Getting a Jump on Holiday Lights and Christmas Decorations

Take Time to Remember Electrical Safety While Hanging Christmas Lights

Christmas decorations seem to get more elaborate every year, especially when it comes to outdoor Christmas decorations. With as much Christmas yard decor as some people use, it is a wonder that they are not doubling their electric bills! But electrical safety when managing Christmas lights is essential. This article will detail some things that will help make decorating safe, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing for the whole neighborhood.

Which Lights are the Right Ones?

lightsWhen it comes to outdoor Christmas lights and decor, there are many choices for homeowners. From sophisticated, tiny, white twinkle lights to adorably cartoonish inflatables of snowmen taking charge of Santa’s sleigh, one can find everything. From whimsical to contemplative, there is something for everyone. 

If a homeowner prefers a minimalist approach, perhaps the nets of lights that drape over hedges would be sufficient, or just a traditional string of lights encircling the blue spruce tree in the front yard would be the perfect acknowledgment of the holiday. Other people may prefer to celebrate the holiday more spectacularly, adding a new light-up or inflatable decoration each year until they need a map to set it all up.

Electrical Safety Precautions

safetyBecause holiday decor is only brought out for a few weeks a year, it is necessary to do a safety check to ensure everything is working correctly and is safe. Pests and age can cause exposed wires and other structural damage that can increase the chance of electrical fires and shock.  Listed below are a few safety tips that homeowners should consider when preparing to decorate:

  • Examine decorations, plugs, and cords for damage before plugging anything in.
  • Plugin to test whether or not the lights work. 
  • Place decorations strategically to avoid overloading outlets and circuits.
  • Use extension cords sparingly.
  • Installing GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets for outdoor plugs.

Eco-Friendly Lighting and Decor

Perhaps a person is more concerned with their electric bill than with their winter decor or has ecological concerns regarding household energy uses. These people can decorate pretty extravagantly as well with more green options. As technology improves, it will only get easier to find eco-friendly options like those listed below:

  • LED Christmas Lights: These strings of lights don’t use a traditional incandescent light but an LED or light-emitting diode that gives off the same amount of light for much less energy. These can be used indoors or outdoors (though they must be rated for outdoor use) during the holidays or year-round for a lovely effect.
  • Solar Christmas Lights: These lights are powered by solar batteries that charge during the day and expend their energy by making the lights glow at night. These are excellent choices for not increasing energy use.
  • Battery-Operated Christmas Lights: Lights powered by batteries commonly found in the home add $0 to the electric bill, but the batteries are not environmentally friendly. However, homeowners can combat this by using rechargeable batteries.  

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide upfront pricing, fully stocked trucks, and military discounts. Call them today for holiday lighting installation in Montgomery, AL.

Stay Safe This Halloween With These Decorating Tips

Three Ways to Decorate Safely for Halloween 

The electrical industry has come a long way over the years regarding electrical safety. Indeed, electricity is a dangerous utility, but it is used more than ever before while also increasing safety. That being said, just because electricity is the safest it has ever been doesn’t mean that accidents like electrical fires and shocks still don't occur. Halloween kicks off the decorating season that sees a spike in electricity mishaps. 

This year, don’t be too scared to decorate for Halloween! Follow some simple electrical safety tips to keep the home, family, and trick-or-treaters safe. Here are the top tips for safe Halloween decorating. 

Always Inspect Halloween Decorations 

inflatablesDuring the off-season, decorations of every kind are unceremoniously shoved into storage. In a hurry to move on to the next holiday, Halloween-celebrating homeowners often don’t take time to pack decorations properly. This leads to damage that can be a fire hazard the next year when decorations are brought out again. 

To avoid hazards from stored decorations, always inspect them before installing them or turning them on. Start by looking for damaged cords and frayed wires that could start electrical fires. Check for missing or broken bulbs in lighting strands. Never damage wire insulation as decorations are installed. 

Plan Ahead to Avoid Safety Issues 

outletHalloween decorations can be placed pretty much anywhere. In the fall frenzy, homeowners love decorating indoors and outdoors with lights and Halloween inflatables. Electronics rating is one of the more important things to look out for as decoration supplies grow. 

All electronics are rated for indoor or outdoor use, and the distinction is crucially important. Outdoor decorations are waterproof and weather resistant, making them safer to use outdoors. Indoor decorations are only made to be safe in a sheltered environment away from harsh weather and light. Using indoor decorations outside is an unsafe practice that wastes money by ruining decorations and potentially creating a shock or fire hazard. 

