Tag Archives: electricity

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

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

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Overloaded By Electrical Concerns? Get Grounded!

A home’s electrical work is something most people rarely give any thought to… until it goes wrong. By keeping up to date with maintenance and repair, a homeowner can save thousands of dollars, and thousands of headaches, by nipping potential hazards in the bud. Not only can updating your home’s wiring, breakers, and appliances improve your home’s safety, but it can increase the value when it comes time to put it on the market – not to mention saving you a fortune on utility bills!

How to Tell if Your Home Needs an Update

There are various indicators that your home may need an electrical update. Common signs include the following:

  • Fuses that blow frequently
  • Tripped breakers
  • Flickering lights
  • Appliances that work inconsistently or not at full power
  • Old, stripped wires

If you notice any of these signs in your home, you have every reason to suspect that your electrical system is outdated and needs attention now. Putting off electrical repairs or updates not only puts your family at risk, but it means you’re using more energy than you need to. Pay close attention to electrical panels that are old and damaged wiring because it is things like these that can easily lead to hazards such as electric shocks and electrocution.

Electrical Panel Concerns

Are you looking for a way to get the most out of your home electricity usage? You may need an Electrical electrical panel upgrade. Older homes may not always have updated electrical panels because of technology changes. Many people think that homes built in the mid-19th century or before are the only homes that need upgrades. As unbelievable as it may seem, even homes built in the early 2000s may not be equipped to handle the amount of electricity the modern-day household generates.

If you’re installing a new home theater system, a state-of-the-art security system, or you’re adding exterior lighting to your home, it’s possible that your current electrical panel will not be sufficient enough. Power overloads present real dangers to households and can lead to electrical fires. Regardless of how old your home is, if you’re adding major electrical components to your home, check with a local electrician to make sure your electrical system is equipped to handle the increased usage.

Don’t Attempt Electrical Repairs on Your Own

The value of a professional electrical contractor should never be dismissed. Qualified electricians understand the intricacies of residential systems and know how to make upgrades that are safe and useful. While not all electrical work is rocket science or unsafe, it is still complicated. If you’re not a licensed electrician, you could hook up the wiring incorrectly or install a plug the wrong way and end up putting your home’s entire electrical system at risk. The end result of this kind of DIY project is a hefty repair bill.

Always consider allowing practiced and insured electricians, such as those at Tiger Electrical Services, to take care of any upgrades or repairs. Sit back and relax. Why put yourself through an exhausting DIY project when you don’t have to?

Electrical Upgrades and Repairs Increase Your Home’s Value

Today’s modern technology requires households to be plugged in 24/7. Suoccupational-safety-and-health-1038550_960_720re, many things like DVR systems, the Internet, and home security systems utilize wireless technology, but you still need a power electrical system to handle the basic electrical components of these various technologies. If you have plans to sell your home in the future, a property that has the ability to keep up with the demands of modern technology will be worth more than a property with an outdated, electrical system.

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

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at
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The Buzz About Electrical Safety!

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Springtime and warmer weather bring about a flurry of activity in the Metro East — inside the home and outdoors — as well as the potential for accidents. Just as homeowners begin wrapping up their spring cleaning or landscaping in the yard, National Electrical Safety Month in May provides a good time to revisit the importance of safety when working around electrical lines or equipment.

Homeowners are seven times more likely to be injured at home than at work, according to the National Safety Council. For residents considering any home improvement repairs such as roof work, exterior painting, landscaping, or building a patio, following a few simple precautions can help avoid a painful and costly accident.

“We want to make sure our customers have all the information they need to stay safe this spring and summer as the warm weather rolls in,” said Ken Bowman, PECO’s (Pennsylvania Electric Company’s) manager of safety and industrial hygiene. “For example, it is critical that customers stay clear of the service cable that supplies power to the home. And, if you are going to work underground, call to have all the underground pipes and wires marked for your safety.”

“When it comes to any electrical work inside your home or working near power lines or underground cable, the smartest thing to do is to hire a licensed professional,” Boyle continued. “It is difficult at times distinguish between a phone line, cable line or power line or know the proper safety precautions. This work is sometimes best left to the experts.”

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The following are a few simple safety tips that homeowners should follow while working inside and outside of the home. For more information on electric safety, visit our website.

