Category Archives: Electrical Emergencies

How to Prepare for a Summer Power Outage in Charlotte

Hot summer temperatures provide the perfect opportunity for enjoying outdoor activities, but these temperatures also increase the likelihood for power outages to occur due to stormy weather and a strained electrical grid. Not only are summer power outages inconvenient, but they can also pose electrical hazards.

You can minimize the stress and electrical safety risks associated with summer power outages by preparing in advance, and that’s something the experts here at Douthit Electrical are happy to help you with! Our experienced Charlotte electricians can help you identify ways to make your home’s electrical system safer by performing services such as generator maintenance and surge protection.

Here are a few simple ways you can prepare your family for summer power outage in Charlotte!

  • Create an emergency kit and keep it handy Having the lights suddenly go out can be alarming and disorienting, which can make it difficult to find a flashlight, batteries, or other necessities you might need during a power outage. Assembling a power outage kit ahead of time and keeping it in a safe, easy to access area of your home means you won’t have to frantically scramble around in the dark.
  • Know how to use your generator safely Having a generator can be a real lifesaver, but using one without knowing how to do so safely is extremely dangerous and can even put your life, and the lives of those around you, at risk. If you’re ever unsure about generator safety in Charlotte, call us immediately!
  • Prevent circuit overload Flip any light switches that were on before the power went out to the off position in order to prevent an electrical surge once the power is restored. You should also unplug any major appliances that aren’t plugged into a surge protector, but the best thing to do would to be call us in advance and take advantage of our Charlotte surge protection services!
  • Have a family back up plan Creating a family back up plan can reduce confusion and stress during a power outage. Keep a physical list of emergency contact information and shelters handy in the event your cell phone battery dies. Review emergency procedures with your household.
  • Check your home’s fire and security systems In some cases, a power outage may reset your home’s thermostat, fire alarms, security system, and even your sump pump. Be sure to check all of these once the power is back on to make sure they’re working as they should.

We get it; a summer power outage can be scary! But the only thing scarier than a summer power outage is not being prepared for one. For help with power outages and other electrical emergencies in Charlotte, call the professionals at Douthit Electrical!


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Is Buying a Home Generator in Charlotte a Worthwhile Investment?

Thunderbolt over the house and dark stormy sky on the backgroundMany people choose to purchase home generators after suffering through a prolonged power outage. Others purchase generators because they need to ensure that they’ll have the power they need to run their medical equipment. Some residents have a generator installed simply so that they’ll be able to heat their homes in the event of a winter power outage. There are many great reasons to install a whole-house generator in Charlotte, but some people struggle to justify the cost. They wonder, will a generator be a worthwhile investment? The truth is that generators provide more than just the convenience of power during an outage—they can actually save you some money.

You could save money on travel or hotel costs. How long would you and your family be willing to stay at home without power? The answer to that question will probably depend on the weather. Sometimes people get driven out of their homes by the cold and wind up needing to rent a room at a hotel or travel to stay with family or friends.

A generator could help prevent lost work time. If you have a home office, your productivity will surely stall if you can’t use your computer and other electronic devices. With a home generator, your work won’t be disrupted.

A generator will keep your refrigerator running and therefore can prevent food from spoiling. You’ll not only save money on all that food you’d otherwise have to throw out, but also on restaurant meals that you’ll have to go out for if you can’t cook at home.

During very cold weather, having electricity will help prevent frozen and burst pipes. If you’re able to continuously heat your home with the power from a generator, you could save money on broken pipes and plumbing repairs.

When your home is the one with the lights on, the looters and burglars that come out during emergencies will continue on elsewhere. This won’t just save you from having items stolen, but it will help keep you and your family safe as well.

While for some, purchasing a generator is all about necessity or convenience, we understand for others it is all about finances. If you think installing a generator at your Charlotte home may be a wise decision, act now before the next power outage by calling Douthit Electrical! We’ll help you choose the generator that’s right for your home and install it professionally so you’ll be ready when the next power outage strikes!


