Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hidden Electrical Hazards P.1

A segment from State Farm Insurance's "Fire: The Unforgiving Nature." The video discusses the dangers of arc faults in old or damaged wiring.

Copyrighted, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 2008, used by permission.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Several Reasons Why Your Electrician Is Very Important

The primary roles of electricians include fitting, repairing and testing wires and electrical circuits in residential and commercial buildings. They may also be involved in installing switches and lighting in homes or traffic lights and street lighting. Some of the common tasks they perform include installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems within buildings such as security and fire system. They also play the important role of testing electrical systems regularly. Electrical contractors have the choice of working in industries, commercial property or residential properties. They also have the right to choose to work in a team or on their own. The reasons why they are so important are:
They fix all electrical problems
If you lose electricity but your neighbor does not- the problem may not be with the utility company. As a result, you will need to hire the services of a professional electrician to fix the problem. If you are experiencing problems with the supply of electricity in your house it is always advisable to contact experienced electrical contractors to undertake the necessary repairs. When you choose to perform the repairs on your own terms, accidents can arise. You may not want to get into a position where you are causing harm or setting your house on fire.
They are good at their job
Electricians are good at their job because they have spent time in technical school. Others have acquired the necessary skills on the job, working under the guidance of experienced master electricians. When you hire the right technicians, they will be able to quickly diagnose the problem because they have the necessary knowledge in handing different electrical problems. They understand how electricity needs to work and what it can do. Some DIY homeowners often undertake simple projects such as re-setting the circuit breaker and rewiring the home entertainment center or computer. Nevertheless, simply because a homeowner can undertake some simple projects does not suggest they can handle high voltage electrical problems.
They have a good reputation
If you are looking for an electrical contractor, you will choose from several technicians with a good reputation. Many of them are recommended for their quality work. Therefore, you must avoid looking for professional hands based on price. Instead, you need to consider the workers based on superior work and customer service experience. The right technicians can be found through word of mouth. Consider asking your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to recommend the right professional. However, make sure they have a valid license and insurance.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Dangers of Electricity

Electricity is a vital part of modern life. It not only provides the power for endless sources of amusement but also makes a huge number of the modern conveniences, like air conditioning and cell phones, possible at all. Light is far more dependable with electricity than it was with oil, candles, and whatever else was used. While electricity has many benefits, it can also be extremely dangerous.
One of the first dangers of electricity is its unpredictability. This argument is particularly true when dealing with lightning. Lightning storms and thunderstorms, which require lightning, are capable of popping up at a moment's notice. The electricity contained in a single bolt of lightning can do huge amounts of damage to a structure. It also contains a lot of heat capable of starting fires in buildings, forests, and anywhere else.
Another danger of electricity occurs when there are problems with the power lines that carry the electricity we rely upon from the power plants to the individual homes. When these lines and their poles are not adequately maintained, they can be taken down in a wind storm, by ice, or other occasions. When the lines come down, they can injure passersby, land on cars and damage them, or injure other items in the area.
Electricity is also a danger in the home itself. Many of the most commonly used items in any home require electricity. If there are flaws in the electrical system, the item can short circuit and start a fire. Interaction between the electrical item and other things in the home can cause huge problems in terms of shocks. Careless use of a hair dryer by a bathtub or near a puddle can result in huge shocks to the person drying hair.
A further risk for electricity is in the wiring of a home completely. Many of the older homes in the country have old electrical wiring. Like all things, wires are capable of wearing out and becoming less trustworthy with age. The age of the wires themselves combined with modern electricity usage requirements means that it is very possible for an older home with older wiring to be incapable of handling the electrical requirements. This can lead to shorts in the system and result in fires.
Overall, electricity has many hazards and requires that individuals always take it very serious. Downed power lines should be avoided and the threat of thunder or lightning should be taken seriously. Overall, maintaining a home's electrical system can have the greatest benefits.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Knowing When to Call Your Electrician

