Category Archives: Electrical Safety

Common Household Electricity Hazards That Need to be Addressed

characters-696951_960_720Electricity is a valuable resource that is interwoven within just about every aspect of our daily lives. It is easy to take the electricity in our lives for granted. When we flip a switch, we just naturally assume that the lights will come on and work safely. Thanks to modern electrical advances and skilled Electricians, like ours, electricity is generally safe to use. However, electricity is still dangerous if not used properly or when electrical concerns go unaddressed. Be on the lookout for these all too common household electricity issues that could be dangerous for you or your family.

5 Common Household Electricity Issues:

1.  Using the wrong light bulbs.

It is important to check the wattage rating on your lamps and light fixtures. Make sure that you never use higher wattage light bulbs than your lamp fixture is designed to handle. The heat put Electricity off by higher wattage light bulbs can melt through and/or scorch your fixture’s socket and wiring. This is a leading cause of electrical fires in residential homes. Keep in mind that using the wrong light bulb may not cause a fire right away, it typically takes time, but it is best to avoid that risk altogether and use the right wattage light bulbs.

2. You do not have enough electrical outlets.

If you find yourself using extension cords and power strips throughout your home, you may want to consider having a few more electrical outlets installed. Using a few heavy-duty extension cords in your home is usually perfectly safe. Just remember to avoid overloading the circuits and that these cords are free from damage or obstruction. However, the best option is to have more outlets installed, especially in rooms that use the most electrical devices.

3. Your home is lacking Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).

Properly installed and maintained GFCIs play a vital role in protecting your ho355560me. GFCIs are designed to shut down an electrical current when there is moisture present or a circuit becomes overloaded. This protects you and your family from dangerous and possibly deadly shocks. Once the GFCIs shut down the current you are required to push a button next to the receptacle to get the current flowing again. GFCIs should always be used in locations where water maybe present, kitchens and bathrooms are particularly vulnerable. GFCIs are required in all new homes, but if you do live in an older home it is possible that you are missing GFCIs in key locations. You will want to upgrade to GFCIs to make your home safer.

4. Frayed or damaged outdoor wiring.

Outdoor electricity is a major convenience, but since it is exposed to the elements, wiring is vulnerable to damage. If you notice your outdoor electrical fixtures behaving oddly, it is time to call in the experts. For example, if your outdoor lights tend to flicker, this is a sign that your wiring could be frayed or damaged and in need of repairs, to avoid a potential fire hazard.

 5. Your outlets are damaged.

Have you noticed a plug-in that is loose or a little wobbly in an outlet? If so, it is time to replace that outlet. Loose connections can often lead to sparks which create a fire hazard. This makes it a much safer option for you to have all of the damaged or loose outlets in your home replaced by one of our expert Electricians.

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Electrical Safety Tips to Help Protect Your Home and Family this Season

Fall has finally arrived and as the cooler temperatures begin to roll in it is important to keep the following electrical safety tips in mind to help protect your home and family.

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Electrical Safety Tips for the Fall

  1. Be sure to only use weatherproof electrical devices and lights outdoors.
  2. Clear away all debris and leaves from outdoor power cords and outlets.
  3. Test all smoke and CO detectors and change batteries as needed.
  4. Replace all damaged or frayed electrical cords inside and outside of yoElectrical Safety Tipsur home.
  5. If you use electric blankets, make sure they are working properly and the power cords are not damaged or frayed.
  6. Replace loose plugs to prevent overheating or electrical fires.
  7. Have your circuit breakers inspected if you are having to reset them constantly.
  8. With the holidays coming up, remember not to overload your outlets with too many plug ins.
  9. Be careful where you place extension cords and remember to never run cords underneath rugs or furniture.
  10. Remember to have one of our Electricians perform an electrical tuneup and safety inspection to ensure all of your electrical components are functioning properly.

Follow these electrical safety tips this fall and have a safe and fun season!

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Warning Signs it is Time to Replace Your Electrical Outlets

Think fast, how many electrical outlets do you have in your home? You probably cannot count all of them off the top of your head. However, these helpful little plugs make our lives easier and allows us to enjoy all of the conveniences that accompany our many electrical devices.

