Electrical Safety Tips – Being a Responsible Home Owner

Ensuring that your home is electrically safe is vital for keeping your loved ones and property away from dangers such as electrical house fires, electrocution and other such accidents.

Electricity is dangerous and can be lethal when not treated with the due care and respect. If you aren’t familiar with the way domestic electrical systems and appliances work, it is absolutely crucial to use the services of a qualified electrician, and not do any of the check-ups, maintenance and repairs on your own as this may result in serious injury and extensive property damage caused by fires and explosions.

Some of the tell-tale signs of faults and issues in the average house electrical system are:

  • Flickering light fixtures

If you see a light that’s flickering, dimming and then brightening up, or otherwise behaving strangely, then you definitely have a problem to look into.

  • Hot switches

If you come across a light switch that’s heating up, then you have a wiring problem which can lead to shorts and cause bigger issues – don’t ignore the problem.

  • Hot/wobbly power outlets

Power outlets can get hot when there is either too much current running through them, or when they are wobbly – thus they aren’t fitted and fastened properly to the wall. This can cause electrocution or a fire so take measures timely.

  • Hot extension cords

Extension cords are for temporary use only and have different power rating thus they are meant to handle a certain amount of current or wattage running through them. A hot extension cord may be overloaded or damaged so replace it.

Note: A warm dimmer switch is not a problem, unless it is actually too hot to touch. Dimmer switches usually make use of a resistor material which is meant to reduce current thus turning it into heat energy which warms up the face plate of the dimmer switch.

NB: If you don’t seem to visually locate a specific electrical problem with your wiring, switches or power points, but your circuit breakers are still tripping, then you should stop resetting the system immediately i.e. stop lifting up the breaker, but cut off power and call in for qualified assistance.

All of the typical issues listed above, including the continuously tripping circuit breaker can be taken care of by a reasonably knowledgeable handyman i.e. yourself. No matter what you intend to do in terms of repairs, fixes and replacements, you must switch off power to the entire house before tweaking about with the electrical system.

Advice for households with young children:

Young children and electricity don’t really go well together. Children do not have the common sense and knowledge to protect themselves from electricity, but they have all the curiosity and mischief to get themselves in real trouble.

  • First and foremost – block up unused power points using a power point cap. A cap will prevent a child from sticking their fingers and other household items in the power outlet.
  • Hide all extension cords and install control panels such as light switch boards, dimmers, AC control panels etc. beyond the reach of young children.
  • Teach children about electricity and make them understand that it can be lethal when mistreated. Ask your child to report to you if they see something wrong with parts of the electrical system around the house like a wobbly power point, a flickering light etc. but instruct them first not to touch anything.
  • It is absolutely vital to forbid children from bringing and using any type of appliance in the bathroom and toilet, even when the power system of the house and the appliance itself are working properly.

Storms and protection from lightning electricity:

  • In the case of severe storms, children should stay inside the house at all times in order to protect them from being struck by lightning.
  • Children should not touch or use house appliances during a storm, especially if the house doesn’t have the best lightning protection.
  • If the house does not have proper lightning protection, you are risking a house fire – do not leave children alone inside the house under these circumstances.

Master Electricians Can Help You Turn the Light on a Better Mood

When it comes to their mood, people are often surprised to find that something as simple as the environment in which they are located in can have a huge effect. Scientists have found that the music one listens to, the ambient sounds of a room and even the colours of the wall or lights within a room can have a positive or negative effect on the mood, bringing great joy or seeding the room’s occupant spiralling into a state of melancholy. Lately, as people have been changing the lights both in their homes and in the office, master electricians have been taking note on just how the colours of these lights can affect a person’s mood. In studies conducted by Ohio University and the Salk Institute researchers found that master electricians were not simply cashing in on a consumer trend but that there was a legitimate scientific connection between the colour of light in a room and the mood of the people within.

