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  • Outdated Wiring: Cables and casings can become corroded over time and expose the electricity inside.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!

Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

 

Many older homes are quite charming and have good bones and lots of memories attached to them. If you have an older home or are looking to purchase one, there are many aspects that can be kept in operational condition through regular upkeep and maintenance. However, electrical systems are not among them.

Over the years, people have come up with new, safer ways of supplying homes with electricity, and one of these upgraded systems is a more effective electrical panel. Upgrading your electrical panel can help your home to be safer from overloaded circuits and electrical fires, as well as save you money and make your home more environmentally friendly.

What is an Electrical Panel?

Your home’s electrical panel is the central connection point for your home to the municipal power grid. It divides up the electricity to distribute it around your home through a series of fuses or breakers that regulate how much electricity is sent through each individual circuit. The electrical panel is often called the fuse box or breaker box and it is usually located in a garage, basement, or utility room.

Do I Need to Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Before you can know whether or not your electrical panel needs to be upgraded, it is necessary to inspect it to determine its age and function. We often keep the following questions in mind when evaluating electrical panels:

  • Is the home older than 20 years?
  • Does the electrical panel still use fuses instead of breaker switches?
  • Does the electrical panel ever feel warm?
  • Is there ever a funny smell coming from the electrical panel?
  • Do the fuses or breakers in the electrical panel break or trip frequently?
  • Are all of the home’s appliances running at full capacity?
  • When an appliance is turned on, do the lights in the home dim or flicker?
  • Are there any plans to do a renovation or addition to the home?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then it is very likely that the electrical panel needs to be replaced. To avoid shock or electrocution, it is vitally important to always contact a licensed electrician, such as Fab Electric to make any changes to an electrical panel.

 Do You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade? Call Fab Electric Today

Are you ready for an electrical panel upgrade? Then call the experts at Fab Electric right away. 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 at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

How to Be Safe When Using Extension Cords

 

Often times, we need a more conveniently located electrical outlet—or series of outlets that would allow us to power multiple devices simultaneously. In these situations, most of us have likely used an extension cord to get the job done. These convenient electrical cords are available in a variety of lengths and can be connected to each other to further increase the range of your powered connection. However, as with anything involving electricity, when using these helpful electrical cords, it’s important to take safety precautions!

To prevent dangerous shocks, sparking, and potential electrical fires, the ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International) recommends the following tips for using extension cords:

  • Don’t overload their extension cords’ capacities by attaching too many high voltage devices.
  • Take heed of the voltage capacity of the electric cord, as well as the power use rating for an attached device, that is likely found on the product itself. The type of extension cord you select should be equipped to power all devices you hook up to it.
  • Don’t attempt to use an extension cord in place of permanent wiring in the home which must consistently provide a large energy output. This can lead to short-circuiting and sparking which can cause fires.
  • When using extension cords, just like with any electrical device or connection, it is essential to keep them away from moisture or any other highly conductive environments. Running your extension cord near water or along snowy ground will not only damage and ruin your cord but also increases the likelihood of enduring an electrical shock injury.
  • Insulating your extension cord by running it behind a wall, under a rug, or wrapped in any kind of external shell, is equally risky as it causes heat to accumulate which may damage the cord or cause the coating to melt. This can cause sparking between the weakened or exposed wires, which is the primary cause of electrical fires in the home.
  • Keep in mind that while some single-outlet cords may be linked together to maximize range, most multiple-outlet extension cord systems must be connected to a primary outlet and may not be linked together.

While extension cords are helpful in the home, workplace, and outdoor settings (if rated for use outdoors), relying too heavily on extension cords to power your devices likely means your home doesn’t possess enough electrical outlets. Depending on the date of construction, this is a common issue for homeowners. When adding outlets, it is absolutely essential to enlist the assistance of a professional electrician to assess your home and install outlets.

Reach out to the electrical experts at Fab Electric today!

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 at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

Answers to Five Commonly Asked Electrical Questions

 

At Fab Electric, we want to make sure that our clients have as much information about the work that we do as possible, so that they can make wise choices regarding electrical safety. Answering questions is never a hassle, but we always want to make sure that information that could protect your home is easily accessible. For that reason, we have compiled this list of five commonly asked electrical questions regarding home electricity.

Some of these questions include:

What does it Mean to “Short-Circuit?”

In most electrical systems, there is a hot wire that carries the electrical current. A short circuit occurs when this wire becomes grounded. This can happen if a wire becomes frayed, loose, or exposed, causing the electricity to divert from its designated path. Short circuits can generate heat and sparks and are typically dangerous, but an updated electrical system will cause the breaker to trip when these problems occur.

What is the Difference Between a Fuse and a Breaker?

Fuses and breakers are both in place to accomplish the same task. When a fault is sensed in an electrical circuit, both devices will break the flow of electricity. While fuses blow out and need to be replaced every time they do their job, a circuit breaker is a simple switch that can be flipped once the problem is resolved.

What are GFCI Outlets?

GFCI outlets are special electrical outlets that are designed to shut off, if moisture is present, to prevent electrical shock. They detect variations in an electrical circuit and trip the power supply if any variation occurs. These outlets are typically present in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outdoor applications. They feature a small button that allows you to easily reset the outlet if it trips.

Why Do My Lights Flicker?

If your lights are frequently flickering throughout your home or just in a single fixture, you should always call your electrician. In many cases, lights flicker because of an outdated electrical system, and your electrical panel or wiring will need to be replaced. In other cases, it can be a loose wire, insufficient power supply, or another appliance on a circuit drawing too much power. In any case, it is best to have the problem diagnosed and fixed by a licensed electrician.

