What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out

 

Dealing with a power outage in your home can range from a minor inconvenience to a potentially dangerous situation. How you respond, how you handle the problem, and how well you’re prepared are all defining factors how an outage can affect you, your home, and your appliances. That’s why today we’re going to discuss the vital things you need to know when the power goes out.

How to Respond to a Power Outage

Outages are rarely, if ever, something you can expect to happen. They usually come without warning, either due to a storm or because of an issue with your power supplier. Because of this you need to know what to do. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Locate a source of information:If at all possible, you want to know how long to expect the outage to last, and what caused it. The best options are often radios and smartphones, which are a great way to gather information and report your outage.
  • Shut off your appliances:Your appliances are now dangerous, so shut them off. If the outage is caused by a storm or incident (downed lines, for example) then you want to shut down your power supply altogether. The resurgence of power caused by power reconnecting to your home can be dangerous, and can severely damage appliances. This is especially true if the power flickers repeatedly.
  • Avoid sources of water during storms: If there is severe weather and flooding, you want to avoid all puddles, pools, and sources of standing water. Exposed power lines and wiring can be lurking in these, and this is a very real and very dangerous threat against your life and health.
  • Respond effectively to the temperature:Keep in mind that you’ll be losing HVAC during this time, so if it is cold outdoors bundle up, and if it’s hot drink plenty of safe water (bottled, preferably).

How Can You Prepare for a Power Outage?

The following are two good ways to prepare in advance for power outages:

Surge protection devices: Power surges and fluctuations in power can do serious property damage, and can even pose some risks to personal health. To combat this, whole-home surge protectors and lightning arresters are a great way to prepare and protect your home.

Home portable and standby generators: Generators are one of the most ideal all-in-one solutions out there. They’re an investment, yes, but one that is worth it when it comes to convenience and safety. The best option lies in a whole-home system (equipped with an automatic transfer switch for instant power), but even a portable unit can help with food preservation and temperature control.

Prepare for Power Outages with FAB Electric

Are you looking to equip your home with top of the line protection and prevention equipment? Then FAB Electric is your ideal partner! Call FAB Electric for fast, reliable, and comprehensive electrical service. If you are experiencing electrical issues or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

What Appliances Should Be on a Dedicated Circuit?

 

Proper electrical function and access in a home is necessary to support normal daily activity. As you know, we need power for lights, cooking, security, entertainment, and more! Though many of these can be wired to operate on the same circuit, there are some that absolutely must be placed on a singular, dedicated circuit. In this article, we will explain why a dedicated circuit is a must for certain appliances, big and small.

What are Dedicated Circuits?

Dedicated circuits are circuits that are completely devoted to powering a single appliance or electrical application. They have a singular purpose, and their own place is in your breaker box where they are completely separate and do not interact with other circuits and outlets in your home.

Dedicated circuits should be used for any appliance that draws large amounts of power on a consistent basis (fridges, HVAC, etc.) or things that pull a sudden and heavy draw (hair dryers, microwaves, etc.).

Why Do I Need Dedicated Circuits?

It may seem a bit frustrating to go through all of the effort to get a dedicated circuit for each and every one of the items described above. But it’s very important! Ensuring the proper appliances are on a dedicated circuit prevents a lot of common home risks, helping keep you and your property safe. Doing so is also part of the standardized NEC safety codes.

By using dedicated circuits, you can avoid:

  • Flickering lights
  • Breaker trips
  • Potential home fires
  • Appliance damage
  • Risks of electrical shock

Appliances that Must be on a Dedicated Circuit

An easy rule of thumb to follow when it comes to dedicated circuits is that anything that is fixed (installed and not moved around) should be on a dedicated circuit. Such things would typically include:

  • Refrigerators and standing freezers
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Ovens, stoves, and ranges
  • Hot water heaters
  • Sump pump systems
  • Microwaves
  • Certain televisions

There are also plenty of smaller and mobile items that should also be used on dedicated circuits, such as:

  • Portable space heaters
  • Window air conditioners
  • Hair dryers
  • Toasters
  • And more

Because of this need for dedicated outlets for smaller items, our experts frequently recommend that a “general use” dedicated circuit be installed in many rooms throughout the home. A general use outlet in a bathroom, for example, allows for the safe use of hair dryers when needed, while one in the living room allows for plugging in a space heater or Christmas tree in the winter season.