In order to receive all of their licenses and certifications, an electrician must go through extensive training. Because of this training, an electrician is fully qualified to provide you with a variety of electrical services, such as full home rewires, electrical generator installation and relocating electrical outlets. When combined with a high level of experience, and a quality team to back it up, an electrical contracting company can help any home, business, new construction or apartment complex increase the overall safety and operation of the electrical components within. Although you can maintain, fix and troubleshoot some of your electrical components on your own, it is important to know when to call your electrician for their professional experience and expertise.
Depending on the size of your home, your electrical system is probably much simpler than that of a large industrial building or business. That does not, however, mean that it is any less important. We rely on functioning electricity every day, making it paramount that everything operates safely and efficiently. If you have an issue with a component, the first step is to check your breaker panel. Believe it or not, flipped breakers account for the majority of all residential electrical problems. When you find yourself without power, start by making sure that none of your breakers have tripped. If this does not allow you to solve the problem, then it's probably time to call your electrician. Improperly maintained and repaired electrical wiring can lead to electrical shocks and fire. As such, it is important to always have them serviced by a professional.
If you own a commercial building, it may be even more important for you to rely on an electrician for any and all of your electrical needs. Depending on the operation, most commercial buildings require a more advanced electrical system in order to support the increased number of electrical devices that are used in an office or industrial setting. Whether you need to upgrade or expand your electrical network, or create room for more components, your local electrician is more than happy to help. Rather than attempting temporary fixes, such as using extension cords, talk with a local professional about professionally installing new electrical outlets or components. Using extension cords as a permanent solution is not only dangerous, but can be against many building codes. When it comes to electrical safety, don't put your employees and customers at risk by pinching pennies.
Whether you need to have new outlets installed, a panel upgrade, or a complete rewire of your home or business, it is always in your best interest to hire an electrician. Depending on the scope of the job, there are many local building codes and national regulations that need to be followed. By relying on a professional, you can expect to receive a safe, complete installation that will last for years to come. Furthermore, most electricians will guarantee their work. If in doubt, call your electrician.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Why DIY Electrical Repairs Should Be Avoided

From make-do-and-mend to do-it-yourself, the practice of repairing and reusing has seen a huge revival in recent years. DIY has crept from the darkness of garden sheds and is now being showcased on every TV channel, with presenters demonstrating just how easy it is to get something done yourself.
Unfortunately, it's a different story when it comes to electrical repairs. Unlike standard DIY projects, attempting electrical projects is not recommended. Without competent training and industry knowledge there is a risk that even the smallest mistake can have a devastating effect not only your property, but on your life.
The Shocking Facts
According to the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), 70 people are killed and 350,000 are seriously injured every year in the UK due to electrical accidents in the home. Many of these accident are due to DIY projects - the most common accidents are electric shocks and burns from contact with live parts and fires caused by faulty appliances.
With wiring hidden away behind walls and beneath floors, it's not surprising that many people are unaware of the dangers posed by electricity. The ESC also claim that aging and faulty wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires, but checking for wear and tear on wiring which is tucked away is frequently overlooked.
Electrical Repairs - Leave it to the Professionals
Qualified electricians are equipped to tackle electrical repairs and installations - leaving it to them is always the safer, sensible option. Reputable electricians are able to provide thorough inspection and test services and can check the wear and tear of your wiring, identifying defects before they become hazardous. Up to date industry knowledge is of huge importance in this field and being unaware of changes to industry standards could have serious consequences.
While it may seem cheaper to do it yourself, the cost of correcting a mistake could be expensive and sadly some mistakes cannot be reversed. There are also legalities such as Part P Compliance which requires all new electrical installations to be undertaken by qualified electricians. Also, new circuit installations must be reported to the local authorities - professional contractors will do this on your behalf.
Avoiding DIY electrical repairs will save you hassle, time and money in the long run. Most importantly, it could save you and your family's health. A certified electrician will offer a warranty on their work and will have their own insurance, giving you peace of mind and alleviating liability.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top 5 Things To Look For When Choosing An Electrician

It's rare that we care about few of the important things while choosing an electrician for our electrical fitting, repair or maintenance services that sometimes leads to continuous engagement of different electricians & overall expenses. Here we will discuss about the top 5 things to look for when choosing an electrician.
1. Certifications, Qualification & Experience: There is a difference between an Engineer and a person who earned knowledge through various of assignments. A person specialized & skilled in his/her field is much more aware about the pros & cons, whereas an inexperienced, unqualified can only make assumptions that may or may not result into expected results.Not all electricians are the same, many will have extra qualifications or experience in different areas of electrical work, and some may even have accreditation. Choosing a Master Electrician gives a guarantee that the electrician has at least 3 years experience and must offer a 12 month warranty on workmanship. Using a Master Electrician will ensure you receive the highest standard of workmanship and electrical safety.
2. Licence and Insurance: An electrician with proper licence are well-trained, aware about that job safety, restriction of their jobs & most important they have got in-depth knowledge of their expertise. There are electricians who are licenced to do electrical works in residential apartment & they are not supposed to carry out any electrical work in commercial or Industrial buildings. Before hiring an electrician we must also check with them about their insurance policies.
3. Value for Money: It's better to make a proper checklist of the work desired, materials we need to accomplished the job & what's the best deal the electrician is offering. Making a selection based on some preliminary task & quotes may result into several more improvements in the quoted job & will also increase the budget. So get a quote from the electrician first based on "affordability, quantity & quality of the task".
4. Behaviour & Attitude: A fair communication, behaviour & attitude between both, the service seeker & the service provider also ends up with good results. But we are humans, we are unexpected & unpredictable, It may be possible the person we are hiring for our services may or may not be of good behaviour & attitude. There are few of the things which can help us to understand them better. Are they committed to their quotes? Did they inform about changes in schedules or delays if occur? Are they comfortable in understanding you & your desired work? You need to be confident that you understand each other so that there are no miscommunications during the project. A professional appearance and attitude is usually reflected in the quality of the workmanship provided.
5. References:A recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust can be invaluable when choosing any type of tradesman or service. Knowing that they have had a positive experience with an electrician, and been happy with the level of service and workmanship is a good endorsement. If you cannot get a recommendation then ask the electrician if they have any references. If possible, call and speak to the referee to make sure that they are legitimate.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Reasons for Why You Need a Commercial Electrician