How do I Know if My Electrical Panel is Unsafe?

The fastest and most reliable way to know if an electrical panel is unsafe is to call us for an inspection. With over 30 years of experience, we’ll ensure that your electrical system, including your electrical panel, is in top form and that you’re safe, and prepared for any emergency.

If you would like to find more answers to commonly asked electrical questions, or if you are interested in our suite of electrical services, please contact Fab Electric or fill out a contact form on our website.

Reach out to the electrical experts at Fab Electric today!

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 at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

Too Many Cords? Tips for Organizing Them!

 

With so many electronics, devices, and systems that require wires and electrical cords running through your house, your electrical cables are bound to turn into a disorganized mess. Besides being a huge headache when it comes time to move something or add something, that mess of cords can be a fire hazard as well!

Organizing cords is a great way to simplify things and increase safety at home. From rerouting cords to covering wires and shortening cords, getting electrical cables safely in order doesn’t have to be a big job. Here are a few tips:

Label Cords

Part of the problem with electrical cords getting out of control is not knowing what goes where. A labelling system that identifies what cords go with what is the best way to keep electrical cables under control. When you know exactly what cord corresponds to the device, you may be more likely to keep the cords in order. Labels can be anything from a colored sticker to masking tape and marker.

Hide Cables

One of the best ways to simultaneously organize cords and improve the appearance of your space is to hide cables. Pipe insulation is an effective way to conceal all of your cables and it only takes a couple minutes of work. Take a piece of pipe insulation, cut it lengthwise, put the cords inside and pull the ends through the opening. This method is a simple, discreet, and effective way to get your cables in order.

Make a Cable Catcher

Since so many problems with electrical cables occur in the home, consider a system to hold and organize your assortment of cords. This will reduce the likelihood of inadvertently unplugging something of vital importance when you just wanted to unplug your phone charger.

As an example, all of those cords that are protruding off your desk can be easily contained with a basket. The basket can be mounted on the underside of your desk and can catch the cords from electronics and devices on your desk to keep things neater and more organized.

Wrap and Store Cords

When you are finished using cords or have a mess of cords laying around unplugged, consider wrapping and storing them. This is a simple solution that only requires a few minutes of work. You can use twist ties or paper towel tubes to organize and store the cords you don’t use. The best part of this is that when you need them, they come out tangle free and ready to plug in.

Hope these tips for organizing your cords are helpful!

Call Fab Electric Today for Your Electrical Needs

Are you ready for your next electrical inspection, wiring repair or wiring upgrade, or do you need another service performed by a highly qualified electrician? Then call the experts at Fab Electric right away. At Fab Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy electrical safely in your home and cost savings in no time! Call us at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!

 

How to Lower Your Electric Bill

 

Few people enjoy spending money unnecessarily. Many of us don’t realize it, but we spend money on our electrical bill that could have been saved by making a few simple changes. Reducing electricity usage has the added bonus of being good for the environment, and at the same time, saves you money!

Tips to Conserve Electricity

While there are some big changes that you can make to your home that will save on electricity, such as upgrading to energy-efficient appliances or installing solar panels, there are also many smaller changes and tricks that can be employed to conserve energy. Some tips to reduce energy usage include:

  • Switch to LED lighting: LED bulbs use much less power and last longer than conventional light bulbs and they are available in a variety of colors and styles
  • Optimize operation of dishwashers, washers, and dryers: Most electrical providers decrease the cost of electricity during off-peak hours, like early morning or nighttime. Using appliances during this time, rather than at peak hours, can save you a lot of money. Also, only run these appliances when you have a full load to reduce the time that they are operating.
  • Keep your thermostat steady:Drastic increases or decreases in temperature creates an unnecessary electrical strain. Keep your thermostat steady within two or three degrees.
  • Use a thermal wrap on your water heater:Water heaters are one of the biggest consumers of electricity, so insulating your water heater to prevent heat loss will reduce electricity expenditure.
  • Clean and replace filters: Air filters on appliances and ventilation gather dust and debris and the more clogged they get, the more power it takes to get air moving. Clean the filters on your dryer, furnace, fridge, and air conditioner to help them use less electricity.
  • Turn off the lights: Turn off the lights every time you leave a room. Leaving any electrical device or light on when you are not in the room is wasteful.
  • Insulate doors and windows: Heat can move through doors and windows, even when they are closed. Be aware of open doors or windows and install the proper weather stripping and insulation to minimize heat loss.
  • Don’t block the air conditioning vent with the door: Sometimes, vents are located in odd places, like behind doors in bedrooms. Close the door of your bedroom so you are the one to experience the air conditioning, not the door.
  • Turn off the fan:If you are leaving a room, turn off the fan!
  • Read a book: What we do for entertainment can have a massive effect on our electricity bills. A television consumes more electricity than a reading lamp. Pursuing hobbies that do not use as much electricity will also typically help you to stay healthier and smarter!
  • Get outside: Enjoy the natural energy of the summer sun!

Hope these tips for conserving energy and lowering your electric bill are helpful!

Call Fab Electric Today for Your Electrical Needs

Are you ready for your next electrical inspection, wiring repair or wiring upgrade, or do you need another service performed by a highly qualified electrician? Then call the experts at Fab Electric right away. At Fab Electric, our specialists have lots of experience, and with our fast, friendly service, you will enjoy electrical safely in your home and cost savings in no time! Call us at (301) 622-6979 to set up an appointment today!