Trust FAB Electric to Install Dedicated Circuits and Outlets

Think your home needs more dedicated circuits or outlets, or are you not certain and looking for a professional assessment? We’ve got you covered! Call FAB Electric for fast, reliable, and comprehensive electrical service. If you are experiencing electrical issues or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

Electrical Tips for Home Additions

 

Have some renovations or home additions in the works for your DC area home? Great news! Before you do so, though, be sure to keep in mind that some additions almost always mean electrical work, and there are a lot of factors to consider if your end product is going to result in proper function.

Major Electrical Factors to Consider When Renovating

Additions to the home usually mean a higher electrical load on your panel and a need for increased functionality. Keep these points in mind while planning:

  • Plan your electrical access:The position and wiring of your electrical outlets determine a lot about how the electrical work in your home addition will go. Consider where you might need electrical access for tools, floor lighting, and sometimes appliances. While you’re at it, work with your electrician to determine where you need to use a dedicated circuit for optimal safety.
  • Consider a heavy-up:A heavy-up increases the amperage (electrical power) that is available to your home. A lot of homes (especially older homes) need a heavy-up as is, and if you’re adding on, you almost definitely need to seek a heavy-up in order to accommodate your needs. Without it, you may be sorely disappointed (and in the dark) when you try to use electricity in your new space.
  • Pre-plan lighting: Know where fixed electrical appliances, such as lighting, are going to be before you begin building. Having a place for everything makes for a smooth process, and making last-minute changes can be exceptionally time consuming and expensive.
  • Discuss the rest of your home’s wiring with a pro:Because of the modern tools, wiring, and equipment that will be used in your addition, the electrical in your initial home areas might need to be altered or updated. Speak with your electrical professional to see whether or not you might need to update wiring, access, or circuits in your home.
  • Be cautious and flexible with your budgeting: Leave some leg room in your budget for sudden changes, incidents, and possible additions you might make during the building process. It’s just a way to ensure you’re prepared for any possibility!
  • Hire a professional electrician! When you’re having major work done on your home, you don’t want just anyone rooting around in your home’s wiring. You want the best. Always work with a professional electrician, such as Fab Electric. And be sure to encourage a lot of open communication to ensure you’re getting the service and installations you want.

The team of highly experienced electricians at Fab Electric always takes your needs seriously. If you’re about to perform some home additions, we are your go-to source for important information and superior service. Wondering what needs to get done? Let’s get started!  For top quality electrical services, installations, and upgrades, contact the team at Fab Electric today!

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs

At FAB Electric, we’re providing fast, reliable electrical services during the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, we’re following the State of Maryland and Federal CDC guidelines to keep our workers and customers safe, so you can have peace of mind when we enter your home. These include social distancing rules of staying at least 6 feet apart. Our service technicians also take extra precaution including wearing protective gloves, masks, and shoe covers on every job. Call us for fast, reliable, and comprehensive electrical service. If you are experiencing electrical issues or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

Why You Should Use A Surge Protector

 

Most people assume that plugging their devices and equipment into a power strip will protect against surges. So, they plug countless gadgets into one outlet, not realizing that this is an accident waiting to happen. The only way to avoid disaster is to use a surge protector.

What happens when a powerful storm sweeps through the neighborhood and knocks all of the power out? If the storm is powerful enough and lightning was involved, there can be quite a bit of collateral damage. Daily essentials including the refrigerator, garage doors, the air conditioning, the HVAC system, and much more may not be able to function for weeks. But perhaps the most devastating part about storms like these is the irreparable damage.

There are some surges so powerful that even with restored power, electronic devices and equipment no longer work. And the worst part is, insurance may not cover the cost to replace these items. That’s why surge protectors are so important. This small investment can save thousands of dollars.

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors act as a middle man between the wall and the electrical device. Instead of flowing directly into the appliance, the electrical current flows from the wall to the surge protector. The surge protector then delivers these currents to the device. And whenever there’s a surge that’s too high, the extra voltage diverts to the protector’s grounding wire.

Three factors determine how efficiently a surge protector does its job, as follows:

  • The clamping determines at what voltage the diversion will start to kick in — the lower the energy, the better. The higher the voltage, the more likely the devices are to be damaged.
  • The energy rating determines how much power the protector can safely absorb.
  • The time in which the surge protector kicks in will regulate how long it takes for it to respond.

Choosing the Correct Surge Protector

When shopping for a surge protector, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. So, it helps to focus on five major areas: the number of ports, the type of devices used, the energy rate and clamping voltage, the warranty, and extra features.