In addition to checking the rating of Halloween decorations, it is important to plan to distribute decorations and electronics so as not to overload outlets and circuits. Overloading outlets can cause circuit wiring to overheat, making the wire insulation melt, which can cause an electrical fire. Try to put decorations on their own outlets and use circuits in different rooms whenever possible. 

Use Surge Protectors For Safety

A surge protector is a type of electrical device that helps to protect a home from damage caused by power surges. Power surges can happen for various reasons, including lightning strikes, downed power lines, and even faults in a home's electrical system. While they may not seem like a big deal, power surges can cause serious damage to a house, appliances, and anything plugged into a home’s outlets. 

Surge protectors work by directing excess electricity away from a home's wiring and into the ground. This protects the house from electrical fires and other damage caused by power surges. Surge protectors are an essential part of any home safety plan and can be used indoors and outdoors. 

Surge protectors are also important for protecting Halloween decorations. These devices prevent large spikes in voltage from damaging the delicate electronics in Halloween inflatables and lighting. Adding surge protectors to a decorating scheme is a win-win for safety for any seasonal decorating. 

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving Montgomery, AL residents, and the surrounding areas. They have a service available to safely install holiday lights for homeowners. They offer military discounts, customer education, and a membership plan with perks. Call them today for electrical services or holiday lighting in Montgomery, AL.

These Three Electrical Outlets Can Keep the Home Safe

What Outlets Come with Safety Features? 

Electrical Safety Foundation International has some startling facts about electrical fires. It notes that there are around 51,000 electrical fires nationwide each year. These fires cause countless injuries and unfathomable property damage. This makes it crucial for homeowners to know the differences between electrical outlets and which ones keep the home safe. Three outlets that come with safety features to protect the house and its inhabitants include: 

AFCI Outlets (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters) 

AFCI outlets are ideal for helping to prevent electrical fires. Here’s a brief overview of how these devices work: 

  • AFCI outlets monitor the flow of electricity. 
  • Sometimes, a phenomenon called arcing happens. This is when electricity jumps from one wire to another––increasing the risk of electrical fires. 
  • AFCI outlets sense abnormal activity and immediately stop the flow of electricity to prevent arcs from generating enough heat to start a fire. 

With protection against electrical fires, homeowners can rest easy knowing their house is safe. Outlet installations are best left to the professionals. A trained electrician can install a new outlet while keeping the rest of the home’s electrical grid up to code. 

GFCI Outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) 

outletsGFCI outlets are the outlets with the “reset” and “power” buttons. While AFCI outlets specialize in reducing electrical fires, GFCIs reduce the likelihood of electrical shocks and electrocution. GFCI outlets are typically required in spaces with water, like kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces. Here’s a brief overview of how GFCIs work: 

  • GFCI outlets monitor the amount of electricity flowing into and out of the circuit.
  • If the electricity flowing into the circuit differs from the amount leaving, the outlet will quickly shut off power to the circuit to prevent shocks.

When homeowners want to restore power to the outlet, they can press the “reset” button. Then, they should be able to use the outlet as normal. However, if the outlet keeps turning off, that means too much electricity is in the system. Homeowners should consult a professional if they notice this problem. 

Childproof Outlets 

outletsChildren account for 20 percent of all electrocution-related injuries. These incidents can lead to traumatic brain injuries, nerve damage, and burns. Parents should consider the benefits of installing childproof outlets even if their child has never shown interest in an outlet before. All it takes is one simple “experiment” to result in life-altering injuries. 

Childproof outlets rely on springs and only allow prongs from electrical devices to enter the outlet, preventing children from being able to stick anything in the outlet and hurt themselves. They do not allow these objects to enter the outlet and form an electrical current: 

  • Bobby pins
  • Fork tines 
  • Paper clips 
  • Toys 
  • Scissors 
  • Fingers 

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving its neighbors in Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and military discounts. Call them today for outlet repair and replacement in Montgomery, AL

Electrical Systems 101: Everything Homeowners Need to Know

Some Electrical System Basics

Even if one doesn’t plan on pursuing a career in electricity, they should know some basics about their home’s electrical grid. Knowing some basics allows homeowners to avoid problems and better understand their home’s operations.

Here, homeowners can learn everything they need about their electrical system’s parts and problem signs. They can also learn about how to stay safe and avoid electrocutions.

