Electrical Safety: Outdoor Hazards with Lightning

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Electrical Safety: Outdoor Hazards with Lightning

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety tips with a special focus on Lightning Safety when playing outdoors and how you can protect yourself in the storm. Tips include ways to protect yourself when golfing, when boating, when hiking in the woods or at the ocean front when a storm arrives unannounced. We can take specific actions to limit our exposure to the electrical hazard of lightning when we taken unawares. Always remember that water and electricity don’t mix, so avoid it wherever you are outdoors so you don’t become the lightning’s path to ground. Stay Electrically Safe and Smart when playing outdoors!

Special Thanks to The Travelers Companies Inc and to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the article, Lightning Safety Outdoors. 

Bill’s POV: The Value of AFCIs

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Aged Standard Outlet (Image Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC)

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Closer view of Standard outlet aged and melted (Image Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC

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Close up of wires in aged Standard Outlet (Image Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC

Bill’s POV: The Value of AFCIs

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety tips and information on the Value of Arc Fault Circuit Interruptors for prevention of fire and images of a standard aged outlet preparing to begin a fire!

Bill has a word of warning and caution concerning this standard electrical outlet and how you can help prevent fires in your home with AFCIs:

“The standard outlet in the images above shows a perfect example of insulation and conductor deterioration due to an overload on the conductors as well as age. This is either from use at a particular receptacle itself, or in this case, where you see all four conductors, 2 of them feeding into the device, two of them feeding out of the device to other devices, due to a heavier load from other devices down line, which is more than this device was designed to carry.

Note that these conductors are plugged into the back of the device rather than secured around the screws, which would give you a much larger point of contact and a much safer installation when using the device as a feed through.

Most homes are wired in this inferior manner as shown in the images above, with wires plugged into the device rather than wrapped around the screws. If there were Arc Fault Circuit Interruptor Circuit breakers installed on this circuit, the breaker would have tripped, disconnecting power to the circuit and thus, preventing a fire, which, had this condition gone on much longer, would have resulted in a fire.

This fire would have started with the melting and incineration of the plastic receptacle, the plastic box, the plastic insulation on the wires, the paper of the fiberglass insulation, the paper on the drywall and with the wood itself.

Once the outlet starts burning, then the fire spreads very quickly.

Note that the neutral wires (the whites with negative polarity) are where the majority of the melted insulation is. Standard Circuit Breakers only protect the black wires carrying the positive polarity.

AFCIs protect and MONITOR the positive and negative polarity, both black and white conductors, insuring a much safer installation with total overload protection when sized and installed properly.

AFCI breakers are the single greatest electrical safety device since the GFCI came out many years ago. Today, under the 2014 National Electrical Code, almost every circuit in the house is required to be protected by an AFCI breaker.”

Stay Electrically Safe and Smart with AFCIs to help prevent fires in your home!

Copyright 2016 Images and text Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC

Electrical Safety: Bakin’ in the Kitchen

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Electrical Safety: Bakin’ in the Kitchen

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety and fire prevention tips with a special focus on baking in the kitchen with safety of prioritized importance. 

Baking can be a delicious past time whether you choose to go solo or have a family member or friend join you in the process from batter to brilliance. But keeping our eye out for fire and/or electrical hazards is an important precaution to keep things happy and productive without injury. 

Here are several things to be aware of when bakin’ in the kitchen:

What types of outlets are installed? Are they GFCIs (Ground fault circuit interruptors) that will help protect you from electrical shock when water is present? 

Are all of your combustibles away from hot surfaces such as pot holders, oven mitts and even sleeves you’re wearing? 

Are you using a hand mixer with metal “hands?” Be sure to plug that in safely and keep the electrical wire from touching any hot surfaces. And plug in those “hands” before plugging the mixer into the outlet for extra safety from electrical shock. 

Are there children present? Be sure to take extra precautions with their electrical safety keeping them away from electrical outlets and,  if they are older, teach them how to use the outlets safely by pulling the plug out properly instead of by the electrical wire which can break with improper handling. 

Remember, never use water to put out an electrical fire in your kitchen; always use a  hand-held fire extinguisher! 

When we take extra care to stay safe when bakin’ in the kitchen, we can enjoy the fruits of our labors and have fun at the same time with no hazards! 

Stay Electrically Safe and Smart when you bake in your kitchen! 

Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC 

Electrical Safety: The Hazards of Downed Power Lines

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Electrical Safety: The Hazards of Downed Power Lines

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety tips with a special focus on shock prevention with downed power lines due to severe and stormy weather. Tips include the proper distance to keep from a downed power line, hazards with power line contact, what to do if someone is injured or if you’re in your car with a downed power line and how to exit safely. The key is to take appropriate action when you’re in a hazardous situation to help avoid becoming a victim yourself. Stay Electrically Safe and Smart around power lines! 

Special Thanks to HawaiiNewsnow.com, to Hawaiian Electric and to HNN Staff for the article, HECO Offers Safety Tips for Downed Power Lines. 

Electrical Safety: Where To Plug It In

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Electrical Safety: Where To Plug It In

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety tips with a special focus on where to plug in your electrical goods. 

We plug things in without thinking about it, don’t we? Whether it’s an appliance, a lamp, a phone charger or some other electrical product, how we use them and where we plug them in can make the difference between pure benefit and an electrical hazard. 

This can especially be true when we purchase something new that needs to be plugged in. Where will it go? Sometimes when we go to place a new good where we want it, we may find that we don’t have enough space in the closest outlet or we may want to plug it into a strip. 

But is it safe?

The safest way to know if your choice of where to put it will work is by matching up the power the item will pull in comparison to the place it will be plugged in. 

