Winter Electrical Safety Tips

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

The winter months can get quite cold here in Maryland, prompting people to pull out their “get warm and stay warm” gear. Here are a few winter electrical safety tips to keep in mind before you plug in your preferred winter items. Space Heaters According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), space heaters cause over 65,000 home fires each year. If you plan to use a space heater, be sure you’re doing it safely and only as needed. Never leave your space heater unattended when turned on. Be sure to keep them at least four feet from any curtains

Continue Reading

Electrical Standards 101 for Landlords

Electrical Standards 101 for Landlords

As a landlord, you take on a great responsibility to maintain a safe and habitable dwelling for your current and future tenants. That responsibility extends to having essential services available within the home, including utilities like electricity, heat, running water, and sewage disposal. Meeting these basic living standards for your tenants falls under the implied warranty of habitability. With electrical standards, do you know where your responsibility ends, and your tenant begins? Your Responsibility as a Landlord In many states, including Maryland, as the landlord, you must provide a working electrical system throughout the home or unit before the tenant

Continue Reading

Why is My Electrical Outlet Hot?

Why is My Electrical Outlet Hot

If you have an electrical outlet or two in your house that feels warm to the touch, you might assume that it’s something that just happens sometimes. The truth is, it can be an extremely dangerous situation, and you must not waste time getting to the bottom of it! How Do I Know If My Hot Outlet is Bad? The first thing you should do is to unplug everything from the electrical outlet. Wait an hour with everything unplugged and recheck the outlet. If it’s still hot, you’ve got a faulty outlet. If it’s cooled down, that lets you know

Continue Reading

Operating Your Backup Generator Safely This Winter

Operating Your Backup Generator Safely This Winter

Bad weather and power outages are no fun, but it’s even worse in the winter. If a major storm comes through, you and your family could be left in the cold for hours or even days before power is restored. A backup generator can keep your fridge at the right temperature and allow your family to stay warm, no matter the temperature outside. Is your backup generator ready to operate safely this winter? If it hasn’t been turned on recently, now is the time to do some maintenance to make sure it’s prepared, in case the power goes out. Here

Continue Reading

Your Whole House Surge Protector

Your Whole House Surge Protector

When a power surge hits, it can destroy or damage your electronic equipment. Most electrical equipment is made to run at a specific voltage. Although these devices can typically handle slight variations… surges take their toll on almost all electric equipment in your home. Surges can come from internal or external sources. The most significant external surge threat comes from lightning, even when it’s far away from your house. Consider installing a whole-house surge protector. Surge Protectors Can Save Your Electronics In most homes, you find a few power strips dotted around the house, especially by the computer or in

Continue Reading

Smoke Alarms with Ten-Year Batteries

Smoke Alarms with Ten Year Batteries

Does your smoke alarm chirp at you at the most inconvenient times? If so, you probably have older style models with 9-volt batteries. If you do, here’s your chance to learn about updating to newer smoke alarms with ten-year sealed batteries in them. The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Just like the electrical code, and other building codes that look out for consumer safety, your smoke alarms are subject to the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 2013 72). These standards ensure your safety in the event of a fire in your home. It requires smoke alarms to

Continue Reading

Converting from Aluminum to Copper Wiring

Converting from Aluminum to Copper Wiring

If you’re living in a house built between 1965 and 1973, chances are you don’t have copper wiring throughout your home. This is problematic for a variety of reasons. As the older aluminum wiring ages, it creates an increased fire hazard. Electrical fires are the third most common cause of house fires, after cooking and heating. If you are thinking of selling your home, this is something you will have to address. You may pay higher insurance premiums or be unable to obtain homeowner’s insurance with aluminum wiring. Why Weren’t Houses Built With Copper Wiring? If aluminum wiring presents a

Continue Reading

Is Your Electrical Wiring Up to Date?

Is Your Electrical Wiring Up to Date

Has the wiring in your home ever been updated? When was your house built? Think about the difference in the number of electrical devices we used then, and what we use now. Chances are, unless your home is relatively new, your power requirements have increased since it was built. Why Replace Your Wiring? The most obvious reason is safety. Did you know that, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, the leading cause of fires in the home is faulty wiring? Another reason to consider updating your wiring is to improve the ability to keep up with current power demands.

Continue Reading

Top Causes of Electrical Fires

Top Causes of Electrical Fires

The risk of electrical fires is one of the reasons why you should always use a licensed electrician to do electrical work at your home or place of business. But what are some of the causes of electrical fires? Let’s look at some of the most common causes.  Faulty Outlets and Appliances Can Cause Electrical Fires  When you’re using outdated appliances, you may have problems with frayed cords that can cause kitchen electrical fires. If your appliance wiring and outlets are both using outdated connections, you are also at risk of a fire occurring. If you combine these two problems, you are tempting fate and putting your safety at risk.  Improper

Continue Reading

Backup Generator for Your Home

Should You Get a Backup Generator for Your Home

The way the weather is these days, you never know when a massive storm is coming your way… complete with power outages. When power outages affect a large area, it’s nothing but heartache and headache. The food in the refrigerator and freezer spoils. The temperature goes out of control in the house. You lose the ability to have hot water and access to your stove and oven. TV is out of the question… even your internet goes silent. It doesn’t have to be this way. A backup generator can eliminate this problem when bad weather comes to call. A portable

Continue Reading

Electricity for Your Pier and Boat Lift

Electricity for Your Pier and Boat Lift

When boating season hits, there’s no stopping a boat enthusiast. Some people will even “make-do” and rig up their own pier electricity… they might even patch together extension cords. This is so dangerous. Don’t get lost in your excitement for the boating season. Installing and using pier electricity around water requires a licensed electrician. Otherwise, it’s a dangerous proposition. Safety First – Inspect all Electrical Connections The same way you would have your home’s HVAC system checked twice a year, you should have your existing electrical connections for your pier and boat lift inspected at the beginning and end of

Continue Reading