Prevent Electrical Scares During Halloween Decorating

How to Prevent Electrical Problems During the Holidays 

The holiday season refers to the season starting just after Thanksgiving. Now, in anticipation of the season, many people start celebrating the holiday season starting at Halloween. With the change in the weather, there is excitement in the air, and people start going outside and hanging festive Halloween decorations and holiday lighting.

That means that the electrical safety season starts early, too. Electrical problems seem to cluster around the holiday season when people load the home’s power grid up with decorations. But that phenomenon can begin in October with all the Halloween decor. To avoid electrical problems during Halloween and the upcoming holiday season, take a few tips from electricians to keep the home safe. 

Take Care of Holiday Lighting and Electric Decorations 

Once a holiday is over, people put the holiday lights and decorations away, often cramming them in a box and then in storage. This rough handling can cause problems for lighting and decor, so before using any holiday decorations or lights, always take the time to: 

  • Inspect the cords and wiring for damage or fraying
  • Don’t use nails, staples, or other sharp things to hang lighting or electrical decor
  • Check for broken bulbs and damage to lights 

If any damage is found, those decorations should not be used. Taking a few extra moments to do these things before hanging and turning on Halloween decor and lights can ensure they are safe to use and don’t present an electrical hazard. 

Never Overload a Circuit 

overloaded outletOne of the most common electrical problems during Halloween and holidays, when decorating is expected, is overloading circuits. Each outlet and circuit in a home is only designed to handle a certain amount of power demand. When this level is exceeded, it can cause breakers to trip, fuses to blow, or wiring to overheat. 

The best way to prevent these complications and keep the home safe is to spread the electricity draw to multiple outlets and circuits. Additionally, if homeowners use extension cords for decorating, they should avoid overloading them and never chain them together. Also, upgrading holiday lighting to energy-efficient options like LED lights can reduce the chance of overloads. 

When Is Electrical Repair Needed? 

electrical repairThere may be times when decorating that homeowners notice signs electrical repair is needed because they are paying more attention to their electrical system. Once any symptoms of electrical issues are detected, an electrician should be called for electrical repair immediately to protect the home from electrical fires and other hazards. Some of the signs that people need electrical repairs are: 

  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Outlets that don’t work or appear damaged
  • Sparks or shocks from outlets 
  • Outlets that feel hot to the touch
  • Tripped breakers or blown fuses
  • Frayed wiring
  • Buzzing sounds
  • Burning smells

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has more than 25 years of expertise serving Montgomery and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and a beneficial membership plan. Call them today for electrical repairs in Montgomery, AL.

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Is There a Problem With the Electrical Wiring? Here's How to Tell

How to Spot Faulty Wiring

Keeping homes safe is a top priority for homeowners, which means ensuring that all systems are functioning properly, especially a home’s wiring and electrical system. This is especially important since electrical problems are a common cause of house fires.

And with over half of homes in the U.S. built before 1980, the chances of fires stemming from older wiring that hasn’t been updated to current safety standards go up significantly. In order to prevent this and keep homes safe, homeowners should be aware of the following signs of an electrical wiring problem to resolve them as safely and quickly as possible.

Circuit Breakers That Trip Often

A tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse happens every once in a while at home. These are both, after all, safety measures that are designed to protect homes by stopping the flow of electricity when there is too much of it all at once. However, if this becomes a common occurrence at home, it could signal a bigger problem with the electrical wiring that needs to be resolved. 

Sometimes, this just means one or two appliances should be removed from the circuit that is being overloaded and plugged into a different circuit. However, if this doesn’t work, homeowners should get a professional electrician to inspect and fix the wiring and circuit breaker or fuse box to eliminate the possibility of developing a fire hazard.

Outlets Are Discolored or Hot to the Touch

OutletScorch marks around an outlet or if they feel hot to the touch is another red flag for electrical wiring. After all, where there is smoke, there’s fire, and these are outward signs that there is loose or faulty wiring behind the outlet that is causing some kind of burning action when a device or appliance is plugged in. 

This usually happens because damaged wiring sends more electricity than is needed to the outlet, and this extra energy can fry devices or, in more extreme cases, cause a fire. So, any burn marks on outlets or ones that feel warm should be a sign to call an electrician immediately. 

It Smells or Sounds Like Trouble

Bad smell Another way to tell that there has been significant damage to a home’s electrical wiring is the presence of a distinct burning smell around an electrical outlet. The smell is usually similar to burning plastic and indicates wiring that has had some fire damage. Sometimes, this burning smell is also accompanied by a buzzing sound. 

Whether by itself or present together, the smell of burning or the sound of buzzing is always an indication of trouble. Homeowners who experience this are advised to immediately unplug their appliances and call an electrician to deal with the situation safely.

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric is a family-owned company that has been serving Montgomery and the surrounding areas since 1994. They offer upfront pricing, military discounts, and a beneficial membership plan. Call them today for wiring repair and replacement in Montgomery, AL.

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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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