Appliances should always be plugged in directly to an outlet. They pull too much power for any other scenario to work safely. 

Don’t always assume that a power strip will work; always check to be sure what you want to plug in will not overload the strip with any other electrical devices that are already in place. 

And remember, extension cords are always for temporary use, never to be used with appliances, and can create a fire hazard if overloaded. 

Where will you plug in your electrical goods? Keep fire prevention in mind, check your power source and match it with your electrical item. Taking proactive steps to stay the safest in your home. 

Stay Electrically Safe and Smart with your use of electrical goods and where you plug them in!

Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC 

Electrical Safety: Where Is the Water?

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Electrical Safety: Where Is the Water?

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety tips with a special focus on shock prevention with outdoor work. 

In the summertime, it gets hot and the rains aren’t as prevalent, which can lead to grass that gets dried out. So folks will sometimes water their grass to keep it green in the summertime heat. 

This can happen in the same vicinity where another family member is using an electric-based item such as a power tool, a radio, or another electrical source. 

The question to ask in this scenario is: Where Is The Water? 

You want to know the answer to this question from the get go since electricity and water don’t mix. If you happen to be holding onto an electrical power tool or electrical lawn mower while doing maintenance on your yard, be sure to proceed with caution. 

Either choose separate days to mow and water, or be super careful not to let yourself enter a danger zone that may lead to electrical shock, which can happen when water and electricity come in contact with each other, and you become a conduit for that electricity! Don’t put yourself at risk. 

When doing yard work, take cautionary measures not to mix the two, and you might just save a life! 

Stay Electrically Safe and Smart as a homeowner when working outdoors. 

Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC 

Electrical Safety: Home Fire Facts

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Electrical Safety: Home Fire Facts

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety and fire prevention tips with a special focus on fires in the home and ways you can help prevent them. Tips include statistics with fires and what causes them. Also mentioned are “hot spots” in the home, plus cautions in the kitchen, with heat-inducing appliances, electronics, plus potential fire hazards and how you can avoid them with proper use and instruction. Awareness of where fires can start in your home and how you can take preventative action can make all the difference in your home’s and your safety. Stay Electrically Safe and Smart as a homeowner to help prevent fires! 

Special Thanks to Safewise.com and to Caroline Maurer for the article, The Most Common Places That Fires Occur in the Home. 

Electrical Safety: Left Unattended?

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Electrical Safety: Left Unattended?

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety and fire hazard tips with a special focus on using small electrical appliances safely. 

We all get distracted with a myriad of issues, from phone calls to family eruptions, that take us away from what we’re doing. 

But when what we’re doing involves a small electrical appliance of some kind, whether a clothing iron, a flat iron or some other equipment that plugs in and gets hot, this can create a scenario of issues that can turn into hazards rather quickly. 

When using an electrical appliance and you get called away for one reason or another, the best and safest thing to do is turn off the appliance before leaving the room and put it in a safe place to cool off. 

If we don’t take preventative action with equipment that heats up, we can find ourselves in an electrical disaster that leads to burns, fires, shocks or other injuries, especially if we have kids or pets around. 

Stay present, not distracted, when using electrically based items, and when you get called away, keep it safe! Stay Electrically Safe and Smart as a user of small electrical appliances to help prevent electrical and fire hazards! 

Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC 

Electrical Safety: Pet Safety and Your Home Upgrades

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Electrical Safety: Pet Safety and Your Home Upgrades

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety tips with a special focus on home repair and your pet’s safety. 

You determine it’s time to initiate some home repairs or perhaps an upgrade or two to help maintain the value and safety of your home. 

With repairs and upgrades often come electric-based equipment that arrives on the scene in order to provide an efficient application toward your home maintenance and repair goals. 

With pets present in the home, it is wise to use caution in giving them access to the areas that are being repaired or upgraded. Pets are curious in nature; although some prefer to stay out of the way, there are those that want to be right where the action is. And that can present inherent electrical dangers for your pet. 

Pets can either be relegated to a safe area of the home that is not being affected by the work being done, or great care should be taken to eliminate the possibility of contact with electrical wires, electrical power tools and any other work related item that could present the hazard of electrical shock. 

Keeping our pets out of harm’s way can help eliminate or at least greatly reduce unforeseen circumstances that involve your pet’s well being. 

Stay Electrically Safe and Smart as a pet owner when doing work on your home this summer! 

Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC 

Electrical Safety: Toaster Oven Tips

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Electrical Safety: Toaster Oven Tips

Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC shares electrical safety and fire prevention tips with a special focus on the small appliance, the trusty toaster oven

Since we live in a quick-paced microwave-loving world, toaster ovens may be overlooked for their convenience and benefits. In order for your toaster oven to work at peak performance, we need to take proper care of it and use it the way it was intended. 

Toaster ovens should always be plugged directly into an outlet; if you attempt to plug it in with an extension cord, you risk the issue of it overheating and causing an electrical fire. Always be sure you know how to work it by reading the manual it comes with so you don’t misuse it. 

Misuse can be anything from what kind of tray or container you use (non combustible only please) to what temperature you put it on for the kind of food you are cooking or reheating. Always follow the frozen food instructions for time and temperature and when you cook, don’t leave the room. Stay in attendance. Your presence and attention can make all the difference in prevention of fire. 

Make sure the electrical cord is not resting on the outside of the oven to help prevent damage from overheating. Also, be sure to clean out the toaster oven so it is free from food debris, which left for too long, can become a fire hazard. 

When we take proper care and maintain our trusty toaster ovens, we can enjoy the benefits of deliciously heated foods in a safe and happy context in our kitchens. 

Stay Electrically Safe and Smart as a toaster oven owner and user! 

Copyright 2016 Bill’s Quality Electric, LLC