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Outlets are one of those items in our homes that we take for granted. We continually plug our electronics in and out without much thought. It is easy to just assume that these power sources will always work when we need them. Unfortunately, outlets do sometimes fail us when we need them most. The key to preventing an unexpected, unpleasant surprise is to be able to tell ahead of time when your outlets are starting wear out and have them replaced.

Warning Signs it is Time to Replace Your Electrical Outlets:

1. You notice sparking when you plug and unplug items.*

2. Outlets are not properly grounded.outlets

3. The prongs on your plugs are no longer fitting correctly in the outlet.

4. An outlet produces smoke or burning smells.*

5. You hear unusual sounds coming from an outlet.*

6. The outlet appears worn out or damaged.

7. Outlet or wiring was installed incorrectly.

* Can be an indication an electrical fire or other serious issue that requires immediate attention.

When to Consider Upgrades:

You may find that upgrading and/ or having more outlets installed to be extremely beneficial in your home. For example; by having one of our Certified Electricians install more outlets  you can greatly reduce the number of power strips and extension cords throughout your home. Your home will be safer and there will less unsightly cords laying around everywhere. Call us at (866)844-3770 to have your electrical needs evaluated today!

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Transform Your Home with Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting offers several great benefits for your home. Everything from increased safety to enhancing your curb appeal, a little outdoor lighting really goes a long way!

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Landscape Lighting Benefits:

-Safety:

Safety is probably the most obvious benefit of landscape lighting. A fewlamp-1304959_960_720 well-placed lights along your walking path can really make a big difference. Not only will you be able to see where you’re walking at night, you’ll also be able to better spot and avoid common nighttime nuisances. For example; spider webs seem to be everywhere during the warmer months and walking into one unexpectedly at night can be a cause for panic! During the winter months, outdoor lighting can help you see slippery, icy spots and avoid a major injury.

-Convenience:

Unloading groceries and finding your keyhole are a whole lot easier in the light. Porch and patio lights, especially the automatic kinds, will light your way and make everyday tasks easier when the sun goes down.

-Security:

Adding security and protection are the biggest advantages that landscape lighting has to offer. A well-lit home is an unappealing target for criminals, making your home safer from break-ins. If your home is surrounded by trees or seems to be particularly dark at night, some outdoor lighting can go a long way in keeping your home safe. After al,l no one wants to break into a home with a bright spotlight on their back. Motion sensor security lights are great options for garages, back doors, patios, sheds or any other vulnerable entrances to your home.

 -Ambiance:

Landscape lighting is alamps-918495_960_720n easy and beautiful way to enhance your outdoor space. The options for outdoor lighting designs are endless and some well-placed lighting will make your home feel more inviting. You can highlight trees and other home features you’re proud of. Create a warm and comfortable outdoor seating area. Use string lights to give your backyard an almost magical feel. And there are at least 101 more possibilities with landscape lighting. Feeling a little overwhelmed?  Don’t! Our Certified Electricians can help you decide on the best outdoor designs that fit your needs and personality.

 Landscape Lighting Upgrades:

Whether you’re looking to increase your home’s safety, convenience, security or ambiance, the Certified Electricians here at Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical Services have the skills and knowledge to transform your home with landscape lighting. Give us a call today at 866-844-3770 or visit us are TrustTiger.com and learn how we can assist you, with all of your outdoor lighting needs.

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12 Maintenance Tasks to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

Summer is on its way and in the Midwest that means we need to be ready for an abundance of heat, humidity and summertime pests. Is your home ready for the long summer months? If you are not sure, you may need to run through this maintenance checklist designed to help you get through the summer months in comfort.

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1. Screen Check: On cooler days it may be tempting to open your windows and allow the cross breeze to cool your home. But with a mild winter: bugs, mosquitoes and tiny pests will be out in force and you will want to keep them outside where they belong. Take some time to inspect your window screens and storm door screens and make sure they are not damaged or have holes.

2. Replace Your F142614_image1urnace Filter: It may seem odd to be worrying about your furnace ahead of summer time, but keep in mind that your AC system and your furnace work together. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may need to clean and/or replace it monthly to ensure that your heating and cooling equipment are functioning properly.

3. Look for Leaks: Inspect all outdoor hoses for damages and leaks. This task is especially important if your hose was exposed to the winter elements.

