sparky Springdale electricians for installation today!When choosing outdoor light fixtures, do not forget about sconces. These fixtures are great ways to make a statement with your outdoor lighting. They are usually placed on exterior walls, and provide either directional or spot lighting. Commonly used directions for sconces are down-light, up-light, and up/down.

  • Down-light sconces direct light towards the ground, creating a warm glow in the space beneath. They are not meant to be used for lighting a work area, but they can help light the outside of your home with a warm glow, creating an inviting look.
  • Up-light sconces direct light upwards, creating a powerful and expansive feel. You may expect something like an art exhibit or monument to be lit in such way.
  • Up/down sconces direct light both upwards and downwards, bringing the two effects together and lighting the area even more.

Have fun choosing your sconce design. There are iron or vintage options if your outdoor space is more traditional. To maintain a more contemporary atmosphere look for sleek and modern options.

Note: If you have outdoor appliances like stainless steel ranges, you might want to match your sconces to those textures, especially if they are going to be close to each other!

Flood Lights

Some outdoor lighting fixtures are used for safety, such as flood lights. These are commonly used for lighting walkways and other darkened outdoor areas that are frequently used by people walking in and out of the house. Flood lights provide convenient lighting, creating a safe walkways, and can offer a fresh look for your home’s exterior.

Even if you use flood lights primarily for safety, you can, and should, make your new outdoor light fixtures an aesthetic choice as well. Flood lights can be found in a range of designs. Your goal is to ensure safety and provide nighttime curb appeal.

Tree-Mounted Uplights and Downlights

Another great use of outdoor light fixtures is highlighting elements of your landscaping with mounted up or downlights. Downlights can create a moonlight effect around trees and tall bushes. These lights are installed high in the trees, facing downwards, creating a spotlight below.

No matter the height of the plants, trees or bushes that live in your landscape design, an uplight can highlight these features. These lights are secured at the base of your landscape feature and create a spotlight that shines upwards.

Outdoor Wall Lights

Outdoor wall lights are simple fixtures that hang on the exterior walls of your home. Like sconces, their purpose is to show off the architecture of your home after the sun has gone down. There is a wide range of outdoor wall light styles to choose from, ranging from traditional to modern, to rustic. Mix and match these wall lights with your other fixtures. When it comes to light intensity, don’t be afraid to use different wattage. Choosing bright lights in some areas and dim, cozier lights in others can bring variety to your outdoor space.

Outdoor Post Lights

Another great option when choosing outdoor light fixtures is the post light. Homes with outdoor post lights have a noticeably elegant look. Post lights are like mini street lights on your property. These are perfect for homes that have long driveways, and they are also ideal for homes that have large areas for outdoor activities. When installed throughout your landscape design, they add a substantial amount of light and add an undeniable air of purpose and style. Post lights come in varieties of globe luminaries and traditional lantern heads.

No matter what type of outdoor lighting you decide on, a professional electrician should always perform lighting installations. Contact your trusted Mister Sparky Springdale electrician today to get your spring project scheduled!

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, 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, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Why Is My Electricity Bill Higher In The Winter?

By Rogers Electrician,

Find out why you are losing money on your electricity bill in the winter.

Why Is My Electricity Bill Higher In The Winter?

The heat of the summer has turned to cold winter days, and perhaps you’re thinking that with no air conditioner constantly running, your electric bill may be a few dollars cheaper. But you open your bill each month, and that is not the case. So you’re asking, “Why is my electricity bill higher in the winter?” There are a few season specific factors that drive up energy costs, plus a few household tips that could also be affecting your bill.

We Use More Electricity In Winter

Trends show that consumers use more energy in the winter months than they do in summer. Air conditioners and ceiling fans transition to space heaters, electric blankets, and a higher demand for hot water. Trends also show that people spend more time in their homes in winter months, so more electricity is being used for more hours than the summer months. The electricity bill will fluctuate along with the power consumption.

It Costs More To Generate Electricity

The path that electricity takes to get from the generator to your home can be complicated. The generator transmits power through the grid before it arrives at your local network, which then delivers the electricity to your home. Whenever the demand for power goes up, the cost of power generation and delivery goes up, as the grid becomes more taxed. Consumers will definitely see this reflected in his or her electricity bill.

Aside from these initial cost increases of the winter months, there are several ways that you can help keep your home more efficient in these winter months to balance cost:

Reverse Your Ceiling FansCeiling fans can help lower the cost of your electricity bill.

Ceiling fans can lower your electricity bill no matter the season. Changing the direction of your ceiling fan to clockwise and setting it to a lower speed can help the home feel warmer. A clockwise rotation pushes warm air in the room downward to bring up the temperature.

Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature

If your water heater is set too high, this can waste a lot of energy. The recommended temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees.

Close The Garage Door

Keep the cold air as far away from the interior walls of your home by keeping the garage door closed.

Close Your Chimney Damper

Whenever you aren’t enjoying a fire, remember to close the chimney damper. This allows smoke to exit, but its also direct exposure to the cold temperatures when the fireplace isn’t in use.

Change the temperature to a scheduled time to save on your electricity bill.Set A Thermostat Schedule

If your thermostat has a scheduling feature, take advantage of it to help manage the cost of heating your home. The temperature can automatically lower when your family is out of the house during the day or during the night hours. This will keep the demand on your heater, and electricity bill, lower and use energy more efficiently.

If after all of these small adjustments have been made and your electricity bill is still high, there may be more significant issues present. An electrical inspection can help confirm suspicions and correct the problems. Some additional things to consider include:

Problems With The Electrical Meter

A faulty electrical meter could be giving the power company incorrect readings concerning your energy use. The power company can check to make sure that meter readings are accurate.

HVAC Efficiency

Your heating unit could be to blame for spikes in energy usage if the unit is malfunctioning. Leaks in air ducts, dirty filters, and blocked vents can also put additional strain on your heating unit, causing it to run longer and more frequently than what’s truly needed.

Old, Faulty Wiring

No matter the season, faulty wiring can make an appearance in your electricity bill. Since the number of devices being used in the home rises during the winter, it can often draw attention to issues caused by old or faulty wiring. The most significant indicator of wiring problems are flickering lights, especially when an appliance like a hair dryer or space heater is running, or a noticeable change in the function of your home’s large devices. A professional electrician should always conduct wiring inspections in your home, especially as old wiring may not be safe or up to code.

Use these tips and tricks to help keep your electricity bill under control this winter season and contact your trusted Mister Sparky rogers electrician today for all of your electrician needs!

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, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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