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Archive for June 2014

Avoiding the Dangers of Faulty Electrical Wiring

June 24, 2014

Most home fires are the result of faulty electrical wiring. We acknowledge five possible causes of electricity-related home fires and give tips on what you, the homeowner, can do to avoid the dangers of faulty electrical wiring.

 US Fire Administration statistics show that each year, close to 500 Americans die and about 2,300 more are injured in home fires. These fires are due directly or indirectly to bad electrical wiring, and they have caused the loss of millions of dollars’ worth of property. It's important for homeowners to make certain that their home's electrical wiring is properly maintained in order to avoid tragic losses and other major property damages. You can start by checking the following, as they have been exposed as possible causes of electricity-related fires:

Worn-Out Electrical Plugs and Sockets

Even the most resilient electrical plugs and sockets can only last for so long and once they go beyond their lifespan, they can quickly turn into a fire hazard. You should check all your electrical plugs and sockets at home and immediately replace those that are worn out.

DIY Wiring Projects

Many homeowners today readily embark upon their own home repairs and renovations instead of hiring professionals to do the job. While this is advantageous in some ways, some Do It Yourself projects can be relatively risky, mainly those involving electrical connections. The job may seem easy enough, but untrained individuals may not even be aware of certain electrical requirements and procedures. So if you choose to do your own electric connections at home, you may think you're saving money; however, what you may really be doing is running the risk of putting your family in danger.

Non-compliance with Installation Codes

Non-compliance with current installation code is another example of faulty wiring. NFPA and NEC Codes have been adopted in all 50 states. The NEC is the standard for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards. It is updated and revised regularly. Manufacturers will often include detailed installation instructions, for example, with an electronic dimmer produced for dimmable compact fluorescents or LED bulbs. It is easy to miss wire these controls if you follow the outdated dimmer installation instructions.

Outdated Circuit Breakers

Outdated circuit breakers are no longer capable of handling the high voltage most new appliances require. When you use these old circuit breakers with new appliances, it's likely you will cause electrical overloads that can sooner or later lead to wiring problems and even house fires.

Outdated Fuse Boxes

If the fuse box in your home was installed ten years ago or earlier, consider switching to a more contemporary design. Old fuse boxes are simply not built to handle the multitude of high-voltage appliances commonly used in homes these days. For the average household that uses appliances such as home entertainment systems, DVD players, computers, fax machines, and even electric cars, an old and outdated fuse box simply won't be sufficient.

Octopus Connections

This is something many homeowners do without realizing they're putting themselves in serious danger. An octopus connection involves using extension cords to increase the number of electrical outlets in the house without increasing the number of circuits. Unfortunately, this also increases the risks of fires and other electricity-related accidents. In an ideal world, a house should have 10 or more professionally installed circuits. If your house has less than 10 installed circuits, have the matter resolved without delay.

Reasons Why a Generator Is a Good Investment

June 19, 2014

generator

As a culture, we have come to rely on electric power, so it can be inconvenient, or even dangerous, when that power goes out. Even though they’re not necessary in every situation, a generator can be a lifesaver in some situations.

Here are three reasons to consider buying one:

Ride out the storm

If you live in a storm-prone area of the country—along the coast, or in Tornado country, your power may go out more often and for longer periods of time. Or perhaps you are connected to an older section of the electrical grid, which makes you more vulnerable to power outages. A generator provides you peace of mind in these circumstances, and your investment will pay off more quickly if you find yourself using your generator several times a year.

Protect the essentials

Owning a generator is not just about keeping the lights, computers and TV’s on while the rest of the neighborhood makes do with flashlights. For those living in extreme climates with children or the elderly, an extended power outage can be dangerous. A generator can keep the interior temperature in the safe zone. If your power is off for several days, a generator will also keep your fridge and freezer cold so your food won’t spoil.

Stay in business

Food isn’t the only essential item you could lose in a power outage. With approximately 14 million home-based businesses in the U.S., there’s a good chance you have sensitive business or personal data stored at home on a computer. A generator helps protect you against data loss, and can keep you in business during an extended outage.

Owning a generator may not be for everyone, but if you are in one of the situations above, there are affordable options to keep you up and running even while the power is out. McCurdy Electric specializes in generator sales, installation, and maintenance. For more information, please call 781-595-7074.