4. Venture Up to the Attic: You should inspect your attic at least once or twice a year and before summer hits is a good time to explore this space. You are looking for any signs of damage caused by winter weather or spring time storms. Leaks are your main concern because a little water damage can go a long way in the form of mold and mildew growth in your home. Additionally, leaks in your attic will eventually make their way down and come through your ceiling. First check out your attic when it is raining and see if you can see any signs of leaks. Then when the sun finally comes back out, head back up to your attic and turn off all the lights and see if you can see the light shining through anywhere it is not supposed to. While you are up in your attic be on the lookout for signs of pests or insects turning your home into theirs.

5. Explore Your Basement: After you are done inspecting your attic, head downstairs and check for signs of leaks, pests, insects or mold growth. Basements tend to be the darkest, dampest and coolest place in your house, making it the perfect home for mold and insects to invade. Also be on the lookout for cracks and other signs of damage in your basement walls and/or foundation.

6. Battery Tests: This is the perfect time to test the batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Remember safety first!

7.  Make Sure Your AC Can Take the Pressure: Before the temperatures climb much higher, it is best to have one of our Heating and Cooling Experts inspect and tune-up your Air Conditioning equipment. The last thing you want to do on a hot summer day is to turn on your AC for some much needed relief, only to discover it does not work! Beat the rush and call 866-844-3770.

8. Dust Your Fans: Prevent dust from flying off of your fan blades and take a few moments to dust your ceiling fans.

9. Avoid a Shockin262062g Surprise: Turn to one of our Certified Electricians to inspect your outdoor electrical outlets and light fixtures. Having your outlet electrical wiring inspected once a year is vital to your home’s safety. Wires can become frayed or damaged over time by the elements and wildlife.

10. Keep the Air Flowing: Clean and dust the air vents in your home. When vents become dirty and dusty, the air from your air conditioner cannot flow as easily, causing your cooling equipment to work harder, costing you more money on your power bill and shortening the life of your AC Unit. Plus, the dust on vents are blown into the air you breathe when you turn on your air conditioner.

11. Gutter Check: If you skipped cleaning your gutters during your spring cleaning, then it is time to grab a ladder and take care of this unpleasant task ASAP. Clogged gutters can cause a lot of expensive damage to your roof and foundation.

12. Get Your Ducts in a Row: Dirty air ducts lead to several serious issues to your home and health. When you turn on your heating or cooling equipment the air is pushed through your duct work and all of the dirt, dust, allergens, dander and other tiny particles are released into the air you and your family breathe; lowering the air quality in your home and leading to health issues and concerns. Additionally, dirty duct work will damage your AC and furnace equipment, leading to costly repairs and early replacements needed.

Have A Great Summer!

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May is National Electrical Safety Month

May has arrived! Meaning two things; one, spring is in full bloom and two, it is National Electrical Safety Month! Everyone knows that electricity can be dangerous but you can remove some of that danger by following these electrical safety tips!

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Electrical Safety Tips for Both Inside and Outside of Your Home: 

  • Don’t run cords under carpets. They can overheat and you cannot see if a cord has become damaged; shock or fire can result.
  • Don’t unplug appliances by pulling on the cord. Grip from the plug and pull to prevent damage to and potential exposure of wires.
  • Appliances with damaged cords increase the risk of electrical shock. Cords that are cut, broken or whose insulation has cracked should be replaced before using the appliance.
  • Water and electricity are a deadly combination. Keep electrical wires and appliances away from water. Use GFCI protected outlets when using appliances or tools near water.
  • If you witness someone receiving an electrical shock, call 911. Never touch someone being shocked unless the electricity has been shut off.
  • Always unplug or disconnect power when working on light fixtures or appliances.
  • Never put your finger in a light bulb socket. Disconnect power before attempting to remove a broken bulb.
  • Never use water to put out an electrical fire. Call the fire department. If an electrical appliance is involved, unplug it first if safe to do so. Use a dry chemical fire extinguisher or baking soda to put out the fire.cloud-71366_960_720
  • Head inside a car or building when you see lightning. Avoid wide open spaces and tall trees since lightning is attracted to the tallest object in a given area.
  • Get out of the water if swimming outside when it’s lightning.
  • Do not attempt to trim tree branches or cut down trees near power lines. Call the power company or a licensed contractor. The voltage carried by overhead wires can travel along objects that come in contact with them and be deadly.
  • Before proceeding with digging deeper than turning the soil in your garden, call your electrical company to ensure no buried cables are in the area. Striking buried lines can cause serious injury or death.
  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • In homes with small children, unused wall sockets and extension cord receptacles should have plastic safety covers.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have them checked by an electrician.
  • When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.