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to inform yourself before starting a search for a quality protector. Read all of the fine print on the packaging. It’s definitely worth the time when one considers how much money it could save in the long run.

Get a Surge Protector Before It’s Too Late

Technology is moving at a rapid pace and we are more and more reliant on electronics by the day. So, it’s important to remember that these devices need to be taken care of– precisely when it comes to electrical storms and other natural disasters. This is why you should take all the necessary steps to protect your equipment before things are beyond your control. Protectors come in all shapes and sizes and many are built with extra features that can make their use convenient and seamless.

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Always!

At FAB Electric, we’re providing fast, reliable electrical services during the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, we’re following the State of Maryland and Federal CDC guidelines to keep our workers and customers safe, so you can have peace of mind when we enter your home. These include social distancing rules of staying at least 6 feet apart. Our service technicians also take extra precaution including wearing protective gloves, masks, and shoe covers on every job. Call us for fast, reliable, and comprehensive electrical service. If you are experiencing electrical issues or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

Count on Our Emergency Electrical Services During Coronavirus

 

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people aren’t thinking of electrical safety. But while we work to stay safe from COVID-19, electrical hazards still exist. Please know that during this uncertain time, you can still count on FAB Electric as an essential business. A professional electrician is just a phone call away!

Although we are all staying in our homes and practicing social distancing during this uncertain time, there is a reason why electricians such as FAB Electric are essential! The human body is no match for the power and danger of electricity. If you’re not an electrician, attempting electrical repairs can cause more damage; plus, you risk a serious injury. Old wiring, faulty wiring or appliances, frayed or otherwise damaged wires, overloaded circuits, or any electrical malfunction should always be handled by a professional.

Immediate Response – Especially for our Seniors

At FAB Electric, we respond immediately to an electrical problem. The health of our seniors is more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, but faulty electrical equipment doesn’t have to put them at risk either. Our electrical technicians will make your home as safe as possible, whether an emergency electrical repair or electrical upgrade is necessary.

Reminders About When You Should Call 911

Call 911 if you have a dire situation such as:

  • Electrical Fire: There are over 50,000 home electrical fires every year, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International. These result in more than 1,400 injuries and close to 500 deaths, as well as over $1 billion in property damage. If you can, cut the circuit breaker and put out the fire with water, a fire extinguisher, or fire blanket. Leave the building if the fire is large and call 911.
  • Electric Shock: At least 30,000 shock incidents occur every year, resulting in approximately 1,000 deaths. A shock can result in cardiac arrest, breathing difficulties, muscle pain/spasms, severe burns, and loss of consciousness. If a person is still in contact with electricity, turn the power off, move them away with a nonmetal object, or call 911.

When You Should Call an Electrician

Call us right away if you find:

  • Sparking/crackling switches: Indicate a hidden wiring problem; if you see a spark or switches are making noise, there’s an immediate fire danger, so call your emergency electrician.
  • Exposed wires: If a wire is damaged and exposed, it’s a major shock and fire hazard. Stay away from it and block the area around the wire; and be aware of any water in contact with it.
  • Damaged outlets: If an outlet is smoking or you smell something burning, there’s likely an urgent wiring problem that requires emergency attention.

Also call us if you find:

  • Circuit breakers repeatedly trip, which can indicate overloaded circuits.
  • The lights dim or flicker, signaling an overload, damaged fixture, or faulty wiring.
  • An electrical panel is hot; if left alone, it can overload, melt, or catch fire.

At FAB Electric, we will ensure your electrical system is safe and functional. We can address any type of electrical problem, whether it involves breaker panels, wires, appliances, fixtures, or an outage.

We’re Ready to Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Always!

At FAB Electric, we’re providing fast, reliable electrical services during the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, we’re following the State of Maryland and Federal CDC guidelines to keep our workers and customers safe, so you can have peace of mind when we enter your home. These include social distancing rules of staying at least 6 feet apart. Our service technicians also take extra precaution including wearing protective gloves, masks, and shoe covers on every job. Call us for fast, reliable, and comprehensive electrical service.

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs!

At FAB Electric, we have experience in solving all kinds of residential or commercial electrical issues. If you are experiencing electrical issues or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

What are the Most Dangerous Electrical Hazards in Your Home?

 

Anywhere there’s electricity, there’s a potential for danger. That’s why so many people call on professionals for their electrical needs, and we are so glad they do! For homeowners, the key to containing electricity and reducing the risk of an incident is to understand the potential dangers in your home.

