Stay Safe During Electrical Safety Month

Practice Electrical Safety All Year Long

May is National Electrical Safety Month, so this is the perfect time to learn about some of the devices around the home that help keep homes and businesses safe from the hazards of electricity. This brief article can help homeowners understand and appreciate what goes into keeping a home safe from electrical hazards. 

Recognize Important Electrical Safety Devices 

electricalDespite the inherent dangers of electricity, technology has made the utility much safer in the last few decades. Most of this is due to the development of regulating devices that prevent electrical hazards like fires and electrocution. Some common electrical devices in homes that must stay in working order are: 

  • Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, are a type of outlet located in areas with moisture, such as outdoors, bathrooms, and kitchens, to prevent electric shocks and electrocutions.
  • Fuses protect circuits from receiving too much power, helping prevent electrical fires, but they must be replaced once the fuse blows.
  • Circuit breakers are similar to fuses and trip to prevent too much power from flowing through a circuit, preventing overheating or fires, but they don’t need to be replaced every time like a fuse. 

Warning Signs of Overloaded Circuits 

One common electrical problem in homes is an overloaded circuit. Historically the problem has been much worse, but with advances in breaker panels, the phasing out of fuses, and the wide acceptance of circuit breaker technology, homeowners are more aware of overloaded circuits in the home. 

But, even with these advanced devices in nearly every home, overloaded circuits can still be problematic. Overloaded circuits can cause complications like burnt wiring and electrical fires, so it’s important to know the warning signs so an electrician can be called. Common signs of an overloaded electrical circuit are: 

  • Flickering or dim lights
  • Burnt smells 
  • A buzzing or sizzling sound from outlets
  • Constantly tripping breakers
  • Outlets that look burned or are hot to the touch

Whole-House Surge Protection 

surgePower surges are a normal occurrence on an electrical grid. They can be the result of several causes, such as a weather-related event like a lightning strike or sudden drops in demand for power from the grid. When these occur, large spikes in voltage, many times the normal amount, can surge into the home's wiring. Electrical devices, especially digital devices like phones, entertainment systems, and computers, are particularly vulnerable to damage from large voltage spikes. When the power surge causes wiring insulation to melt, it can also cause fires. 

Installing a whole-house surge protector can protect sensitive devices throughout the entire home from damage from power surges, saving homeowners from paying for replacement electronics. These devices can also prevent electrical fires from voltage spikes while keeping all devices plugged into the home’s outlets safe from damage. 

About Trustworthy Electric 

Trustworthy Electric has nearly 30 years of experience serving Montgomery and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, on-time service, and fully stocked trucks. Call them today for electrical or GFCI outlet services in Montgomery, AL.

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3 Signs an Electrical Panel Needs Repair or Replacement

When is it Time to Call an Electrician?

An electrical panel, also known as a breaker box or breaker panel, is the main distribution point for a home's electrical system. It regulates the amount of power that flows through the house, protects wiring and appliances from overload or short circuits, and provides a safe place to disconnect the power in an emergency. 

It is vital to ensure that an electrical panel is in good working order and up-to-code, as a malfunctioning system can cause a fire or other serious damage. This blog will share three common signs that indicate the electrical panel may need repair or replacement and should be inspected by an electrician. 

Lights Flickering or Dimming

lightIn some cases, a light flickering or being less bright than usual can be simply caused by an old light bulb that needs to be replaced. However, it may also indicate a problem with the home's electrical panel or wiring, especially if the lights dim or flicker when an appliance is being used or has just been added. This indicates too much electricity is being drawn from the circuit. 

If homeowners notice this sign of electrical panel issues, it’s crucial to get it checked out right away, as these problems can lead to hazardous conditions and even fire risks if not addressed properly. Therefore, ensure that any flickering or dim lights are inspected along with the electrical panel by a qualified electrician to ensure the home's safety.

Burning Smells

A burning smell from the electrical panel is a sign of danger and should never be ignored. This smell indicates an issue with the wiring in the home, which can quickly become a serious fire hazard if not properly addressed. If the insulation around the wiring begins to melt, it can also spread a strong odor of burning plastic throughout the house.

Overheating wires can cause widespread damage to the house as they heat up and create sparks or arcing, potentially sparking an electrical fire. Any time there is an overheating issue in the electrical panel, it's essential to have it addressed immediately by a licensed electrician. This can help prevent further damage to the electrical panel and wiring and keep the home and its inhabitants safe from potential fires.

The Electrical Panel is Old

panelElectrical panels are the central nerve centers of a home’s wiring and distribution system. Depending on their usage, they typically last 25 to 40 years, but eventually, they will need to be updated or replaced due to age or general wear and tear. Over time, components can become corroded and break down from exposure to extreme temperatures and other elements. Additionally, as technology advances, so do the electrical needs of the home and its appliances, making older panels obsolete.

When an old panel struggles with power demands, it is essential to upgrade or replace it. Signs of trouble include flickering lights and circuit breakers tripping regularly. So if homeowners suspect their electrical panel may be beyond its years, don’t wait too long to get it checked out. An upgrade or replacement will keep the household safe and save homeowners from some severe headaches in the future.

About Trustworthy Electric 

Trustworthy Electric has nearly three decades of experience serving Montgomery and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, on-time service, and fully stocked trucks. Call them today for electrical panel repair or replacement in Montgomery, AL

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African American Inventors Who Changed the Electrical Field

These Inventors Advanced How Electricity is Used in Modern Homes 

For many years, African American inventors have produced groundbreaking inventions and technological advancements that revolutionized how electricity was used and generated. This blog post will take a look at three of these pioneering inventors who changed the field of electricity over time with their unique ideas, inventions, and developments. Read on to gain more insight into how these individuals helped shape everyday lives in households even today!