 

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Stay Warm, Stay Safe: Portable Generator Safety 101

Brr…it’s cold outside and many of us keep a backup portable generator (or two) around in case of power outages. A generator can be a lifesaver on freezing winter days when power fails us. However, generators can be extremely dangerous as well and it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep your home and your family safe.

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Portable Generator Safety 101

The main hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution and fire. There are some easy steps you can take to protect yourself against these hazards.

To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards:

  • Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.smoke-315874_640
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.

To Avoid Electrical Hazards:

  • Keep the generator dry. Op102754_image4 copyerate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
  • Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord.
  • Make sure a tire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as back feeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
  • If it is necessary to connect a generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.

To Avoid Fire Hazards:

  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
  • Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.

Stay safe this winter!

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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Holiday Decorations: Tips to Make Decorating Safer

The holiday season has arrived and many of us are in decoration mode. All of these fun holiday decorations really do brighten our homes and neighborhoods. However, it is important to decorate with some caution, in order to protect your home and family from a potential holiday accident. Here are a few tips to make decorating your home for holidays saferchristmas-315661_960_720 1. Inspect your holiday lights before going through the process of hanging them

Everyone loves holiday lights! They’re festive, bright and available in so many different fun colors, but it’s important to inspect each strand you use for frayed wires or loosened bulbs that could pose a fire hazard.

2. Remember to turn off your lights overnight

It’s tempting to leave those cheery lights on all night long but it’s best to let those lights rest. Plus, leaving that many lights on around the clock will leave you with an unpleasant surprise in January when you open your power bill.light-562557_960_720

3. Ensure that your lights are secure

Loose lights are a serious tripping hazard. Especially for small children or pets.

4. Use ribbon not wire hooks

If you have small children in your home, those wire hooks on your ornaments can be really dangerous. Instead, swap those hooks out for some festive ribbon or string.

5. Spring for the shatterproof ornaments

This is another tip for homes with children and/or pets (or clumsy adults). Glass ornaments are fragile and will likely break if they fall from the tree. And the last thing you want is broken glass everywhere.

6. Bells are a great defense

 Holiday bells on your tree not only make great decorations but they’re also a brilliant warning system if little hands or paws get too close to the tree.

7. Little mouths require larger ornaments

Pets and small kids sometimes can’t resist grabbing a hold of colorful objects and popping them in their mouths. That’s why it’s wise to spring for larger ornaments.

8. Be smart when using candlesadvent-wreath-1069961_960_720

Candles unquestionably add a little extra holiday flare. Just remember to be smart and never leave them unattended.

9. Don’t use a ladder by yourself

Ladders can be dangerous and you never want to use them to hang decorations unless someone is with you, just in case.

10. Choose your tree wisely

If you’re opting for a real tree this year, you’ll want to ensure to pick one that’s not a dried out fire hazard. Look for a tree with green, healthy needles are that harder to remove. Check the trunk and make sure it’s sticky to the touch. Give the tree a good shake or bounce on the ground, if a lot of needles fall, the tree is dried out.

11. Use caution when decorating around the fireplace

Don’t place the tree or other decorations too close to the fireplace. And when decorating the fireplace, make sure that your stockings, garland and other decorations are hanging high and away from the flames.

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12. Use electricity wisely (Bonus holiday lights tips)

On average each year there are 150 House fires caused by holiday lights.

  • Never link more than three strands of lights together
  • If your wires become warm to the touch, unplug them immediately
  • Don’t leave your home with your lights still on
  • Don’t use a cracked or damaged wall socket
  • Do contact a professional electrician to have an electrical audit performed, to ensure that your home is ready for all of your holiday decorating fun!
  • To learn more about holiday electrical safety call us at 1.888.9TIGER4 or feel free to check us out online at TrustTiger.com.

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If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

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