At FAB Electric, we value your safety. This is why we’ve compiled this list of the most common electrical hazards, so you and your family can better recognize the dangers that could be present in your home and the hazards they can present:

  • Faulty Wiring: The most common instance of faulty wiring happens at the connections—especially in electrical outlets or switches. Loose connections can lead to sparks and shocks that could start a fire or electrocute anyone they come into contact with.
  • Outdated Wiring: Cables and casings can become corroded over time and expose the electricity inside. Any time live electricity can come into contact with combustible materials, there is a risk for fire.
  • Electricity and Water: Everyone knows the two don’t mix well. If you do have electrical outlets near a sink, shower, tub, or another water source, make sure they are GFCI to prevent the risk of electrocution. Also, please remember to NEVER pour water on an electrical fire. Instead, make sure you have fire extinguishers handy throughout the house, so fires can be properly extinguished.
  • Extension Cords:Not only are extension cords a tripping hazard but having the wires run under a rug could cause the cord to wear down over time and cause sparks.
  • Children:It’s so important to teach children the dangers of electricity and explain why they should never put items into electrical outlets. Even better, install tamper-resistant outlets to prevent anything from entering the outlet aside from a plug.
  • Lightbulbs: Even though lightbulbs may seem innocuous, they do produce enough heat to cause potential issues. Never allow fabrics to cover your lamps or lighting fixtures—this includes scarves and drapes.
  • DIY Electrical Repairs:Electrical repairs and updates should always be handled by a professional. Not only does DIY repairing put you at risk of electrocution, but there is also the potential for loose connections to cause problems later on.

Even though there’s never a surefire way to prevent all electrical issues in your home, knowing the most common electrical hazards is the first step in creating a safer home for you and your family. Learn the risks to reduce electrical-related incidents, such as fires and shocks.

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs!

If you are experiencing electrical issues or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. At FAB Electric, our professional technicians can safely handle all of your electrical needs, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy electricity safely in your home and cost savings in no time! Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

 

 

Why Circuit Breakers Trip and What to Do About It

 

Have you experienced circuit breakers tripping in your home, and you are not sure why? Circuit breakers can trip for a variety of reasons, including ground faults, short circuits, and overloaded circuits. No matter what underlying reason causes the circuit breaker to trip, you need to take steps to stop the problem soon.

Circuit breakers that trip can cause a lot of annoying excursions to the basement. Even worse, they can put your home in danger. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, there are steps you can take to make your home safer, as follows:

Unplug unnecessary appliances: Circuit breakers often trip because they get overloaded. For example, using two or more appliances at once may cause your kitchen’s circuit to trip. As a short-term solution, you can unplug unnecessary appliances to prevent tripping circuit breakers. You may still get some trips, but you can limit them by unplugging devices that you don’t need to use.

Keep track of which circuits trip: You may have a specific circuit that trips. If that’s the case, then you probably need to upgrade to a circuit that can handle more amps. Keep a pen and paper near your circuit breaker so you can keep track of which circuits trip. The information will help a professional decide how to solve your electrical problem.

Get help from a licensed electrician:It only takes one amp to cause severe pain. Anything greater than one amp will probably kill you. Most residential electrical boxes can handle 100 to 200 amps of electricity. In other words, you should not try to fix your circuit breaker! One mistake could literally kill you.

Avoiding Tripped Breakers

A circuit breaker that trips repeatedly, or trips again instantly after you reset it, signals that something more serious is present. Call a pro immediately if you experience regular circuit outages, detect a burning smell, or notice signs of deterioration, such as scorching, rusting, or corroding around your circuit breaker or main circuit breaker box. Ignoring electrical failure can result in fires and other home-threatening problems.

A circuit breaker that trips instantly when you reset it usually indicates that there is a short circuit somewhere in the system. This is a serious condition, and you should have an electrician examine the wiring and correct the situation. Leave the circuit breaker in the OFF position until the situation can be investigated and corrected.

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs!

If you are experiencing issues with your circuit breakers tripping, or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979. At FAB Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy electricity safely in your home and cost savings in no time! Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

 

Before the winter snowstorms begin and power outages start occurring, it is important to prepare yourself in advance. At FAB Electric, we know that power outages can create crises for people who are not ready for them, so we always advise people to be prepared for electrical failures or inclement weather.