If you are a commercial business owner, chances are you want to find ways to minimize commercial electrical hazards in the workplace. A majority of accidents that happen at commercial properties are the result of electrical lines coming into contact with water. This would seem like an obvious fix... just do not put water and electricity together. However, there other types of commercial electrical hazards that exist such as electrocution, electric shock and electrical burns. They are not the result of water and electricity mixing. Basically, there are all types of possible electrical hazards that can occur.
Many of such accidents can be avoided if workers receive the proper training on work equipment and if the overall work environment is a safe. This is why a commercial electrician is beneficial for your company. He can help minimize electrical dangers in the work environment. A commercial electrician works in factories, warehouses, control centers and many other types of commercial properties. The electrical work that is done on commercial properties is much different than what is done in residential areas. This is because of the larger amount of power that is used in commercial buildings. Properties such as these normally have numerous types of machines and equipment that require some type of electrical installation, maintenance or repair. Also, there are a lot more codes and regulations that must be followed. These are all things that a commercial electrician can take care of on your behalf.
A commercial electrician has different kinds of job tasks, which are based up his specialization. Basically, he is there to see to it that your company does not have any commercial electrical dangers. For instance, he ensures that equipment does not have a damaged cord or does not have too much power for the power cord that it is plugged into. Or, he ensures that extension cords, wiring and cables are plugged into functioning circuit breakers. If everything is functioning properly, all electricity should shut off completely if it gets too close to water. If these items are not working properly, it could lead to electrical fires. However, if your company has an experienced commercial electrician on board, then he can make sure that your company is not subjected to these types of electrical mishaps and accidents. This can be for new construction as well as for properties that have been existence for a long time.
In conclusion, a commercial electrician will keep your company free from commercial electrical hazards. He is free to set up a power system based upon your plan of action. If you need power in certain areas of your business, then a commercial electrician can map out a plan for you and install wires and make sure that they are invisible to your employees and customers and not present any commercial electrical dangers.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

4 Important Steps To Find An Experienced Electrician

Electrical Contractors- Why You Need Them?
There is a huge demand of skilled and professionally trained electrical contractors among both the residential and commercial clients. The job profile of an electrical contractor includes installing the different electrical appliances, fitting, repairing etc. They can also replace the damaged appliances from your home or office premise.
Top Aspects To Consider
There are few essential aspects to consider when you are looking for skilled and experienced electricians. Have a look at the following steps to consider when you are looking for a reliable and experienced electrical contractor:-
Step 1
Read The Testimonials
The best way to know about the work of the electrical contractor is by speaking with the old or existing customers who have hired them for the project. This will help you to get a good idea about the electrician you have hired for the task. Most of the homeowners who are happy with their electrician will happily refer their services.
Step 2
Many companies send their junior professionals to work on smaller projects. However, you should always check the qualification before hiring them for the task. It's your right to ask questions to the service provider. You should always hire a certified and licensed professional who can do the job within a short span of time.
Step 3
Some of the electrical contractors mainly specialize in installation and repair services. Therefore, you should always explain your requirements to the electrician before choosing them for the task. However, there are many electricians who can work on the different tasks.
Step 4
Get Quotes
Homeowners choose an electrician randomly to deal with the emergency failures. Remember, it's not the right way to hire a professional. You should always do the research and get quotes from two or three electricians before hiring them. Look for a local electrician so that you won't have to pay the transportation bill.
Certification and experience of the electrician make sure that they will complete the task safely. A certified and licensed electrical contractor can offer the best services to the customers. Speak with your friends and family who can also help you find the right professional for the repair and installation task.
You may also look online to find a good electrician. However, you should always check their license.Read the online reviews before hiring them the task. Keep all these great tips in mind to choose the best electrician.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Choosing A Good Electrical Contractor To Work On Your Home