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Preventing Electrical Shocks & How to Test Your GFCIs in Charlotte

Dangerous SituationDepending on your overall health and the severity of an electrical shock, you could be seriously injured or even killed. An electrical shock can happen to anyone, so even if you don’t have children in your home it is a good idea to take precautions to prevent electrical shocks. Use these tips from our Charlotte electricians to get started and if you need more help with electrical safety at your home, give Douthit Electrical a call!

Preventing Electrical Shocks in Charlotte

  • Cover electrical sockets that you’re not using. If you have sockets at home that you don’t use, purchase some socket plugs to cover them up. These socket plugs are inexpensive and help to prevent electrical shocks that occur when someone places an object, like a paperclip, into the socket. Even if you don’t have children at your home, you may have one visit someday, so it’s wise to just cover up these outlets now so that you don’t forget about the danger later on.
  • Throw away old appliances. Even if the microwave, curling iron, or hair dryer that you bought decades ago still works, the insulation on the wires may have deteriorated over the years. Old appliances can create the risk for electrical shock and also have a tendency to be less efficient than their newer versions.
  • Always unplug your appliances before you clean them. Water is a great conductor of electricity, so you should never clean an appliance while it’s still plugged in. Keep in mind too, if you need to dislodge a slice bread from your toaster, you must unplug it before you go digging inside with a fork.
  • Never operate an appliance in a wet environment. Learn which areas of your home need GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters). 
  • Test your GFCIs regularly. Make sure that your GFCIs are ready to cut off the electrical current if needed by testing them. Here’s how:
    • Plug a small electrical device like a nightlight or hair dryer into your GFCI outlet and make sure it turns on.
    • Press the “test” button on your GFCI. The electrical device should turn off right away.
    • Press the “reset” button on your GFCI. The electrical device should turn back on immediately.
    • If, when you press the “test” button, your electrical device does not turn off immediately, your GFCI is not working properly and you should contact an electrician.

At Douthit Electrical, electrical safety in Charlotte is our top priority. For help making the electrical system in your home safer, give our licensed electricians a call today!


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How to Deal with Minor Electrical Problems in Charlotte

cartoon sparking toasterThere’s the right way to deal with a minor electrical issue  and the wrong way. Our Charlotte electricians believe that knowing what to do in advance will help you to avoid a panic-driven electrical disaster when a minor problem does arise. Learn what to do when one of these common electrical problems occurs so that you can react appropriately and quickly if they ever happen to you!

A Sparking Toaster

If your toaster lights up like the Fourth of July as you toast your kid’s Pop-Tart, you’ll want to grab your fire extinguisher immediately (keep one handy in the kitchen) and put out any small flames and sparks. Never, ever dump water on a toaster! Afterwards, you’ll still want to dial 911 because electrical wiring inside your wall may have caught fire even if it isn’t visible. If a toaster or other fire ever starts to get out of control, it’s time to get everyone in the building out! Your stuff can be replaced, but you cannot!

A Broken Light Bulb

When a light bulb breaks, you may hear a POP! First, you’ll want to unplug the lamp or turn off the switch to your light fixture. If you own safety goggles, now would be a great time to sport them. You can take a dry bar of soap and carefully lodge it onto the broken bulb. Once the soap is secured into the broken bulb, you should be able to twist it free and discard it.

A Smoky Blender

If your blender starts smoking mid-smoothie, DO NOT TOUCH IT—unplug the blender immediately. If you’re unable to unplug the blender without touching it, go to your circuit breaker  box and turn off the power that way. Once the blender has completely cooled, it’s time to dispose of it and invest in one that is less scary!

Safety should always be #1 during electrical emergencies If you’re unsure of what to do call Douthit Electrical and let our professional Charlotte electricians handle the problem. We’re here to provide electrical services in Charlotte and the surrounding areas to help keep people safe from electrical shocks and electrical fires!

 


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