Things You Can Do to Get Prepared

There are many ways that you can prepare your home and family for a power outage. Ensuring that you have taken measures to protect your home and belongings from damage can help make these events a minor interruption to your life, rather than a major one. Some of the ways that you can prepare for a power outage include:

  • Develop an Emergency Plan:Sit down with your family and make sure that everyone is aware of what actions to take in the event of a power outage, as well as what to avoid doing. Have different plans outlined for the different reasons for power outages. If the outage was caused by inclement weather, your actions might need to be different from if it was caused by a transformer explosion or another issue. Your plans will need to be dependent on your location, where you can go if you need to vacate the home, the age of any dependents you might have, your methods of heating your home, whether you live in a house or apartment, and any special needs that household members might have. Make sure that you have clearly outlined meetup places and methods of communication. Write out your plan in detail and print out copies so that it is documented for future reference.
  • Prepare a Power Outage Emergency Kit:Emergency kits should be on hand for any crisis, including power outages. Everyone in the house should know the location of your emergency kit and what it contains. Some of the supplies that should be included in your emergency kit are:
    • Flashlights/lanterns
    • Extra batteries
    • Bottled water
    • First-aid supplies
    • Radio
    • Clock
    • Corded telephone
    • Cell phone battery pack
    • Blankets
    • Non-perishable food
    • Plenty of games and books
    • A copy of your emergency plan

Make sure that you inspect the contents of your emergency kit regularly. Inspect batteries, test electronic supplies, and update everything, as needed. Although you can keep candles on hand, it is better to use lanterns to prevent creating a fire hazard.

  • Prepare Your House:When preparing your home for a power outage, make sure that you have surge protectors in place to protect any sensitive electronics. Post a list of emergency numbers in a central location. Make sure you include a battery-operated flashlight in an easy to reach, centralized location so that you can respond quickly to a power outage.
  • Consider a Generator: If you have power outages often, it might be a good time to consider a generator for your home. Read more about our generator offerings

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs!

If you are interested in finding out more about the best ways to prepare for a power outage, or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services or generators, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979.  At FAB Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy electricity safely in your home and cost savings in no time! Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!

 

 

Holiday Electrical Safety Tips

 

The holiday season is an exciting time with all the parties, decorations, food, family, friends, and fun. Electrical safety in the home is often the furthest thing from our minds, yet it is of utmost importance.

At FAB Electric, we want to help people have a safe and happy holiday season with their families and friends, so we have compiled holiday electrical safety tips to keep in mind while you go about your holiday activities. The safety of you and your home is our top priority and, to that end, our licensed electricians offer a variety of residential electrical services.

Electrical Safety Tips for the Holidays

Between the lights, the tree, the gifts, the decorations, and the need for heat, the holiday season can provide many elements that affect electrical safety. Some ways to keep your home safe this year include:

Christmas Tree Safety

If you are using a real tree, make sure that it stays watered, as a dry tree can be very flammable. If you have a fake tree, make sure that it is non-flammable. Keep your tree away from heaters, fireplaces, and candles. Before you string lights on your tree, check each strand for broken bulbs, frayed cords, or broken plugs to prevent an electrical fire. To give your home that extra bit of Christmas electrical safety, keep a fire extinguisher close to your tree.

Holiday Heating Safety

As the holidays approach, the weather gets colder and that means home heating becomes essential. Proper care should be taken with heaters to maximize on holiday safety. Space heaters are a great way to heat targeted areas of a home, but they need to be used with caution. A space heater should never be left unattended and you should make sure that your heater is pointed away from walls and furniture and that it is not near any sources of water. If you use a radiator to heat your home, keep your decorations at a reasonable distance.

Safe Holiday Lighting Practices

It is imperative to focus on holiday electrical safety when lighting your house. Most outdoor Christmas lights require the reach of a ladder, which should be operated by two people to avoid injury from falling. To avoid the risk of water damage to your lights, make sure that your lights are rated for outdoor use before hanging them. Be sure to check each string of lights for frays and broken bulbs, as these can short out and start electrical fires. For your electrical safety, do not use nails or staples to hang lights; instead, use plastic clips or hooks to avoid damaging wires. If possible, look into switching to LED holiday lights, as they do not generate the same amount of heat. Make sure that you always turn off your lights when they are unsupervised.

Call Us for All of Your Electrical Needs!

If you would like to learn more holiday electrical safety tips, or for more information about our residential or commercial electrical services, please contact FAB Electric at (301) 622-6979.  At FAB Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy electricity safely in your home and cost savings in no time! Call us or visit www.fabelectric.com to set up an appointment today!