When you are building a home, you have to take into account all the important details. You need to ensure that the structure is durable and will last for years and years to come. You need to purchase the right materials for the essential sections such as the roofing, flooring, and walls. You also need to take into account the necessary utilities such as plumbing and electricity. Above all, you have to ensure the safety of your home so that everyone will able to live comfortably in it. That's why it pays to hire the services of the right professionals, particularly where your utilities are concerned.
Let's take for example hiring a residential electrical contractor. Why is this important and for what purpose do you need their services for? An electrical contractor is a business person or firm that performs specialized construction work. Such work is related to the design, installation, and maintenance of electrical systems. They ensure these systems work in a safe, effective, and environmentally-sound manner. For those who specialize in homes and other residential structures, they are known as residential electrical contractors. They are the ones that allow your homes to be provided with an electrical system that is fully functional and safe.
Selecting qualified personnel who specializes in this field for your home or business can be challenging. It's a lot like choosing the right person to watch over your kids while you're away. Hence, it has to be someone competent enough to provide your home with the safe electrical system it deserves. In other words, you have to choose a professional whom you can trust with the safety of your abode. Of course, this is easier said than done. Most of the time, these professionals advertise themselves using a lot of technical jargon. As a result, ordinary people cannot comprehend their services at all.
Now the first thing you should look out for must be the technical proficiency of the professional. The one that you hire must follow recognized standards of safety and quality. It is important that the professional is licensed in the jurisdiction where your project is located. Second, make sure that the contractor is financially sound and reputable. In order to do this, thoroughly check the background of the contractor as well as what other clients have to say about them. Last but not the least, choose a contractor that has a proper understanding of the needs of your home and is able to address the same.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Dangers of DIY Electrical Installation

Many people enjoy indulging in DIY tasks in their homes. It is usually a big boost to their egos whenever the task goes well. Many people may also perform tasks personally to save the cost of hiring a professional. When it comes to DIY electrical installation, there are many dangers and risks involved. The task is better left to professional electricians. Some home owners are equipped with tools for electrical purposes. However, it is still not advisable to experiment with electrical connections. The results could be hazardous and at times fatal. The risk involved is not worth it. You had better incur some costs of hiring an electrician and be safe.
There are several dangers that come with DIY electrical installation. The most common one is electrocution. You will be at a risk of being electrocuted if you touch live wires. Electrocution could also result if wrongly cut through cables. This could result to serious burns that could render you being disabled for the rest of your life. It could also lead to heart failure leading to death. Should a friend or family member try to save you from being electrocuted, he will face the same risk.
Poorly installed electrical cables could lead to fires. A fire could result if the wiring is incorrect, badly insulated or loose. A fire could start in the electric socket and spread to other parts of the house. Why risk burning your house down if you can hire an electrician? You could be doing the installation to save the extra cost. However, after burning up your home, you will incur much higher costs of replacing your belongings. Apparently, the DIY installation is not worth it.
Conducting unlicensed electrical installation could cost you high fines. Unlicensed electrical work is illegal. Should any damage result, you could face a penalty of as high as two hundred thousand dollars. You may also be legally charged and suffer a jail term of up to three years. Damages in your home resulting from unlicensed electrical work may not be compensated by your insurance company. Thus, if any loss occurs, the home owner will bear it.
The DIY homeowner may not understand the correct size for wires and cables. Electric wires come in many sizes and types. The type and size of wire will determine the manner in which it is used. If the wrong size is installed, overheating may result. The wires should match the appliances with which they are used. The wires used for appliances like television are different from those used for electric cookers. Many homeowners are not armed with this kind of knowledge.
While doing electrical installations, the power boards should not be overloaded. DIY electrical installations could result to overloading of power outlets and power board. This could lead to straining of the circuits. The same case applies for electrical box connections. Electrical boxes are meant to give protection against external elements. Inexperienced people may overload the electrical box. This will in turn result to overheating and short circuiting. By seeking the assistance of a qualified electrician, such scenarios can be avoided.
It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with a minor electrical installation or a major one. You still need to hire a qualified electrician. Mistakes can be made even when performing simple tasks such as installing light bulbs. You may put a bulb with a higher wattage than a socket. There will be a risk of overheating. The socket will burn and cease functioning. You are likely to keep replacing bulbs and sockets every now and then. This is not economical at all. In fact, the risks and costs of DIY electrical installation exceed the cost of hiring an electrician by far.

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