Blue is Bad

According to the research conducted by the scientists at the above institutions, the human eye is especially sensitive to light of a blue or white hue. Extensive exposure to these colours can lead to depression like symptoms in individuals. As such, many offices are now switching over to newer, non-fluorescent lights, in an attempt to lighten the mood in the workplace and increase productivity.

Red is Righteous

If you were to ask a master electrician the most common colour to be installed in clubs and restaurants, venues that are meant to make people feel happy and relaxed, he or she would probably tell you that this colour is red. In a recent study conducted by the Salk Institute, scientists found that people’s eyes react well to red light, especially come night fall. Out of all of the colours studied by the institute, red was shown to be the least likely to kill a person’s mood. Scientists at the Salk Institute now suggest that nightlight users forgo use of blue or white lights and stick to red, as it is a more psychologically appealing colour.

Those who are looking to improve the mood in their home via lighting but don’t want that newly improved vibe to be brought down by the strain of an empty wallet due to installation costs and a rising electric bill should have a talk with one of the local highly related master electricians.

Electrical Socket Choices Are Much Wider

Once upon a time it was not uncommon for the only electrical sockets you would use at home or in an office to be white plastic switched or un-switched sockets. Yet over time the demands at both home and work for things that we need to plug in have changed considerably, indeed in some modern houses we are seeing a trend back to smaller three round pin sockets, which are used purely for lighting and run on a lower maximum current than the traditional 13 amp ring mains do.

Many modern houses now also have data and voice sockets built in all over the home, even upstairs whereby you can plug in a telephone in any room, even the bathroom! Or you may have built in RJ 45 sockets throughout the house for a wired in computer network although this is becoming less common as many people are moving to wireless. Also there is the need to have networks around the home, particularly in apartments so that they can be used for connecting satellite and cable devices/networks together.

So as you can see there is now a demand for more electrical sockets than the standard three pin plug sockets, however having a row of three or four white plastic electrical sockets on the wall can look slightly unsightly and you may wish to opt for a better looking finish. The good news when it comes to electrical sockets for all of the above applications is that you can then get them in a wide range of finishes, including a favourite of ours, which is polished chrome. Indeed polished chrome sockets rather than looking unsightly on the wall can actually become a real feature.

The fact that they have a metal finish should not worry you, as they are perfectly safe from an electrical point of view. They look absolutely stunning and are very easy to keep clean with simple wipe of a cloth removing any greasy fingerprint marks that might occur. The chrome sockets are also very tough and hard wearing and will be resistant to the majority of scratches that might potentially occur from the pins of a plug being misaligned with the socket.

Out of all the metal finishes that you can purchase electrical sockets in, chrome is certainly one of the best looking finishes and we do not think you will be disappointed if you fit chrome sockets throughout your house as replacements for white plastic ones.

Top 9 Tips to Avoid Christmas Fire Hazards

Christmas is around the corner. You must be busy preparing celebration plans, doing shopping, baking ginger bread cookies and decorating your home with dazzling lights. After all, it is the season of celebrations, decorations and enjoyment. However, it is also a high time of fires related accidents.

According to U.S Fire Administration (USFA), the number of residential fires is doubled on Christmas Day than on an average day. The fires occurred during the holiday season are more deadly and costly than at any other time of the year. So, fire safety measures should be taken into consideration to keep you and your beloved ones safe.

Here are the few tips to protect your home and loved ones from fire hazards during this holiday season.

Take care of your Christmas tree

Buy a fresh tree and maintain its freshness by making a cut on the base of the tree before putting it into a sturdy stand. Keep it hydrated by watering it regularly. Don’t keep it close to the source of heat. Avoid using candles to lighten up.

No matter how well you water it, it will dry out after few days. So, take it out immediately after holidays. Artificial tree is much safer than real tree but make sure it is flame retardant.

Inspect your lights

Your home looks beautiful when you decorate it with lights during holiday season. While doing that, make sure you inspect the lights. If the wires and sockets are damaged, fix them quickly. Don’t plug more than three strands to prevent overheating and always check the safety label such as UL (Underwriter’s labs) or FM (Factory mutual). Take them down after holidays as they get damaged by weather.