How Lewis Latimer Made Electric Lighting More Accessible

lewisLewis Latimer was a Civil War veteran who had taught himself to draw and had worked his way up to the position of draftsman in a patent law office. When Thomas Edison successfully created a filament to give off light, Latimer was there to help him patent it. The problem with the original design was that the materials were expensive, and the bulb would only last about 15 hours before burning out. 

Latimer, a Renaissance man known not only for his inventions but also his painting and poetry, set to work on making the lightbulb better. He invented an improved carbon filament for the lightbulb and a manufacturing process, which significantly increased the burn time and reduced the cost for consumers allowing them to be more accessible. Because of this, he made electric lighting available to all instead of just the wealthiest families.

How James E. West Impacted Everything From Telephones to Hearing Aids

jamesJames E. West is an inventor and acoustics engineer who first made his name in sound research during segregation. Along with Gerhard Sessler, West invented the electret microphone. It is a highly sensitive and tiny microphone that is now used in too many electrical devices to count. Some of them include the following:

  • Music recording equipment
  • Telephones and cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Hearing aids
  • Smart home devices such as voice-activated speakers 

How Marie Van Brittan Brown Revolutionized Home Security

Marie Van Brittan Brown lived her whole life in Queens, New York. Her husband was an electrical technician, and she was a nurse. Due to their jobs not conforming to regular business hours, she was often home alone in an area of the city not considered particularly safe. She developed and patented a home security system with surveillance that has inspired most modern security systems today. Her home security system included:

  • Peepholes: Her system had three different peepholes at various heights so everyone at the door could be seen.
  • Moveable Camera: A camera was aimed at the peepholes and was positioned on a sliding arm so that it could be moved between peepholes. Modern systems use a doorbell camera in the same way.
  • Screens: Brown had the camera connected to two screens, one in a living area and one in the bedroom so that she could monitor the door at night. This is a precursor to the modern security wall panel and monitoring doorbell cameras from smartphones. 
  • Intercom System: A two-way microphone was part of her design to allow people to talk to each other without opening the door.

About Trustworthy Electric 

Trustworthy Electric has more than 20 years of experience serving Montgomery, AL, and surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and military discounts. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL

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Ways to Improve the Electrical System for 2023

3 Electrical Improvements to Make in the Home This Year

Everyone may be tired of hearing about New Year's resolutions, but it’s time to set some goals for the new year. Goals are especially important for homeowners because they help them plan for updates around the home that keep their homes safe. 

This year, set the goal to make sure the electrical system is ready for the new year. Home electrical systems are very reliable, so homeowners can forget about them over the years until repairs become very costly or outdated equipment becomes dangerous. Get back on track in 2023 with these recommendations from local electrical experts. 

Avoid Overloading Circuits 

circuitOverloading circuits is one of the most inconvenient and dangerous things to do in the home. When circuits get overloaded, the most common inconvenience is a loss of power to the circuit because the breaker flips. This makes the homeowner go out of their way to restore power. When circuits are chronically overloaded, they can become dangerous from overheating and cause an electrical fire that can devastate a home. 

This year, make a promise to stop overloading circuits. Make it a point to spread electrical loads out to different circuits in the home. To help prevent an overloaded circuit, homeowners can: 

  • Reduce the number of powerstrips plugged into circuits and never plug power strips into each other
  • Only allow electricians to install new legs of a circuit
  • Make a map of circuits in the home and spread devices out amongst them
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances and lights to reduce overall electrical usage
  • Unplug high-wattage appliances if smoke is smelled or breakers are tripped

Remember to Have Electrical Inspections 

Electrical inspections are an essential part of keeping homes and businesses safe. By checking all the electrical wiring, outlets, and appliances, potential hazards can be identified and corrected before they cause harm. Electrical inspections also ensure that a home or business's wiring is up to code, which helps to prevent fires and other disasters. Additionally, inspections can reveal any hidden damage to electrical systems and help identify signs of wear and tear that need attention. 

By identifying potential hazards and correcting them before they become a problem, a lot of stress, money, and danger can be avoided in the long run.  Electrical inspections are a wise investment in both safety and peace of mind.  Plus, they may even help to lower insurance premiums! Scheduling an electrical inspection for electrical wiring and outlets can prevent damage from overheated wiring and electrical fires that would be far more costly than updates. 

Replace Damaged Electrical Wiring and Outlets 

outletIgnoring old or damaged wires and outlets can have serious consequences. Faulty electrical wiring can cause fires, electrocution, and other dangerous incidents. Additionally, older wiring may not be able to support the current power needs of a home or business. This can lead to various issues, from blown circuits to overloaded wires. 

People should also be mindful of any exposed wiring, as this can pose a serious risk. Exposed wires are not only a fire hazard but can also cause an electric shock if touched. Regularly checking for exposed wiring and ensuring that all wires are properly insulated and secured will help keep a home or business safe. 

Ignoring old or damaged outlets is also risky and can have dire consequences for both the home and personal safety. Electrical outlets can become worn over time, and outlets that are not properly maintained can become unsafe. If outlets become loose or cracked, they can cause dangerous electrical shocks. Inspecting outlets for signs of damage regularly and having them repaired or replaced if necessary is vital.

An experienced electrician should be consulted to handle any wiring or outlet issues safely and properly.  By taking the necessary precautions, homeowners can ensure that their wiring and outlets are up-to-date and functioning correctly. Doing so will provide peace of mind and help protect the home or business from potential harm.

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has nearly 30 years of expertise serving Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, on-time service, and a membership plan. Call them today for outlet or wiring repair and replacement 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