  • Inspect your home for electrical safety. Check outlets and extension cords to make sure they are not overloaded. Examine electrical cords to make sure they are not frayed, damaged, or placed under rugs or carpets. Make sure the proper watt light bulbs are being used in light fixtures and lamps. Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in areas that can get wet such as the kitchen, bathrooms, or outdoors. Test your smoke detector batteries annually.
  • Hire a licensed professional to do the work. An older home may be inadequately wired for today’s electrical usage, putting your family at risk for fire and electrical shock. Hire a licensed professional to replace worn and outdated circuitry and add additional outlets to accommodate appliances and electronics.
  • Use electrical tools wisely. Inspect your electrical tools on a regular basis, including large tools such as table saws, drill presses, and bench grinders. Look for frayed power cords, broken plugs, or cracked housings. Never use a damaged product. Never use electrical tools in the rain or in wet areas — specifically, do not use electrically powered lawn mowers on wet grass. Use three-pronged outlets and plugs. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment like face shields, glasses, gloves, and boots. Refer to the owner’s manual for recommended protective equipment.
  • Call before you dig. When working underground, “call before you dig” — whether you are planting a tree, building a fence, or laying a building foundation, contacting an underground line can be harmful. Call Illinois One Call at 1-800-892-0123, three working days in advance, to have underground utility lines marked for safety.
  • Work safely outdoors. Be sure to use extension cords marked for outdoor use. An indoor extension cord can result in electric shock or cause a fire hazard when used outdoors. Call a licensed professional if your home repairs require work near power lines.
  • Look up, stay away, stay alive. Even momentary contact with electric lines can injure or kill. This applies to lines attached to utility poles as well as those entering buildings. Always keep yourself, your equipment, and anything you carry at least ten feet away from power lines. Contractors and other professionals needing to work within ten feet of a power line should call Ameren (1-800-755-5000) or SWEC (1-800-262-0326) in advance to make arrangements to protect the work area. Be aware of power lines that run through tree limbs and branches. Climbing or trimming trees near power lines is dangerous. Trees located near aerial power lines should always be trimmed by a qualified contractor.

It only takes a moment to pick up the phone and call a licensed professional to look over the area before you begin. The safety of yourself, your family, and your home is what matters most to us. Visit our website or call us to schedule an appointment today.

 

photo credit: Power Lines via photopin (cc)

photo credit: DIY… via photopin (cc)

Be Prepared for Spring Storms!

Thunderstorm_stock_by_AphoticbeautyDamaging spring storms that can disrupt electrical service to homes and businesses are a fact of life in Southern Illinois. Utility companies continually prepare for unavoidable storm outages to ensure service is restored as quickly as possible; however, there are steps homeowners can take as well to make sure they’re prepared for – and stay safe – during storm-related power outages. We offer the following tips and suggestions:

small_7932506788There are a handful of tasks homeowners can do to prepare for a storm beforehand, such as assemble an emergency kit that is easily accessible. It should include a battery-powered radio or television, a flashlight with extra batteries, candles and matches or a lighter, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water, non-perishable food and a can opener. Make sure you have recently changed the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Homeowners should keep a corded or cell phone on hand because cordless telephones need electricity to operate. One should learn how to manually open automatic garage doors. Homeowners who depend on electrically powered medical equipment should ask their physician about a battery back-up system. If one is elderly, or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, he or she should develop an emergency plan that allows for alternative accommodations with family or friends. Those who depend on a well for drinking water should definitely have bottled water on hand.

Rainy DayDuring a storm, additional precautions should be followed. Stay at least ten feet away from downed power lines and anything that they may be touching, especially metal fences. Treat every downed power line as if it were energized. Keep children and pets out of the area.

Downed power lines should be reported immediately to the utility company so the hazard can be assessed and marked off until repair crews arrive. Ameren Illinois customers should report power outages, and down lines, to Ameren’s website, or call 1-800-755-5000.  Southwest Electric Cooperative customers should report power outages or down lines by calling 1-800-262-0326. Don’t assume they know your power is out. After a power outage is reported, the utility company can assess the extent of the damage and dispatch crews to make the necessary repairs.

If you lose power, don’t open refrigerators and freezers more often than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for twelve hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days. Partially thawed food or food that has ice crystals usually can be refrozen. Never use a gas range for heating, or charcoal as an indoor heating or cooking source during a power outage. Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Tiger provides whole house surge protectors to prevent overloads and surges at the main panel. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored.

If using a portable generator, disconnect house circuits from utility power lines. Pull or switch to “off” all main fuses or circuit breakers to protect line crews working to restore service. Always operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes. During low-voltage conditions, such as “brownouts” – when lights are dim and television pictures are smaller – shut off motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators to prevent possible damage. Sensitive electronic devices also should be unplugged. Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets or any electrically-operated appliance. The water or moisture may serve as a conductor of electricity. This can cause serious or even fatal injury.

To learn more about our storm preparedness products, or to schedule an electrical safety assessment of your home, contact the professionals at Tiger Electrical Services today by calling 1-866-844-3770 or visiting www.TrustTiger.com.
Content Sources: Ameren Illinois and Southwest Electric Cooperative

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Photo 3 credit: americanvirus via flickr