Have a fire escape plan

Plan in advance on what you would do in the event of fire. Arrange smoke detectors in each sleeping room of your home.

Don’t burn the Christmas tree and wrapping paper

Don’t burn the Christmas tree and wrapping paper to dispose them because it can clog the chimney and spread the fire as an ash.

Inspect extension cords

Check your extension cords to ensure they are laboratory-approved. Never tape and run them under rugs. Don’t overload your electrical outlets. If a fuse or a circuit trip blows, that means it is overloaded.

Decorate Your Christmas tree safely

Avoid taping, stapling and tacking decoration ornaments into wiring, when you decorate your Christmas tree.

Cook Carefully

Cooking is one of the top causes of holiday fires. You tend to cook more dishes using more stoves at once. Keep an eye on hot surfaces and overflowing pots. Avoid using a turkey deep fryer indoors.

It is quite easy to get distracted from cooking. You leave the kitchen heating oil in the pan, when your husband calls you and completely forget you have something on your stove. Don’t leave cooking food unattended.

Be careful with Candles

Maintain a foot of space between candle and combustible things. Always set candles on sturdy base and cover them with hurricane globes. Don’t forget to blow out candles before going to bed. LED candles are the best option for worry free atmosphere.

Keep an Eye on Your Kids

A lighter or a candle is more deadly than a revolver in the hands of kid. So, don’t let your children play with flammable things.

We hope you will follow above safety tips to have safe holidays. Teteelight Electrical Services of Kansas, Missouri wishes you a safe and merry Christmas.

The Variety Of Cables And Wires, That Are Available In The Market

With new technologies and inventions taking the world by storm, the electrical wiring industry has branched out to include a variety of cables that cater to various needs. Ordinary cables have a pair of copper or aluminum wires along with an outer protective sheath for insulation purposes. The higher end cables that are specifically designed for transmitting greater capacity of power have multiple insulated wires, encased in synthetic polymers. Although the world of cables and wires is exhaustive, for the purpose of convenience, they are classified into four different segments as per their use and construction. Coaxial cables, twisted pair cables, shielded cables and ribbon cables are the four different categories, under which cables are classified.

Coaxial cables are electrical cables that have been extensively used for transmitting energy and signals to television units. Constructed with a copper conductor, this type of cable has four layers of metallic tape and metallic braid for insulation. To add to its durability, the entire wire is further enclosed in a protective jacket. These cables were initially used for networking computer units, but now, they are also used for transmitting signals to audio and video equipment. Coaxial cables are flexible and due their durable quality, they last longer than other cables. RG/6, leaky cable, twin axial, Bi-axial, hard line and semi-rigid are various types of coaxial cables.

The Twisted pair variety of cables comprises of a set of insulated color coded copper wires which are twisted together to form a single cable. The number of wires and the gauge size used is subject to change as per the appliance. These wires are more effective in reducing electrical interference, which makes them efficient for telephone cabling.

Shielded cables are wires that are covered in a metallic foil with individual wires, encased in a light metal case. As these wires are shielded, there are minimal chances of radiation of electromagnetic waves, which directly impacts the noise emitted by the appliances that use them. Compared to coaxial cables and optical fibers, these wires are less effective in transmitting signals, since the process needs to be repeated for far distances. Hence, their efficiency usage is limited to electrical house wiring alone.

Known as flat twin electric cables, ribbon cables comprise of multiple wires that are insulated and are placed, parallel to each other. They are mainly used for networking purposes in computers. Enclosed in an aluminum foil casing, shielded cables are used as power cables for transmitting electricity to large appliances. They comprise of two insulated wires in a woven braid construction, that is crafted to offer stability and clarity in transmission. Its foiled construction allows it to send better signals, by resisting the radio interference from external elements. These cables comprise of 12-14 individual wires designed in a ribbon-like formation, for simultaneous transmission of data.