The Many Parts of the Electrical System

electrical meterThe home’s electrical system is more than light switches and outlets. It is comprised of parts like:

  • Outlets: These are probably the most recognizable components of the electrical system. Outlets allow homeowners to plug in their phones, TVs, video game consoles––anything that requires power.
  • The electrical meter: Electrical meters measure how much electricity the home uses. It usually measures electricity in kilowatt-hours.
  • The disconnect switch: The disconnect switch limits the flow of electricity to one part of the house. It can also turn off electricity to the home when an electrician does repairs.
  • The breaker panel: This device directs power to the home’s electrical components, such as its outlets, appliances, and the air conditioning unit (if it runs on electricity).
  • Circuits: At the end of the day, most electrical systems are circuits. This means that electricity comes from a centralized power source, then travels through the home using wires and cords. Some circuits are more complicated than others, depending on a home’s energy needs.

Signs of Electrical System Problems

burning smellsElectrical system problems are not to be trifled with by homeowners. Homeowners don’t have the necessary training and tools to work on electrical issues safely. The moment someone notices any of the following signs, they should consult a professional immediately:

  • Burning smells from outlets: This could point to anything from damaged wiring to a circuit board overload. A burning smell could quickly be followed by a fire if left unaddressed.
  • Flickering lights: On a good day, flickering lights could just point to a failing lightbulb, an easy fix. In a more serious situation, the flickering could stem from exposed wires, a circuit board overload, and other related issues.
  • Sparking outlets: It’s not unusual to plug something in and see a tiny spark. However, if one notices big or frequent sparks, that points to a more serious issue.

Electrical problems like these require the immediate attention of a qualified professional. An electrician can assess the problem’s cause and render appropriate repairs. They can also catch smaller issues before they threaten the electrical system.

Electrical Safety Tips

The best electrical safety tip is to refrain from DIY repairs because unskilled DIY repairs can do more than just damage the home. They can affect one’s health and well-being. Per Healthline, electrical shocks can lead to seizures, headaches, breathing problems, and unconsciousness.

Some additional electrical safety tips include:

  • Avoid overloading circuits: This means refraining from the excessive use of extension cords and plugging high-voltage items into the same outlet.
  • Avoid running wires under rugs and mats: If a cord gets too hot, this could start an electrical fire.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand: Homeowners never know when an electrical fire could start – and if it does, they cannot pour water on it. Keeping a fire extinguisher on hand is insurance if an electrical fire breaks out.

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving its neighbors in Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, financing, customer education, and military discounts. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL.

How to Create the Perfect Backyard for Summer Fun!

How to Get the Backyard Ready for Guests

Activities like outdoor BBQs and pool parties are a staple of summer. Here are a few ways homeowners can upgrade the backyard for summer fun. Taking the time to prep the backyard for guests can help outdoor events go smoothly. Outdoor gatherings like Fourth of July celebrations, family reunions, and neighborhood BBQs can pose unique hosting challenges for homeowners. 

Not only do homeowners have to ensure that there is enough food, drinks, and seats, but they also have to provide electricity and outdoor entertainment. Music, pools, hot tubs, and lighting are a few examples of how homeowners use electricity outdoors during summer events. 

Add Outdoor Lighting

Lots of outdoor events run over into the night. Even if the event ends early, homeowners should be prepared for the after-party by installing outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting fixtures can add to the ambiance of a summer night for the perfect vibe. Examples of lighting options for a yard and summer events are landscape lights, string lights, and pathway lights. 

Having adequate lighting is also important for safety reasons. It can be dangerous for guests to be stumbling around in the dark. Lighting the walkways is a good idea in preparation for summer events. People need to see where they are walking to get around the party and back to their cars. There should also always be adequate lighting around the grill, pools, or other bodies of water to prevent accidents. 

Power Generator

generatorThe summer is a common time to experience power blackouts due to weather events or stress on the power grid from everyone running their air conditioners at once. In preparation for summer events, homeowners may consider investing in a backup power generator. A backup generator can also take the stress off the home’s electrical system. 

Using a power generator for the lights, music, and anything else at an outdoor event can help homeowners to keep the party going even if there is an outage. In the event of a power outage, homeowners may be out hundreds of dollars when everything in the fridge and freezer spoils. Having a power generator ensures that food isn’t wasted. 

Power generators can be an important safety item for people who rely on medical equipment to live. In the case of a blackout, they may need a backup power supply to power their medical equipment.

Install a Hot Tub or Pool

poolInstalling a pool or a hot tub can take a backyard BBQ to the next level this summer! Guests will love to end the night with a relaxing soak in the hot tub. Installing a new pool or hot tub is the perfect excuse to gather with friends and family this year. They also add property value to a home.

Pools and hot tubs must be installed and wired by professional electricians for safe and efficient performance because they are required to meet current electrical codes and regulations. Homeowners should contact a local, qualified electrical company for electrical upgrades in the backyard. 

About Trustworthy Electric 

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving the residents of Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, on-time service, fully stocked trucks, and customer education. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL